Biography of Mikhail Fridman
Mikhail Maratovich Fridman is the main owner of the largest Russian financial and industrial association Alfa Group, among which assets include Alfa-Bank, X5, AlfaStrakhovanie, A1, as well as LetterOne Holdings group (VimpelCom, DEA Deutshe Erdoel, Turkcell), a member of the leadership of the Russian Jewish Congress, the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, the private American organization Council on Foreign Relations.
The oligarch, who went down in the history of the domestic elite as an honest and respected businessman, was repeatedly called in the mass media a calculating and authoritative intellectual with an aggressive form of doing business while ignoring the interests and opinions of other parties, and was also declared a European business leader, the most influential and outstanding entrepreneur of the year. …
His fortune in 2015 was estimated by Forbes magazine at $ 14.6 billion. Thus, he was ranked 68th in the world ranking of the richest people and second among Russian businessmen after Roman Abramovich.
Childhood and family of Mikhail Fridman
One of the richest and most powerful people in Russia was born in the Ukrainian city of Lvov on April 21, 1964 into a Jewish family. His relatives worked at a defense enterprise, were members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, his father was awarded the State Prize in the field of electronics.
Since childhood, Misha was surrounded by the love and care of his mother, grandmother and other relatives. He did not attend kindergarten, he was an excellent student at school. The boy studied music in the piano class and then organized a school vocal and instrumental ensemble, a form of musical creativity that was popular in those years.
After graduation in 1981, the young man entered the leading university of the country – the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, but he was not accepted. According to one of the versions – he did not pass the competition, according to another – the fateful “fifth column”, that is, nationality, became the reason for the failure. Allegedly because of her, he, being an excellent student, also did not receive a gold medal at school and subsequently suffered a fiasco when entering graduate school.
Mikhail’s second attempt to become a student was crowned with success – he entered the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys. The choice of the educational institution was determined, as it were, by its location in the very center of Moscow, as well as by the presence in it of a good House of Culture, where such pop stars as Yuri Vizbor and Vladimir Vysotsky performed with concerts.
3 Qualities of Billionaire Mikhail Fridman
Mikhail’s student life was eventful. In addition to studying professional subjects, he was engaged in the resale of theater tickets, carpets, imported goods, and also created a youth nightclub operating in the institute’s hostel under the auspices of the Komsomol organization, organized discos, performances by artists. During that period, he met Peter Aven, who moved in the same circles, being the head of the Moscow State University music club.
The beginning of the career of Mikhail Fridman
The young engineer began his dizzying ascent to the top of the business Olympus almost immediately after graduating from the university in 1986. According to the distribution, he ended up in the city of Elektrostal near Moscow at the metallurgical plant of the same name, where he worked in a design bureau.
At the same time, he organized a cooperative for washing windows, then for the delivery of groceries, created, together with his cousin Dmitry, who graduated from the same institute a year earlier, companies that sold computer equipment.
In 1988, together with German Khan and Alexei Kuzmichev and with the assistance of Academician Alfimov, whose surname allegedly served as the basis for the formation of the name of the current financial and investment empire, Fridman began to create it.
The very first at the birth of Alfa Group were organized by the cooperative Alfa-Photo for the sale of duplicating machines and the Soviet-Swiss JV Alfa-Eco for the export of petroleum products and metallurgy products.
Among the many areas of the consortium’s activities – gas and oil processing, art and food trade, insurance, telecommunications services, advanced technologies, investments – the cornerstone is considered to be Alfa-Bank, the country’s first private bank, which a businessman has headed since his institutions in December 1990. Subsequently, he owned a 37% stake in a financial and credit institution (Khan owned 23%, Kuzmichev – 18%, bank president Peter Aven – 14%).
Mikhail Fridman’s advice: How to get to work at Alfa-Bank
In 1995, the oligarch was a member of the ORT collective leadership body, in 2002 – he headed the Conference of the leaders of Jewish organizations of the Russian Federation, always supported Jewish initiatives in the country and abroad in every possible way.
In 2005, Alfa Group bought the X5 corporation for a billion dollars. It includes the Perekrestok and Karusel supermarket chains and Pyaterochka discounters.
In 2008, the tycoon gave his managerial position at the bank to his deputy, rating manager from Prague, Petr Schmide. In 2009, Mikhail Maratovich became the head of the TNK-BP oil company.
Personal life of Mikhail Fridman
The oligarch is divorced. With Olga, his ex-wife, they studied on the same course at MISiS. The girl then came from Irkutsk to study. Olga is fond of interior design, in 2000 she graduated from the relevant courses.
In a marriage with her, they had two daughters, Larisa and Catherine. They were born and live with their mother in Paris, and in the summer they usually go on vacation to Saint-Tropez.
The girls attend a school where teaching is in English. They communicate with friends and acquaintances, of course, in French, and with parents – in Russian. That is, the daughters of an oligarch develop mental flexibility from childhood.
Many talk about Friedman as a hardworking and talented entrepreneur, inclined to charity, who achieved everything on his own, by his own labor, thanks to his mind, and not theft. He finances the Life Line Foundation for Children
One of the most famous businessmen in the Russian Federation remains a non-public person, lives in isolation. Today he is an Israeli citizen, lives in London, loves fast driving, movies, music, chess, collects samurai swords. At the beginning of the new century, his parents moved from Lviv to Cologne.
In 2001, Mikhail bought a house in the elite suburb of the French capital of Neuilly, previously owned by the ex-wife of Alain Delon, model and artist Mireille Dark. Next to the oligarch’s estate are the mansions of the legendary actors Jean-Paul Belmondo and Sophie Marceau.
To recognize himself as a part of the Jewish people, in 2012, Friedman, as part of a group of 12 Russian businessmen, made a three-day pilgrimage through the Israeli Arava desert to the holy city of Jerusalem. They spent the night in tents and covered almost 20 kilometers every day.
Mikhail Fridman today
In 2012, Alfa Group increased its stake in the telecommunications company VimpelCom, which provides services under the Beeline brand, to 48 percent through the sale of MegaFon shares to Alisher Usmanov for $ 5.2 billion.
In the summer of 2014, near Nizhny Novgorod, Alfa-Bank, known for organizing concerts of Paul McCartney, Jamiroquai, Madonna, Tina Turner, U2, initiated the Alfa Future People electronic music festival. The co-owner of Alfa Group personally presented it.
In 2015, L1, created in 2013 after the sale of its shares in TNK-BP to Rosneft, acquired the German oil and gas company DEA Deutshe Erdoel for more than 5 billion euros. Friedman offered the post of the head of L1 to his old acquaintance, the ex-head of the British oil and gas company BP plc, John Brown.
In the homeland of the financial tycoon, in Lvov, Alfa-Bank (since 2011) organizes the annual jazz festival Alfa Jazz Fest. In 2015, over a hundred performers from ten countries performed in the city recognized as the cultural capital of Ukraine for 5 days, including the legendary American composer and pianist Herbie Hancock, guitarist and vocalist George Benson, and Japanese pianist Hiromi.
As of the end of 2015, Alfa-Bank served 14 million individuals and 194 thousand legal entities. The number of branches and branches of a financial institution opened in Russia and abroad, including subsidiaries in the USA, the Netherlands, England, Cyprus, reached 775.