Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#120 Mikhail Prokhorov $11.7B

Random fact: Detained by French police on suspicion of pimping in 2007.

Overview

Prokhorov founded Onexim Group, a Moscow-based company with interests in banking, insurance, energy and sports. He controls the Brooklyn Nets, the National Basketball Association team, and the Barclays Center, the Nets home arena. Prokhorov also holds stakes in the Renaissance Capital and VTB banks.

As of April 21, 2018:
Last change -$5.57M (-0.1%)
YTD change +$304M (+2.7%)
Industry Diversified
Biggest asset Cash
Citizenship Russian Federation
Age 52
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Mikhail Prokhorov's net worth of $11.7B can buy ...

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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
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Confidence rating:

The majority of Prokhorov's fortune is derived from the proceeds of asset sales he began making in 2007, when he and billionaire partner Vladimir Potanin began to split the metals holdings they amassed after the fall of the Soviet Union. He has received about $9 billion in cash since 2007, including $5.3 billion from United Company Rusal for his 25 percent stake in Norilsk Nickel.

Prokhorov sold his 38 percent stake in Polyus Gold for $3.6 billion in January 2013. He bought a 27.8 percent stake in Uralkali, a potash producer, in December 2013, paying about $4.9 billion. Later he reduced his stake to 20 percent, and sold it in July 2016.

He owns a 51 percent stake in the Brooklyn Nets basketball club and all of the Barclays Center arena after buying out former partner Bruce Ratner. Prokhorov sold a 49 percent of the club to billionaire Joseph Tsai in 2017. He invested $400 million in the team and arena between 2009 and 2015. Other holdings include power generator Quadra. He holds almost all of his assets through Onexim, a Moscow-based investment company, and OOO Bisnessinform.

His closely held banking and insurance interests include Renaissance Capital, Renaissance Credit, IFC-bank and Soglassiye Insurance.

Biography

Birthdate: 5/3/1965
Family: Single, No children
Education: 1989, Financial Academy of Russian Government, Bachelor's Degree, Science

Mikhail Prokhorov was born in Moscow in 1965 to Dmitry, the head of the international department for the Soviet Sport Committee, and Tamara, who worked at the Institute for Chemical Materials.

Prokhorov held various jobs as a student, including unloading meat and cement from rail cars. While in college, he and his friends made and sold acid-washed jeans out of a Moscow laundry. According to Prokhorov, he made 60 times more money than the average Soviet engineer selling jeans. He graduated from the Moscow State Finance Institute in 1989. His parents died when he was in his early 20s.

In the early 1990s, Prokhorov met Vladimir Potanin, who briefly worked as Russia's first deputy prime minister in charge of economy, energy and national property during Boris Yeltsin's second term as president. Prokhorov became chairman of Onexim Bank in 1993, then Russia's largest closely held commercial bank, which he created with Potanin. The bank began to make loans to the cash-starved Russian government in exchange for liens on equity in the country's natural resource companies. The practice became known as the loans-for-shares program. The Russian government rarely was able to repay the loans, and privatized large swaths of its assets in the process.

Among Onexim Bank's most successful endeavors was financing the privatization of Norilsk Nickel. Prokhorov was put in charge of the firm, serving as chief executive officer from 2001 to 2007, and helped to transform the company into the world's largest nickel and palladium producer.

He sold his 25 percent stake in Norilsk in 2008 to billionaire Oleg Deripaska in a deal that brought him more than $5 billion cash and 14 percent of aluminum producer United Co. Rusal. The sale came a year after he was arrested for allegedly arranging prostitutes for guests at a hotel in the French skiing resort of Courchevel. He was never charged. Following the scandal, Potanin and Prokhorov began the split of their assets.

He also holds interests in energy and finance operations. In February 2013, he sold the 38 percent stake he held in Polyus Gold. The sports enthusiast is the owner of the National Basketball Association's Brooklyn Nets and the team's New York arena, the Barclays Center.

Prokhorov is active in both charity and politics. In an interview with Itogi magazine in 2011, Prokhorov reminisced about giving a stack of U.S. dollars to a girl he met at a party in Kiev who claimed she did not have money for a taxi home. She used the money to buy an apartment and soon got married. He entered politics in 2011, first heading the pro-business Right Cause party, and then running independently for president in March 2012 against Vladimir Putin. He lost, getting 7.98 percent of the votes.

Milestones
  • 1965 Mikhail Dmitrievich Prokhorov is born in Moscow.
  • 1989 Graduates from Moscow State Finance Institute.
  • 1992 Prokhorov and Potanin register their IFC Bank.
  • 2007 Arrested in France on suspicion of arranging prostitutes.
  • 2010 Buys control of the NBA's Nets; moves team to Brooklyn in 2012.
  • 2011 Heads Right Cause Party; loses presidential bid to Putin in 2012.
  • 2013 Buys a 27.1 percent stake in Uralkali for about $4.9 billion.
  • 2016 Sells his stake in Uralkali.
  • 2017 Sells a 49 percent stake in the Brooklyn Nets to billionaire Joseph Tsai.