It goes without saying that Vladimir Putin reigns supreme in Russia in all ways. He is the President. He is the head of the influential Kremlin. He is also the richest person in Russia, with a net worth of $ 70 billion at present. Other reports put Putin’s net worth at $ 200 billion. Yada, yada, yada. That is old news. We wondered, if not for Putin, who would be the richest person in Russia? Incidentally, it is revealed that the honor goes to a different Russian billionaire named Vladimir …
Vladimir Potanin was born into Russian aristocratic society. He was born in 1961 in Moscow into a high-class family. He studied international economic relations in college and went to work for the Ministry of Foreign Trade before him like his father. He made a lot of connections to work for the government.
During the fall of the USSR in 1990, Vladimir left the Ministry of Foreign Trade.
He had $ 10,000 in capital and launched a foreign trade financial consulting agency called Intros VEA. Two years later, he and Mikhail Prokhorov (later owner of the Brooklyn Nets) became two of the first Russian citizens to open a private bank.
Using President Boris Yeltsin’s controversial “loan for shares” program, the two earned assets in nickel, oil, shipping and steel. One of their acquisitions was Norilsk Nickel, a huge nickel mining group. Norilsk was auctioned by the government in 1995. At the time this auction took place, the company was generating $ 400 million per year in revenue. Yet for some reason the company was auctioned for just $ 170 million.
Potanin and Prokhorov won the auction with a bid of $ 170.1 million.
At that time, Potanin also became the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of privatization efforts.
Norilsk Nickel revenues exploded over the next decade. When Potanin and Prokhorov made the company public, they became even richer. With that new money, he expanded his hold in the real estate, media and retail sector. The two businessmen went their separate ways in 2007, when Prokhorov quit looking for his own business. Potenin suffered another setback the following year when the global financial crisis reduced his income, reducing his fortune from tens of billions to just $ 2 billion. Potanin again increased its assets to $ 15 billion by 2014 over the next six years.
Vladimir met his ex-wife Natalia at school. He was in love, married and had three children. According to all accounts, they were a happy family – until he filed for a sudden divorce in November 2013 after 30 years of marriage. To make matters worse, Vladimir asked the court on January 16, 2007 to make the divorce retroactive. According to him, it was the same day that they had decided that the marriage was not going well.
The day Vladimir surprised Natalia with a divorce was a normal thing up until that time. Natalia and Vladimir were at the dinner table with their sons, planning a trip to the US with their youngest son Vasily, who was about to enroll in an American school. They were discussing exams and tutors. He talked about what movies to watch and what music to go to in America. It was, by all accounts, a normal dinner table conversation. After dinner, Vasily went to bed and Vladimir walked out of the room for a moment. When he returns, he gives divorce papers to Natalia and tells her that she is fed up and wants a divorce. She was shocked by its surprise. He thought he was joking. It was the last time she talked to a man she loved, lived with her, and raised three children with a 30-year-old.
Just as Vladimir disappeared from the lives of Natalia and her sons. Natalia took Vasily to New York to prepare for school in September. While she was gone, Vladimir tore the family home. Natalia had a lot to offer. Vladimir not only robbed him of a house, but he immediately cut off his access to the couple’s bank accounts. He then learns of her request to return the divorce. This was, of course, a power play to protect their assets. In 2007 the date was in front of Vladimir and his business partner Mikhail Prokhorov, in which his company split and split.
Despite Russia being a community property country, the court ruled for Vladimir and stated the date of the marriage to be in 2007 and not in 2013. Natalia offered a ton of photos, showing that they were living together, going on vacation together, living a normal life. Until that evening when Vladimir applied for divorce. The court elected to rule for a friend of President Vladimir Putin. Strange how this happens in Russia, isn’t it?
When it came time to offer Natalia a settlement, the money that would support her children – she did not pay even a single penny. His total assets at that time were $ 14 billion. Natalia took her to court and eventually walked away with a settlement of $ 41.5 million.
As it turns out, Vladimir had an affair with an employee for 15 years his junior and gave birth to her child. He married her in 2014.
Today Vladimir Potanin’s total assets of $ 32 billion make him the richest person in Russia (minus Putin).