How This Russian Orphan Became a Billionaire

After a feud with her late husband’s family, Margarita Louis-Dreyfus won control of commodities giant LDC and has sold 45 percent of it to an Emirati company

Ronit Domke
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Ronit Domke

In 1989 Margarita Bogdanova, a 27-year-old Russian woman living in Switzerland, where she sold electronic components over the telephone, realized a dream and booked a flight on the supersonic Concorde jet from Zurich to New York.

Bogdanova, whose parents had died when she was 11 and had been raised by her grandfather, never imagined that this flight would change her life, gaining her entry into one of the wealthiest families in France and eventually enabling her to take control of a giant international commodities company.