Billionaire Profile: Igor Olenicoff
An immigrant from the Soviet Union, Igor Olenicoff had by college age miraculously made it all the way to the University of Southern California. There, he studied mathematics and finance, and eventually went on to earn an MBA at the school. This rigorous study would lay the groundwork for Olenicoff’s wildly successful career.
How He Made His Fortune
After a short post-college stint as an executive in a large corporation, Olenicoff decided that his best option was to become an entrepreneur. In 1973, he founded a real estate company based out of California. The business, which develops properties across the United States, has since become one of the more successful real estate companies out there.
Olen Properties Corporation, as it is now known, has grown consistently and steadily in nearly four decades of existence. Starting off in California, Olen migrated to both metropolitan and suburban areas throughout the country. The company owns residential and commercial space in places such as Florida, Nevada, and Chicago.
Perhaps the most impressive quality of Olenicoff’s company is the way in which it does business. As a billionaire who once studied quantitative analysis, Olen knows how to manage its money. The company’s properties were largely financed through earnings from operations, and Olen’s personal philosophy is to “create and hold” real estate as opposed to “create and sell”. With this long term vision, Olen has been able to avoid some of the cash flow problems that other real estate companies tend to encounter.
What He Does Now
Over thirty five years after founding Olen, Igor Olenicoff is still the head of the company. Though he recently made headlines for a submitting fraudulent tax returns to the IRS (and consequently faced some stiff penalties), Olen still qualifies as one of the richest people in the world.
Igor Olenicoff’s example demonstrates just how powerful knowledge and dedication can be in the business world. A Russian native who immigrated to America from poverty, Olenicoff is a true rags-to-riches story. Clearly, it was more than luck or connections that turned this real estate tycoon into the the man he is today.
More specifically, Olenicoff’s financial prowess provides an excellent example for would-be entrepreneurs. There have been at least three major real estate dips since Olen’s founding in 1973. While other real estate companies tended to struggle mightily in these periods, Olen has been able to move and leverage its assets to keep its bottom line in the black. Of course, this did involve complicated financial deals with foreign lenders and the creation of new companies to divide Olen’s assets. Regardless, Olenicoff’s ability to engineer the company’s growth is quite impressive, to say the least.