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Russia's Richest Man Wants to Plan Your Life at School and Work

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 2017-09-12 Yuliya Fedorinova and Alex Sazonov

BC-MORDASHOV-EDUCATION-AMBITIONS © Yuliya Fedorinova and Alex Sazonov BC-MORDASHOV-EDUCATION-AMBITIONS (Bloomberg) -- Russia’s richest man, Alexey Mordashov, built his $18.5 billion fortune from the heat and sweat of steelmaking. Now he wants to shape minds and careers from preschool to pension.

The largest shareholder in Severstal PJSC, Russia’s second-largest steelmaker by market capitalization, is moving into online education and recruitment, setting up a unit at the end of last year that’s acquiring startup companies, as he diversifies his investments.

“Our goal is to create a platform, an ecosystem, that will help a person to develop, starting from kindergarten to retirement and beyond,” said Artem Kumpel, who heads the new recruitment and educational hi-tech division at Mordashov’s Severgroup. The billionaire is “personally involved and we are discussing investments and strategy on a monthly basis,” said Kumpel, who moved from software company Abbyy in Russia in December.

Technological advances in automation, robotics and artificial intelligence are speeding up changes in the workforce worldwide, ending some jobs and pushing many to retrain for the so-called knowledge economy. Global spending on education exceeded $5 trillion in 2014, with digital learning accounting for only 2 percent of the market, according to a report last year by EdTechXGlobal and IBIS Capital. Skeptics have pointed out fierce competition, including offerings from nonprofits, among factors that may hold growth in check.

Severgroup seeks to build a portfolio of online educational, human-resources consultancy and recruitment companies to provide training and career development services through a person’s life, Kumpel said.

Online Education

Severgroup’s unit made its first acquisition in February, buying a controlling stake in online handyman referral platform It expanded in July by purchasing recruitment optimization platform, followed by a stake in online training platform Netology Group. Bloomberg Billionaires Index values the internet startups at about $55 million.

Mordashov has set no financial limits for investing in such assets and wants to build annual revenue for the business to several billion dollars in the next five to seven years, according to Kumpel. The unit may add two more companies to its portfolio this year and, while the group has started in Russia, it’s also eyeing projects in Europe and the U.S., he said.

Just as Inc. grew to become an online retailer for practically anything, “we want to become a similar marketplace in HR tech and educational tech,” Kumpel said. “We have a large pipeline for acquisitions.”

How this family of 9 can afford to travel the world year-round (provided by GOBankingRates) With their fourth child on the way, Greg and Rachel Denning were living the American dream. They had a nice house with a white-picket fence in a good neighborhood in Utah. Greg had a great job as a high school teacher. They had a couple of cars and even a couple of dogs.<p>“We were settling in for life,” said Greg.</p><p>But the Dennings realized that wasn’t the life they wanted. They had read self-help and motivational books and had been inspired to start dreaming bigger. They asked themselves what they would do if they could live any way they wanted. The answer: take their family to developing countries and serve others.</p><p>“We genuinely want to live deliberately,” said Greg. “Obviously, it’s not for everybody — but it was our dream.”</p><p>So in 2007, after their fourth child was born, Greg and Rachel packed up their family and drove to Costa Rica in their SUV. That was the start of a nomadic lifestyle that has taken their family — which has grown from six to nine — to more than 30 countries over the past 10 years. Here’s how the Dennings have been able to <a href="">travel the world and live the life of their dreams</a>.</p> How This Family of 9 Can Afford to Travel the World Year-Round

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