Mikhail Fridman

Mikhail Fridman one of the world’s most successful businessmen
In a career spanning three decades, Mikhail Fridman has grown from a small entrepreneur to one of the world’s most successful businessmen
A healthy adventurism, the confidence that in a rapidly changing world you will find the right solution – for a businessman this is one of the most important qualities.


Born in Ukraine, Mikhail Fridman is an Israeli–Russian businessman and philanthropist. He is most famous for his role as co-founder of Russia’s largest private bank, Alfa-Bank. As of 2020, the company was in possession of a total of USD 61.85 billion worth of assets, and home to more than 26,000 employees. In 2022, Fridman stepped down from his long-held role as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Alfa Group Consortium. He also distanced himself from the London-based investment group LetterOne Holdings alongside colleague Petr Aven following EU sanctions.

Fridman was named the world’s 136th richest person in a February 2023 ranking, with USD 13.5 billion to his name. Mikhail Fridman is Jewish and, aside from his professional roles, participates in a number of charity projects and other initiatives in support of Russian-speaking Jews all over the world.
The proceeds from a stake sale in one of the leading telecom companies in 2012. This is almost 18 times higher than the cost of the purchase in 2003 — $295 million
$5.2 bn
Return on investment in the oil sector: in 1997, Fridman invested $800 million, and in 2013 the assets were sold for $28 billion
Growth of Fridman’s investment in the banking sector: in 1990, he invested $100,000, and by 2021 the assets were estimated at $10 billion
Fridman’s age when he started his own company

Short bio of Mikhail Fridman

In 1986, Mikhail Fridman graduated from the faculty of non-ferrous and rare earth metals of the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys (MISIS). After a brief period as a laboratory assistant at a research institute in Lviv, Ukraine, he joined the Elektrostal plant as an engineering designer.

While working at Elektrostal, he pursued entrepreneurial activities, eventually leading to the founding of Alfa Capital. The company would become Russia’s largest bank, ultimately making Fridman’s net worth among the highest in the world.

Between 1995 and 1998, Mikhail Fridman was Member of the Board of Directors of Public Russian Television, which is today known as Channel One.

He has held a number of other board positions, including at the Siberian-Far Eastern Oil Company and VEON. The latter, which was previously known as Vimpelcom, became the world’s sixth largest telecom company in 2011 following the acquisition of Egyptian oligarch Naguib Sawiris’ holdings.

Fridman is also the recipient of numerous professional and industry awards, having been named among the top entrepreneurs of the year by Bloomberg Businessweek and one of the 25 business leaders defining a new Europe by the Financial Times, following the creation of the TNK-BP joint venture in 2003 alongside Access Industries and Renova. In 2004, he won the Russian Academy of Business and Entrepreneurship’s Darin prize.

The billionaire Russian businessman is now believed to have a net worth of USD 13.5 billion. He uses his wealth and free time to support a number of charitable initiatives, including the Russian Jewish Congress and the European Jewish Fund.

  • Date of birth: 21 April 1964
  • Citizenship: Israel, Russia
  • Occupation: businessperson, philanthropist
  • Known for: Alfa-Bank

Mikhail Fridman's path to success

FRIDMAN, A METALLURGICAL ENGINEER AT A FACTORY IN THE MOSCOW REGION, STARTS A WINDOW-CLEANING COMPANY, hich quickly becomes successful and starts generating income seven times the average salary of a Soviet engineer.
FRIDMAN AND TWO CLASSMATES FOUND a Soviet-Swiss company to export oil and
metallurgical products.
WITH THE PROFITS GENERATED from selling oil, the partners start a bank.
Mikhail and his partners launch a supermarket chain, which will later become the largest grocery retailer in Russia in terms of sales.
In cooperation with two other companies, Fridman acquires a stake in an oil company in Siberia. Six years later, after the merger with British Petroleum, it becomes TNK-BP, which ultimately goes on to be one of the world’s 10 largest private oil companies.
Mikhail FRIDMAN FOUND a Soviet-Swiss company to export
The supermarket chain opened by Fridman and his partners in 1995 becomes the largest grocery retailer in Russia — X5 Retail Group — following the acquisition of Pyaterochka, one of the country’s most popular competitive chains.
Mikhail's consortium continues to diversify and buys stakes in telecom operators, including Turkey’s Turkcell.
Fridman sells his stake in TNK-BP and, with two partners, establishes the investment company LetterOne in Luxembourg. By the end of 2013, it is managing assets worth $29 billion.
Mikhail's Fridman consortium buys stakes in telecom operators
The holding company invests $200 million in a mobile taxi app, which in several years is used by people all over the world.
LetterOne starts investing in the oil and gas industry. The first deal is unprofitable due to government sanctions, but by the end of 2015, LetterOne has acquired a stake in another company with deposits in the same sector for $ 1.6 billion. Meanwhile, its share in one of the largest mobile operators reaches 48%.
One of the branches of LetterOne holding acquires Europe’s largest health food chain Holland & Barrett, expanding its retail segment.
As a result of the merger of one of LetterOne’s assets and a German oil and gas company, a new leader appears on the European market — Wintershall Dea.
Today Mikhail Fridman is the co-founder of a large holding company and a stockholder in a variety of companies in industries such as banking services, telecom, oil and retail.
Mikhail Fridman's company - LetterOne starts investing in the oil and gas industry
As a result of the merger of one of Mikhail Fridman - LetterOne’s assets and a German oil and gas company, a new leader appears on the European market — Wintershall Dea.

Media and interviews with Mikhail Fridman

Mikhail's open letter on the events in Russia and Ukraine caused a stir in the media
Mikhail Fridman speaks out against Ukrainian conflict
Mikhail Fridman on his vision of the world, his appetite for a struggle and on how water can become a resource comparable to oil and gas
Mikhail Fridman on his vision of the world
As a young man, Mikhail Fridman after setting up a student cleaning company which allowed students to supplement their grants. Simultaneously, the businessman opened the Courier food delivery company and Alfa-Photo, which dealt with the sale of photographic materials and office equipment...
Mikhail Fridman on his vision of the world
Mikhail Fridman on the art of investing, team management and independent management
Mikhail Fridman on the art of investing
Mikhail Fridman on the Indigo era and the Indigo economy
Mikhail Fridman on the Indigo era and the Indigo economy

Lunch with the FT: Mikhail Fridman | Financial Times

Financial Commandments for the Financial Times

Contact Mikhail

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