Perhaps it’s due to his constant diversification and reinvention a la Madonna. In a recent Bloomberg article, Samy Dwek, CEO of consulting firm, Family Office Doctor, describes Blavatnik as “an anomaly.” Dwek goes on to say, “A lot of families make money in a certain sector and their focus will stay there. Yes, they’ll do stuff outside to diversify but never to the same extent as Len. He is kind of like Madonna was in her career. A different person with every album.” For Blavatnik, it started with aluminum. Then oil and plastics. With investments as varied as fashion, real estate, technology, and media and entertainment, Blavatnik’s fortune has been reshaped time and time again similar to the transformations of the aforementioned popstar.
What’s the latest addition to an already assorted portfolio? Early-stage biotech led by former worldwide head of clinical research and development at Pfizer Inc., Liam Ratcliffe. Overseeing the biotech investments at Blavatnik’s Access Industries, Ratcliffe says that the main focus centers “on areas of major unmet needs” such as therapies for pediatric cancers like low-grade glioma. This foray into biotech may seem like an unusual pivot, but it reflects Blavatnik’s passion for and support of the sciences. Not only does he fund scientific research at storied educational institutions like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, but he also distributes millions each year in unrestricted funds to young researchers through the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists.