For more than 20 years, international financier Robert Friedland has been a recognized figure among the leaders of the global financial sector and mineral resource industries who have influenced investment decisions and contributed to economic growth in established and emerging markets in Asia, the Asia Pacific Region, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas.
Mr. Friedland is Chairman of Ivanhoe Capital Corporation, his family's private company founded in 1987 and now with operations based in Singapore, Beijing and London. Ivanhoe Capital specializes in the provision of venture capital and project financing for international business enterprises, predominantly in the fields of minerals, energy and advanced technology. With his leadership, Ivanhoe executives and more than 15 benefiting, public and private companies that have been affiliated with Ivanhoe Capital have raised a total of more than US$10 billion on world capital markets since 1993. This capital has been invested in more than 30 nations, directed primarily at the discovery and production of mineral and energy resources and the development and application of innovative exploration, processing and communications technologies.
Mr. Friedland founded Ivanhoe Mines in 1994, which he has progressively developed as his flagship international mining and mineral exploration enterprise., Mr. Friedland previously served variously as the company’s Executive Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer during the ensuing 18 years between 1994 and 2012 as Ivanhoe Mines established itself as a significant miner and explorer in Asia and Asia Pacific and built a large shareholder base through listings on the Toronto, New York and NASDAQ stock exchanges.
Under Mr. Friedland's leadership, Ivanhoe Mines in 2000 began exploration in Mongolia that led to a decade of discoveries, which revealed a 12.4-kilometre-long (7.7-mile) chain of mineral deposits. Ivanhoe Mines initiated construction of the Oyu Tolgoi mining complex, which began production in January 2013 and is projected to become one of the world's top three copper-gold-silver producers. The company's subsidiary, Ivanhoe Australia, began production of copper and gold in early 2012, was required to relinquish the Ivanhoe name at its Osborne operation in northwestern Queensland. International mining giant Rio Tinto acquired control of Ivanhoe Mines in 2012 and subsequently renamed it Turquoise Hill Resources.
Mr. Friedland also founded Africa-focused Ivanplats in 1998. As Executive Chairman, he led Ivanplats' successful initial public offering in October 2012 that raised CDN$306 million (US$308 million) from international investors in what was the largest Canadian IPO since 2010. The company assumed the Ivanhoe Mines name in August 2013.
The new, and renewed, Ivanhoe Mines now is developing three major mining projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. Two are in the Democratic Republic of Congo: the development of the company's world-scale Kamoa copper discovery in a previously unknown extension of the legendary Central African Copperbelt, and the upgrading of the historic Kipushi zinc-copper mine and development of its large, unmined Big Zinc Deposit. The third key project is the development of another world-scale discovery into a state-of-the-art underground platinum-palladium-gold-nickel-copper mine on the Platreef, in South Africa’s Bushveld Complex where established mines already produce a combined 79% of the world's annual platinum output.
In addition to his natural resources interests, Mr. Friedland owns and has supported a diverse portfolio of global technology and media enterprises, as well as international investments in the hospitality real estate sector.
During the 1990s, Mr. Friedland was an initial, key investor in Sina.com, now the largest Chinese-language online infotainment web portal. Ivanhoe Capital provided the founding venture capital for U.S.-based Sirius Satellite Radio, which went on to build SiriusXM into the world's most successful digital satellite radio service.
In 2007, Mr. Friedland and Laurent Frescaline formed I-Pulse Inc. to commercialize a proprietary core technology that compresses energy and then releases the accumulated energy in controlled pulses in just fractions of a second. I-Pulse is a privately held company that has successfully established commercial operations in the oil and gas, advanced manufacturing and mineral exploration sectors, and enjoys support from a diverse group of sophisticated shareholders and strategic partners. I-Pulse is leading an energy revolution through its development and deployment of high-pulsed power applications and solutions, and is entering a very exciting growth stage as it expands its offerings into numerous markets and opportunities.
Mr. Friedland also has established a motion picture and television financing and production company based in Hollywood, California, with offices in Beijing and New York, which was launched in September 2013. Ivanhoe Pictures, chaired by Mr. Friedland, will finance and produce film and television projects that have broad appeal to international audiences. Initially, the company will bridge production opportunities in America and Asia, focusing on China, India, Korea and Japan. Beyond that, the company will pursue English and local-language films in a variety of global markets.
DISTINCTIONS AND RECOGNITIONS
In March 2013, Mr. Friedland was presented with the Jury's Award at the Mines and Money Asian Mining Awards ceremony in Hong Kong, which was announced as a unanimous choice recognizing his role in the initial public offering in 2012 by the former Ivanplats that raised more than CDN$300 million for the company's projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa.
In December 2012, as part of the Outstanding Achievement Awards presented at the London Mines & Money conference, the former Ivanplats was voted the recipient of the Exploration Funding Award in a further acknowledgement of the company's successful initial public offering in October 2012.
In September 2012, the Financial Post Magazine, a Canadian business publication, placed Mr. Friedland on its honour roll of The Most Influential Canadians - citing what it described as his "knack for hurdling seemingly insurmountable challenges to turn dreams into reality".
In March 2012, Mr. Friedland was recognized as Mining Personality of the Year at the inaugural Asia Mining Awards, sponsored by the Mines & Money conference and the Asia Mining Club in Hong Kong, which cited his role in Mongolia's emergence as a major destination for mining investment. Ivanhoe Mines' Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mining complex was voted Project Development of the Year.
Mr. Friedland received the Dealmaker of the Year Award for Ivanhoe Mines from Australia's Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum in August 2011, which acknowledged the success in "managing some of the more interesting asset development logistics our industry has seen for many years." The citation said the award recognized "the entrepreneurial skills of developing one of the world's major projects (Oyu Tolgoi) while retaining corporate ownership, retaining focus on the end goal as well as unlocking value in ancillary corporate assets (in particular, Ivanhoe Australia)".