Published on April 22 2014
The recent news of US and its allies vs. Russia between the Crimean political power play has gotten the rest of the world glued on their TV screens. The recent controversy stirred by Russia’s annexation of the Peninsula have affected various diplomatic relations, economies and of course millions of lives.
Recently, some of the victims of the souring relationship between the countries involved are the oligarchs and the extremely rich.
US President Barack Obama has recenty lashed out sanctions to rich Russian oligarchs in close political ties with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. The wealth and assets of these extremely rich Russians invested abroad especially in Europe might be frozen by the US and its allies to reprimand their aggression. London in particular was a hotbed of Russian investors who are said to be in closes links with the Russian President.
Although further political and economic saga is still about to be left unfold regardless of their political involvement, let’s take a look at the 5 Most Powerful Russian Oligarchs that Rule Russia’s Economy and some facts about their acquired wealth.
First on the list is Alisher Usmanov. The richest Russian in the world has a net worth of $18.6 billion and is the 34th richest man in the world according to March 2014’s Forbes list. An estimate given by Bloomberg suggest that he’s fortune is estimated around $19.6 billion naming him as the 37th richest person globally. Accordingly, he built his wealth through multiple investments and through metal and mining operations around the country.
Aside from being a major shareholder for Arsenal Football Club, he owns Kommersant Publishing house and a major shareholder of Metalloinvest.
The country’s second in line is Mikhail Fridman. With an estimated wealth of about $17.6 billion, he is the world’s 50th richest man according to this year’s Forbes list. One of the founders of Alfa Group Consortium, his company founded Letter One Holdings from his profit from selling his shares on TNK-BP. After founding the Alfa-Bank, the company is now recognized as the biggest private bank in Russia.
The founder of Renova Group, his expected net worth is about $17.1 billion. The third richest person in Russia built his first million by selling copper from worn out cables. He is the world’s 51st richest man as of this year’s list. With the appointment of Viktor Vekselberg as the head of Skolkovo project, three of his companies were awarded with grants to develop energy related technologies. Thereby increasing his net worth for the last 3 years.
He is also known as an art enthusiast and has bought several Faberge eggs to add in his collection.
Once named as the richest man in Russia, he owns large shares of Novolipetsk Steel and has built one of the largest shooting range complexes in Europe. With a net worth of around $14.7 billion, he is the 4th richest Russian and 66th globally. In 2011-2012, his purchase of First Cargo enabled his company Universal Cargo Logistic Holding to take hold of the previously state-owned railway operator.
The CEO of OAO Novatek is the third richest Russian oligarch. His wealth is expected to be around $13.5 billion. He is the world’s 76th richest person and with his wealth heavily drawn from billion dollar gas and chemical company. Owning the biggest shares in Novatek, the billionaire is the chairman to the country’s second largest gas producing company.
The wealth of these oligarchs was expected to remain still or increase prior to the sanctions raised by the west to Russia. Although such sanction may not be the only determining factor in shaping the future of their fortunes, the rest of us waits in awe on how this key oligarchs play their role and influence the Russian market.