What Is Alisher Usmanov’s Net Worth and Salary?
Alisher Usmanov is an Uzbek-born Russian businessman who has a net worth of $18 billion. Usmanov has earned his net worth from mining, lumber, and various other investments. He is the majority shareholder of the Russian industrial conglomerate Metalloinvest, which he founded to manage Gazprom’s metals interests. Alisher has a vast variety of business interests, including precious metals, iron ore, steel, natural gas, and media companies. From 2000 to 2014, he served as chairman of Gazprom Investholding, the investment holding subsidiary of Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned energy corporation. His role at Gazprom Investholding was to manage what Gazprom calls its “most difficult and sensitive financial transactions.” Usmanov was also a major shareholder in London’s Arsenal Football Club until he sold his 30% stake for close to $700 million in 2018.
Alisher is the sole owner of USM Holdings (formerly known as Gallagher Holdings), a global conglomerate with main investments in the mining and steel industries. The company also has investments in technology, oil and gas, media and pharmaceuticals. In 2014, he sold 12% of the company. He acquired Russian mobile phone operator MegaFon for $3 billion in 2012 and then pledged 56.1% to Sberbank as collateral for a line of credit. As of this writing, “Forbes” lists Alisher’s net worth as $13.2 billion and has him ranked at #147 on its “Real-time Billionaires List.” In 2021, he was ranked #99 on the magazine’s “World’s Billionaires List.” After Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Usmanov was blacklisted by the European Union (EU), which froze his assets and imposed a travel ban on him. The “Official Journal of the European Union” has referred to Alisher as a “pro-Kremlin oligarch with particularly close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
Alisher Usmanov was born Alisher Burkhanovich Usmanov on September 9, 1953, in Chust, Uzbek SSR, Soviet Union. He grew up in Tashkent, where his father worked as a state prosecutor. Alisher moved to Moscow, hoping to pursue a career as a diplomat, and he was later accepted to the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. He graduated with a degree in international law in 1976, then he moved back to Tashkent and took a job as director of the Foreign Economic Association of the Soviet Peace Committee. Usmanov has a sister, Saodat Narzieva, who owns more than two dozen Swiss bank accounts, one of which held over $2 billion in 2011.
In the years before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Alisher became a dollar millionaire and formed Agroplast, a for-profit, privately owned company that produced plastic bags. From 1990 to 1994, he was the Deputy General Director of Intercross JSC, and he was the head of Interfin Interbank Investment and Finance Company from 1994 to 1998.
In the ’90s, Usmanov was also First Deputy Chairman of MAPO-Bank and an adviser to Moscow Aviation Industrial Enterprise’s General Director. By the end of the decade, he became the General Director of Gazprom Investholding and stayed in the position until 2014. Since 2006, Alisher has acquired stakes in several Australian mining companies through USM Holdings, and in 2015, the company invested $100 million in Virtus Pro, a Russia-based esports organization.
In 2021, Metalloinvest and USM announced plans to build “one of the world’s largest HBI plants” in the Kursk region of Russia to help “secure the transmission of the world’s industry to more ecological technologies.” In 2009, Usmanov invested $200 million in Facebook, and when he sold his stakes in 2012, he made approximately $1 billion. Alisher has also invested in companies such as Apple, Airbnb, Groupon, and Alibaba. In 2006, he purchased the newspaper “Kommersant” for $200 million and paid $25 million for a 50% stake in 7TV, a Russian sports channel. The following year, Usmanov paid $300 million for a 75% stake in the Russian music channel Muz-TV. He also co-owned UTH, a media holding company that holds 100% of Muz-TV and 51% of Disney Russia.
In 1980, Alisher was arrested and convicted of corruption, fraud, and theft of state property. He was sentenced to eight years in a Uzbek prison, but he was released after six, and in 2000, his conviction was vacated by the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan because “the original conviction was unjust, no crime was ever committed, and that the evidence was fabricated.”
Usmanov is Muslim, and in 1992, he married Irina Viner, a Jewish rhythmic gymnastics coach. Viner has a son, Anton, from her first marriage, and Alisher adopted him after marrying Irina. Anton, who was born in 1973, is a real estate investor.
Usmanov has owned two luxury yachts that he named Dilbar after his mother. He reportedly paid $250 million for the first Dilbar in 2008 and $800 million for the second Dilbar in 2015. After buying the second yacht, he renamed the first one Ona and sold it in 2018. Dilbar was seized by German authorities in March 2022 due to sanctions against him stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In 2021, Usmanov was named “the most generous ‘Rich List’ philanthropist” by “The Sunday Times” for donating more than £4 billion to charity over the past two decades. The Russian version of “Forbes” named him “Philanthropist of the Year” in 2012. In 2006, Alisher established the Art, Science and Sport Charity Fund, which is dedicated to the “patronage of socially significant initiatives in the field of culture, education and sports, including at the international level.” He has served as a trustee for the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russian Geographical Society, European University at St Petersburg, and Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Usmanov has been honored with the Medal of Honor of Russia (2004), Order of Friendship of the Republic of Kazakhstan (2011), Order for Service to the Fatherland IV class (2013), Order of Alexander Nevsky (2014), The Decoration “For Beneficence” (2016), Al-Fahr Order (2016), and Order “For Merit to the Fatherland” 3rd class (2018), and in 2013, the Foreign Ministry of Russia awarded him a medal for “contribution to international cooperation.”
Usmanov owns several properties on the island of Sardinia, and one of his villas was seized by Italian police in March 2022 because he was placed on an EU sanctions list after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Alisher also owned an £82m London home and a mansion in Surrey, which were “transferred into irrevocable trusts” in 2006.