The history of SOLEV International Consortium goes back to 1987, when at the dawn of perestroika Lev I. Weinberg, today’s President of SOLEV, started one of the first joint ventures in the former USSR – Interquadro Soviet-French-Italian Joint Venture – and became its general director. With two university degrees as his assets (from Moscow Aviation Institute (State University of Aerospace Technologies) and Moscow State University Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics), a Candidate of Science Degree and a USSR Council of Ministers Award, as well as his extensive life experience and evident leadership talent, Lev I. Weinberg has been able to unite a team of like-minded professionals around him (some of them are still, 20 years on, working with him in SOLEV Group). The enthusiasm of the first years of perestroika, the energy of these professionals and their newborn freedom to operate on the free market were completely new for the USSR and resulted in an outstanding turnover of over $60 million within two years, which made it an absolute champion in its sect or of the new economy.
At the same time, Lev I. Weinberg became one of the leaders of the social movement of the pioneers of new entrepreneurship in Russia. At the beginning of 1988, he founded and headed the Association of Joint Ventures, International Consortiums and Organizations, the first public organization of entrepreneurs in the former USSR, and remained its president for over 10 years (he is currently the Chairman of the Association’s Supervisory Board). As president of this Association, Lev I. Weinberg held a top position at the Council on Entrepreneurship under the Government of the USSR (Mikhail Gorbachev) and the Government of Russia (Boris Yeltsin).
He was a Panel member of the Round Table of Russian Business and many other non-profit organizations of that time.
From 1991 to 2006 he was the vice-president of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the leading organization of new Russia’s business elite.
In 1993, he was among the 300 authors of the new Constitution of the Russian Federation.
In 1993 – 2003, Lev I. Weinberg was an active member of the Tripartite Commission for Social Partnership (Government – Trade Unions – Entrepreneurs), an important public body founded in compliance with the RF Constitution.
From 1993 up until 2007 he was one of the founders and a member of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy.
In 1998, in connection with the tenth anniversary of the oldest public organization of entrepreneurs – Association of Joint Ventures – Lev I. Weinberg, as its President, was awarded the Order of Friendship.
An active social standpoint, broad business connections and vast experience have contributed not only to Lev I. Weinberg’s business career, but also to building up SOLEV International Consortium.
From 1990 to 1993, Lev I. Weinberg worked as financial adviser to the world-famous American IBM Corporation in Russia.
In 1992 – 1999, he was a member and president of the Board of Directors of the Russian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (at the time it was an agent of the World Bank in Russia), was one of the founders and for almost 6 years a member of the Board of Directors of Inkombank, and a member of the Board of Directors or Chairman of the Board of Directors of three more Russian banks, actively participating in international conferences, meetings, the Davos Forum, and founding or heading over 30 business and bank organizations.
The large-scale economic and political changes that took place during the transition from the USSR to Russia that began in 1987, the successful business relations with the world’s leading industrialists, economists and financiers, experience in dealing with the real sector companies in over 40 regions of Russia, profound knowledge in the field of investment financing, and
extraordinary analytical skills have predetermined the sphere of professional interests of Lev I. Weinberg and the group he has created, SOLEV IC.
The first company of the SOLEV Group appeared in 1990, only three months after the first law on private joint-stock companies was passed on Russia. SOLEV is an abbreviation of the names of its founders: Lev Weinberg (LEV) and his wife Sofia Landau (SO).
Investment consulting, aimed at introducing project financing to Russian companies, became SOLEV’s primary activity. The group’s division of applied financial technologies has been dynamically developing under the influence of changes taking place in the economic situation of Russia, as well as on international financial and commodity markets. This development is based, primarily, on the needs of medium-sized industrial plants with a $10-50 million annual turnover that form the majority of SOLEV Group’s clients.
During the first half of the 90s, several private companies created by Lev I. Weinberg participated in some of the largest investment projects aimed at developing domestic industrial facilities. The total value of projects implemented during that period was nearly $ 500 million. Among these were Computers for School Education in the USSR, Sirena-3 Automatic Airfare Payment System, Advanced Banking Technologies for Regional Clearing Centers of the Central Bank of Russia, Automatic Petrochemical Processing Management System developed jointly with IBM (USA).
Since 1992 and until present, SOLEV Group has been participating in financing a large real
estate modernization and development project of Block 267 and 268 blocks in Sretenka District of Moscow. Tsentrinvest JSC, in which Lev I. Weinberg has been the Chairman of the Board
since its establishment, is the owner-developer of this project.
In 1992 – 1996, SOLEV Management, a member of SOLEV Group, completed a large-scale pilot project commissioned by the Russian Federation Government that involved recycling scrap metal and waste containing precious metals at affinage faculties abroad. This project was a component of a larger program of processing recoverable resources that was further continued(from 1993 to 2003) by Rosvtordragmet JSC in which Lev I. Weinberg was the Chairman of the Board.
In 1994 – 1995, SOLEV implemented projects in various sectors of the economy that involved support to Russian exports (sea ports in Novorossiysk, Nikolayev, Liepae); modernization of cement production facilities (Rostsement); and recycling military metal scrap and waste (nonferrous and precious metals) in Murmansk, Kasimov, Khabarovsk, and Dnepropetrovsk.
In 1994 – 1997, on commission from Star Mining (Australia), SOLEV participated in preparing a $1.5 billion investment project for Lenzoloto JSC for the development of Sukhoi Log Gold Field in Irkutsk Region. At the time, Lev. I.Weinberg was the Chairman of Lenzoloto Financial Committee.
In 1996 – 1997, the companies of SOLEV Group actively participated in designing the Precious Metal Market Liberalization Program aimed at broadening the scope of operations with rights to gold (“paper gold”). At the time, Lev I. Weinberg held the position of Chief Financial Advisor to the Russian Federation Committee for Precious Metals and Precious Stones.
Since 1997 and until present, SOLEV has been focusing mainly on modernizing existing and creating new Russian companies orientated toward import replacement, export and overall creation of competitive products. During this time (despite the long-felt impact of the 1998 crisis), SOLEV Group worked on over 400 projects in various sectors of the economy and established partnerships with over 40 regions of Russia.
During the period from 1997 to 2002, the key financial partner of SOLEV Group was Sberbank of Russia (Project Finance Department) since because of the 1998 crisis western sources of financing were closed for Russia almost until the end of 2002.
In 2001 – 2003, SOLEV participated in the Metropolia Program implemented under an agreement with RF Committee for Construction and aimed at arranging mechanisms for attracting non-budgetary sources of financing for the reform in the housing and utility sector in the Russian Federation. The essence of this project was comprehensive modernization and refurbishment of power supply systems in medium-size (from 20,000 to 100,000 residents) cities of Russia. It also included projects connected with processing and recycling solid household waste.
Since 2003, SOLEV has been actively participating in a number of large international projects and programs connected with promoting the interests of foreign investors in Russia.
Since 2002, both Lev I. Weinberg and his team who form the top management of the Group (many have been with SOLEV for 8-10 years, which is quite a lengthy service record considering the rapidly growing Russian market) have been firmly holding the leadership position in project and structured financing, which is promising financial and investment sector in Russia and in
some CIS countries (Kazakhstan, Ukraine).