Biography of Vladimir Potanin
Since the end of the 20th century, entrepreneur Vladimir Potanin has appeared on the lists of the richest people in the world, which are compiled by Forbes magazine. In 2006, he was in 89th place, and a year later, already in 38th place. In 2008, Potanin climbed to 25th place, then his fortune was estimated at $ 19.3 billion. The financial crisis of 2008 made adjustments, then Vladimir dropped to 318th place. But two years later he rose again, this time to 61st place.
Back in 1975, Vladimir Potanin was a member of the Komsomol. In 1983, he graduated, an entrepreneur graduated from the commercial department of the Faculty of International Economic Relations of MGIMO. His specialty is “international economist with knowledge of a foreign language”. By the way, Potanin knows English and French.
Work in government agencies
Immediately after graduation, Potanin worked for 8 years in the organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Trade. In 1988, the department was renamed the USSR Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations. At the end of the summer, Vladimir was an engineer, and after that he was a senior engineer of the “Urea” department in the Fertilizers firm of the Soyuzpromexport association. It is a system organization of the Ministry of Foreign Trade. Then, for three years until 1990, the entrepreneur was in the position of a senior engineer at the Ruda company, the same organization.
In 1990, Vladimir Potanin became president of a foreign economic association called Interros. When I opened her bank account, the entrepreneur met and began to closely communicate with Mikhail Prokhorov, his future partner. In 1992 and 1993, he served as vice president, and then president of the International Finance Company bank, which was created together with Prokhorov.
In 1993, Vladimir became the head of JSCB ONEXIM Bank, and at the same time was the chairman of the Board of Directors of the IFC. In 1996, the structures controlled by Potanin bought a stake in Svyazinvest. And in 1998, the entrepreneur joined the board of directors of the company.
Vladimir Potanin came up with the idea of loans-for-shares auctions, which were held in 1995. At the same time, ONEXIM Bank got a 51% stake in Norilsk Nickel. The entrepreneur began to own a controlling stake.
Vladimir Potanin was the First Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation from August 1996 to March 1997. He was in charge of a block of economic issues, he coordinated the work of the Ministry of Economy of Russia, state committees for antimonopoly policy, state property management, as well as the Russian Federal Property Fund, the Bankruptcy Department, the Federal Energy Commission and the Commission for the Securities Market.
During his work in the Russian government, Vladimir Potanin headed about 20 government and interdepartmental commissions. Among other things, the entrepreneur was in the position of a manager from the Russian Federation in the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
In the fall of 1997, Vladimir organized the Prof-Media holding to manage all media outlets controlled by ONEXIM Bank. This holding at different times included Komsomolskaya Pravda, Izvestia, Bolshoi Gorod, Afisha. In 1998 Potanin already became chairman of the board of directors and president of the Interros company, which was created on the basis of Norilsk Nickel, Interros, SIDANCO.
In 2007, the entrepreneur announced that he intends to split the business with his partner Mikhail Prokhorov. This happened after the scandal in France, it was associated with a short arrest of the latter, who was suspected of involvement in prostitution in Courchevel (the case fell apart during the preliminary investigation). Former colleagues found out the relationship in the courts and in the press.
Vladimir Potanin is engaged in social and charitable activities. In 1999, he founded the Potanin Charitable Foundation, a non-profit organization. She implements long-term projects in the field of culture and national education.
Vladimir Potanin is Deputy Chairman of the MGIMO Board of Trustees.
Since the end of 2001, the entrepreneur is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Solomon Guggenheim Foundation in New York. A year later, he became chairman of the board of directors of the Hermitage-Guggenheim Foundation. Since 2003, he has chaired the Board of Trustees of the State Hermitage Museum. His donations to the museum’s endowment fund totaled $ 5 million.
Personal life and family of Vladimir Potanin
Vladimir Potanin’s father, Oleg Romanovich, was a trade representative in the system of the Ministry of Foreign Trade of the Soviet Union. He has worked in Turkey, New Zealand and African countries. Men died in 2010. The entrepreneur’s mother Tamara Ananyevna worked as a doctor.
Vladimir Potanin is married to Natalya Nikolaevna. The family has three children. The oldest daughter Anastasia was born in 1984, she became a graduate of MGIMO, later – a three-time world champion, as well as a champion of Russia in aquabike. Son Ivan was born in 1989, he also became a multiple champion of Russia in aquabike. The youngest child in the Potanin family, Vasily, was born in 2000.
In 2010, Vladimir Potanin announced that he did not intend to leave his fortune to his heirs. He plans to donate the money to charity.
The entrepreneur is fond of badminton, football, alpine skiing, water sports, as well as chess and dominoes.
In 2006, Potanin joined the first composition of the Public Chamber of Russia. For four years he was in charge of the Commission for the Development of Philanthropy, Volunteering and Charity. He became the chairman of the same commission in the third composition of the chamber and in the fourth. And before that, he was at the helm of the commission for the development of charitable activities and the improvement of legislation on NGOs.
“Now, as part of the chamber, we plan to continue working on improving tax and civil legislation, we will discuss law enforcement practice with the Ministry of Justice. I would like to more actively develop information exchange between the state and organizations, both at the Russian and international levels. Topics relate to non-profit organizations with endowments. It is planned to inform the public, to promote the ideas of volunteerism and charity, ”says Vladimir Potanin.