Did you think Russian billionaires were suffering from the sanctions of the West? If so, you are in the wrong. On the contrary, their total wealth seems to grow, and so does their numbers, as they grab places in the rankings, as shown by the latest Forbes ranking of the richest Russian entrepreneurs.
This publication argues that the aggregate wealth of the country’s 200 richest entrepreneurs has increased by $ 25 billion in the past 12 months, to 485 billion, while the number of billionaires has increased from 96 to 106 during the same period. The threshold for inclusion in the 2018 rankings has also increased, from $ 12.4 billion to $ 12.5 billion. Here are the top 10 largest fortunes in Russia, most of which own assets and property abroad.
Read also: Russian billionaires: how they earned their first million
1. Vladimir Lissine, 61 ($ 19.1 billion)
President and majority shareholder of the steel company NLMK, Vladimir Lissine is not only a businessman, but also an expert in the steel sector, holding a large number of patents and having published numerous articles on his academic work. He is also a pistol shooting fanatic: he is the head of the Russian Shooting Union and vice-president of the International Shooting Sports Federation. He also owns a property in Scotland, where he travels regularly to hunt.
2. Aleksey Mordashov, 52 ($ 18.7 billion)
Another steel magnate, the head of the Severstal firm, Aleksey Mordashov, was the son of a worker turned businessman on his own. Apart from Severstal, he also holds shares in TUI (23%), one of the largest travel companies in the world, in the gold producer NordGold (98.4%) and in Power Machines, a multinational of energetic genius.
Read also: Russia’s five biggest fortunes according to Forbes in 2017
3. Leonid Mikhelson, 62 ($ 18 billion)
Chairman of the board of the Russian gas company Novatek and a 48% stake holder in Sibur, an oil and gas company, Leonid Mikhelson is known to be straightforward, hardworking, tough and extremely professional. As the son of a construction worker, he started out as a foreman in the construction of gas pipelines. For him, money matters less than creating from nothing, as in construction.
4. Vaguit Alekperov, 67 ($ 16.4 billion)
Born in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, in the family of an oil tanker, Vaguit Alekperov is the main industry magnate in Russia. He owns Lukoil, the company which in March surpassed Rosneft and Gazprom in reaching a market cap of $ 58 billion, according to Forbes. He is co-owner of the Dutch shipyard Heesen Yachts, where his 70-meter yacht “Galactica Super Nova” was built in 2016. Another company of the president of Lukoil: the International Numismatic Museum in Moscow, which he opened in 2016.
Read also: How much does the Russian president earn?
5. Gennady Timchenko, 65 ($ 16 billion)
Vyacheslav Prokofyev / TASS
Friend of the Russian president and shareholder of many companies, including Novatek and Sibur, Guennadi Timtchenko is also the founder of Volga, a private investment group focused on energy, transport and infrastructure. Along with his wife, Timchenko owns a charitable foundation, as well as seats on the board of directors of the Kontinental Hockey League. Interesting fact: he owns a dog named Roni, who is the daughter of President Putin Koni’s labrador retriever – pretty!
6. Vladimir Potanin, 57 ($ 15.9 billion)
If you’ve ever been to Sochi, you’re probably familiar with Rosa Khutor ski resort. Vladimir Potanin is the one who invested 8.7 billion rubles (141 million dollars) in it. He owns 30% of the shares of the company Nornickel, one of the largest producers of nickel, palladium and copper in the world. A hockey fan, he has invested heavily in sports, culture and education – to the tune of $ 10 million a year, according to Forbes.
Read also: Three original ways to launder money in Russia
7. Andrei Melnichenko, 46 ($ 15.5 billion)
Industrialist Andrei Melnichenko owns the majority of shares in fertilizer producer EuroChem, coal producer SUEK and energy company Siberian Generating. He started his first company in the early 1990s, making his faculty’s boarding school a currency exchange point, at Lomonosov State University in Moscow. Today, he lives off his $ 500 million fortune by sailing his boat, the largest private yacht in the world. Like many other billionaires, Melnichenko owns a collection of Impressionist art and spends part of his wealth on charity. According to Forbes, over the past decade, the Russian businessman has spent $ 400 million on his philanthropic activities.
8. Mikhail Fridman, 53 ($ 15.1 billion)
The founder of Alfa Bank, one of the largest Russian private banks, Mikhail Fridman, started out by selling theater tickets and organizing concerts and parties as a student. Today, he is the main shareholder of Alfa Group (including Alfa Bank, AlfaInsurance, and X5 Retail Group) and LetterOne, a Luxembourg-based investment company with stakes in German oil, gas producer DEA and l international telephone operator Veon. Fridman has Israeli citizenship but spends most of his time in London. In 2016 he bought a ruined mansion in the north of the city: Athlone House was sold for 65 million pounds and is going to be restored and refurbished by the new owner, the anticipated costs are 130 million pounds.
Read also: How Russian millionaires manage their money in times of crisis
9. Viktor Vekselberg, 61 ($ 14.4 billion)
Viktor Vekselberg, one of the Russian oligarchs on the US sanctions list, made his fortune in Russia on aluminum and oil, thanks to his investment in the company Renova. However, at present, the majority of his wealth is abroad: he has a 40% stake in Oerlikon, a Swiss technology conglomerate, and a 57% stake in Sulzer, a Swiss industrial engineering firm. Vekselberg is also the president of the main Russian innovation center: Skolkovo Foundation, and the proud owner of the largest collection of Faberge eggs. In 2004, he bought a collection from the heritage of the late Malcolm Forbes, the American publisher of Forbes magazine, and brought it back to Russia. Now her Faberge eggs are on display at the Shuvalov Palace in St. Petersburg.
10. Alicher Ousmanov, 64 ($ 12.5 billion)
Uzbek-native magnate Alicher Ousmanov built his wealth through metal and mining operations as well as clever investments. He now has 48% of USM Holdings, significant interests in the metallurgical and mining sectors (MEtalloinvest, Baikal Mining Company), telecommunications (mobile operator Megafon), and the Internet. It also has media assets (Kommersant Publishing House), development (construction company Khimki Group) and sports (English football club Arsenal). Since 2008, Ousmanov has been the president of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) and has invested heavily in promoting this discipline.
Do you also want to build your wealth in Russia? Here’s why 2018 is the right year to do it!
In the context of the use of the contents of Russia Beyond, the mention of the sources is compulsory.