Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#78 Mikhail Fridman $14.6B

Random fact: A frequent patron of Moscow theaters.


Fridman is the largest shareholder of Alfa Group, an investment company that owns stakes in Alfa Bank, Russia's second biggest bank, and X5, a Russian food retailer. Through Luxembourg-based LetterOne he owns stakes in German oil and gas producer DEA and the international mobile-phone operator Veon.

As of July 27, 2017:
Last change +$81.4M (+0.6%)
YTD change +$1.37B (+10.3%)
Industry Diversified
Biggest asset Cash
Citizenship Russian Federation
Age 53
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Mikhail Fridman's net worth of $14.6B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

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Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Fridman's fortune is derived from his stake in Alfa Group, which has interests in banking and retail through a web of companies based in Gibraltar, the British Virgin Islands and Liechtenstein. He is the largest shareholder of the holding company, which he created and controls with two former college classmates, German Khan and Alexei Kuzmichev. The three partners own the businesses controlled by Alfa Group through Gibraltar-based CTF Holdings.

He sold his stake in TNK-BP International, Russia's third-largest oil producer at that time, to state-run oil company Rosneft for $5.1 billion in March 2013. The partnership paid out $38 billion in dividends from 2004 to 2012. Fridman owns 32.9 percent of Alfa Bank, Russia's second-biggest closely held bank by assets, according to Interfax-Center of Economic Analysis ranking as of June 30, 2016.

In March 2015, through Luxembourg-based holding company LetterOne, he and his partners completed the 5.1 billion-euro ($5.8 billion) acquisition of German RWE's Dea unit, which produces oil and gas in Norway, Germany and Egypt. Fridman owns 38 percent of the asset, which is valued at the acquisition price.

Fridman also holds stakes in three publicly traded companies, including 22 percent of X5, a food retailer; 21 percent of Veon, an international mobile phone operator; and 5 percent stake of Turkcell, a mobile phone company. He controls his stakes in Veon and Turkcell through Luxembourg-based LetterOne Holdings.

He owns stakes in the investment fund A-1, Alfa Capital, an asset management company, Uber Technologies, a car-booking company, FreedomPop, a wireless internet mobile service provider, and water supply company Rosvodokanal.


Birthdate: 4/21/1964
Family: Married, 4 children
Education: 1986, Moscow Institute of Steel & Alloys, Graduated

Mikhail Fridman was born in Lviv, Ukraine, to a family of engineers, in 1964. Fridman's first forays into business were music-related. The billionaire, who performed with a band while in high school, ran a nightclub called Strawberry Fields while in college, and also made money scalping tickets outside Moscow theaters.

His other pre-banking ventures were equally varied. He set up a window-cleaning business in the late 1980s, and then teamed up with a couple of his college classmates, German Khan and Alexey Kuzmichev, to sell carpets and computers in the final years of the Soviet Union. As the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Fridman set up a commercial bank, Alfa Bank, which became the anchor business of Alfa Group, a holding company that today owns interests in telecommunications and retail. Fridman is the largest shareholder in Alfa Group.

Fridman has also made money from oil. In 1997, along with fellow businessmen Viktor Vekselberg and Len Blavatnik, Fridman and his Alfa partners bought a 40 percent stake in TNK, a former state-owned oil company with interests in several West Siberian oil fields. Two years later, they acquired the most productive subsidiary of a competitor, Sidanco -- then partly-owned by BP -- that had been declared bankrupt by a commercial court in Siberia. John Browne, BP's then-CEO, later said the legal system was rigged.

By 2004, BP had paid almost $8 billion for half of TNK, while the other half was consolidated by Fridman and his partners under the holding company Alfa-Access-Renova. The investment formed TNK-BP, which has become Russia's largest foreign oil investment. In 2008, TNK-BP CEO Bob Dudley - who now runs BP - was forced to leave Russia after a strategy dispute.

Legal complications arose in 2011. AAR sued BP over a separate Arctic development deal it tried to strike with Rosneft. BP executives said that the company would sell its stake and Fridman stepped down from his role as CEO in May 2012. In October, Rosneft announced it would acquire the entire company. TNK-BP paid $38 billion in dividends through 2012. The billionaires sold their half of the venture to Russia's state-owned oil company, Rosneft, for $27.7 billion in March 2013.

  • 1964 Mikhail Fridman is born in Lviv, Ukraine.
  • 1986 Graduates from the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys.
  • 1991 Founds Alfa Bank and becomes its chairman.
  • 2001 Alfa invests in VimpelCom, Russian mobile phone operator.
  • 2003 AAR sells 50 percent in TNK to BP, forms joint venture.
  • 2013 State-owned Rosneft buys AAR's TNK-BP stake for $27.7 billion.
  • 2013 Founds L1 Energy with billionaire partners.
  • 2015 L1 Energy acquires RWE Dea.