Mikhail Y. Gurfinkel, President and COO
Mikhail Gurfinkel has spent the majority of his career negotiating, structuring, and executing complex acquisitions, joint ventures, and investments around the world. He began his career as a corporate attorney at two international law firms, advising on both public and private transactions. Prior to joining Badlands, he spent seven years as a senior executive at Basic Element, a multi-billion dollar international private equity conglomerate.
As President and COO of Badlands, Mikhail has been instrumental in developing the company’s business plan and overseeing all aspects of developing the planned facilities. He has been primarily responsible for executing strategy established by the Board, negotiating and structuring complex, cross-border agreements with Badlands’ strategic partners, and establishing long-term agreements with both the suppliers of raw materials and offtake agreements for the alpha olefins produced. Mr. Gurfinkel is also responsible for managing the team and logistics of the Company’s operations.
Prior to joining Badlands, Mikhail served from 2007-2013 as President and General Counsel, Americas Region, of Basic Element, a multi-billion international private equity conglomerate focusing on energy, metals & mining, manufacturing, and construction. In this capacity, he was responsible for sourcing, execution, and portfolio management of Basic Element's regional investments as well as commercial matters. While there, he executed strategic transactions valued at approximately $2 billion. In addition to working with the company’s aluminum division on its energy infrastructure and other projects affecting the mining, rail and construction divisions, the two largest transactions completed by Mr. Gurfinkel were Basic Elements’ investment in Magna Corporation and a multi stage joint venture with Terex Corporation.
Basic Element owns GAZ, a publicly listed manufacturing conglomerate that produces all manner of vehicles, including the Volga brand of consumer vehicles. Mikhail structured and executed GAZ’s investment in Magna Corporation, now one of the foremost parts producers in Russia. After implementing cooperative initiatives between the companies, he served as Board advisor and company representative at management committee meetings for Magna until the investment was unwound.
Mikhail also executed a multi-stage joint venture transaction with Terex Corporation. GAZ owns a construction equipment manufacturing business, which enjoyed 40% market share in Russia and produced equipment for export markets. As Chinese competition encroached on the success of that business, Basic Element, understanding the innovation that was necessary to compete, targeted Terex Corporation. Terex manufactures construction equipment that it sells worldwide and needed a low cost manufacturing
partner and distributor in Russia and the CIS countries. Mikhail structured a joint venture involving an investment into GAZ for capital improvements, the sharing of technology, contract manufacturing, distribution and service throughout the region and co-branded products. That transaction saved GAZ from an uncertain future and saved or created 10,000 jobs in Russia.
Prior to his tenure at Basic Element, Mikhail was a corporate attorney from 1999-2007 at two of the world's leading law firms, Clifford Chance LLP and Hunton & Williams LLP, where he specialized in M&A and banking. He represented a mix of Fortune 500 clients including industrials, financial institutions and real estate companies in a wide range of matters including corporate finance, real estate acquisition and development, venture capital investment, public and private investments and issuance of debt and equity. Mikhail has assisted both issuers and underwriters with public and private capital markets transactions, and has extensive experience in advising clients in a variety of industries.
Mikhail has served on numerous corporate and charitable boards. Mikhail has a B.A. with honors in philosophy from the University of Florida and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law.