Ivan Glasenberg is the CEO of the world’s largest mining and commodity trading companies, Glencore. He serves on the boards of Minara Resources Ltd., Xstrata plc, and Rosneft. Glasenberg consistently makes the Forbes lists of the world’s richest people, holding the largest private stake (8,4%) in publicly traded Glencore. When Glencore listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2011, Glasenberg paid SFr 360 million in taxes to the village of Rüschlikon in Switzerland, his main residence, a move that helped residents of the town cut their tax rate by 7%.
Born to a wealthy family in Johannesburg, South Africa, Glasenberg was educated at the University of the Witwatersrand, earning both a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Accountancy degrees. He is a registered Chartered Accountant in South Africa and worked for Nexia Levitt Kirson for five years. Glasenberg completed his education with an MBA at the University of Southern California in 1983.
Glasenberg started working for oil trader Marc Rich & Co in 1984, managing the coke and coal departments in South Africa and Australia. He managed the company’s offices in Beijing and Hong Kong for two years before being appointed as head of the coal department in 1991. During the management buy-out in 1994 the company name was changed to Glencore and Glasenberg had been appointed as worldwide director. He continued his rise through the company and was named as CEO in 2012.
Glasenberg became CEO of Glencore Xstrata after finalizing one of the largest mining company mergers in history. In a controversial merger, which was initially expected to be a ‘merger of equals’ with Mick Davis as CEO and Ivan Glasenberg as President, Glasenberg took control of the new company ousting Xstrata CEO Mick Davis who left the company in 2013.
During his years at Marc Rich & Co Glasenberg was renowned for his ability to ensure that shipment arrived punctually, and for his propensity for working alongside his subordinates to ensure success. This was particularly marked during his time in Asia, as well as his ability to establish and nurture long-term business relationships.
Glasenberg transformed Glencore from a commodities trading company into one of the world’s foremost companies in control of essential resources. Under the leadership of Glasenberg, Glencore invested over $30 billion giving it control over commodities in Russia, Congo, Canada and Zambia. Glencore currently controls 50% of the global copper trade, 28% of the coal trade and 60% of the global zinc trade.
After the flotation of Glencore on the London Stock Exchange share prices dropped leaving Glasenberg with personal losses of over £788 million which he recouped in less than a year, using his dividends from the company to buy up stock to the value of $54 million, leaving him with the largest private share in the company and shooting him directly onto the Forbes list as the world’s 20th richest mining billionaire.
Ivan Glasenberg lives in Switzerland with his wife. The couple have two children. In his youth, Glasenberg was the national junior champion race walker both in South Africa and Israel. He is an avid runner and swimmer. He is an extremely private person having granted only one interview to the media since his appointment as CEO of Glencore in 2002.