Raissa Frenkel is the Chief Executive Officer of Forum Capital Group, a global private equity firm. An avid philanthropist, Raissa also serves as the Executive Director of the Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation.
Raissa Frenkel was born in Kazan, Russia in 1961. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Kazan Finance Institute before achieving her Ph.D. in Economics from the same institution in 1982. After successfully defending her dissertation, Raissa accepted a job offer from the university to join their faculty as a professor. She held this position for seven years.
In 1991, Raissa relocated with her husband, Lazar Finker, and young son to the United States. Lazar taught as a visiting professor with Florida Community College in Jacksonville, Florida. His instruction proved to be highly popular, and the college invited him to stay beyond the initial duration of the agreement.
As the family settled into their new home, Raissa sharpened her English skills and became an active member of her local community. Soon, she seized an opportunity to leverage her international expertise and extensive background in finance and initiated a successful business partnership with associates in Eastern Europe. Raissa, Lazar & several other founding partners secured sufficient financing to purchase commodities, which they then sold in the Central Asian market. In return, they accepted compensation in the form of natural gas. This transaction birthed a new company. Whereas western firms were typically unequipped to capitalize on the opportunity of Post-Soviet markets, Raissa, Lazar, and their colleagues were able to cultivate their international relationships and before long the business grew to encompass one of the largest trade networks in the region
Thanks in large part to Raissa’s, Lazar’s, and their partners’ contributions, the company evolved into a vertically integrated gas producer. Raissa served as CEO of the United States Operations. By 2000, they had become the third largest private natural gas company in the world by output. In 2012 and 2013, the family sold their equity in the business and turned their attention towards domestic investments with the establishment of a new venture, Forum Capital Group. The private equity firm now serves a select group of high-net-worth individuals with an emphasis on real estate and seafood.
Beyond the corporate boardroom, Raissa Frenkel is also highly involved with the family’s Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation. The organization is dedicated to causes such as medical research, education, religious development, and children’s welfare. Raissa has also made substantial contributions over the years to foundations like the Make-A-Wish foundation, the Mount Sinai Medical Center Foundation, and more.