The Russian dollar billionaires’ names are on everyone’s lips. LEONID MICHELSON, GENNADIY TIMCHENKO, ALISHER USMANOV and many others… All those interested in economic processes know anyhow who they are and how they have made gains.
However, this is the past and the present of the Russian establishment. But who can become a billionaire in the near future? We have analyzed the biographies of the Top 5 richest newcomers included by Forbes in its 2017 list of the Top 200 richest businessmen of Russia. None of them has made their first appearance in the list with 1 billion dollars – but everyone is just steps from that.
All the newcomers are relatively young, however their age is not a far cry from the one of those businessmen ranked among the top. The average age of the leaders is 50-60, and the ‘rising billionaires’ are mostly 40-50 years old. Thus, it can really be said that this is the next generation.
The ‘rising billionaires’ work in the widely different areas such as investment and IT, pharmaceutics and industry. At that, most of them have laid the groundwork for their future careers as long ago as at higher education institutions or just after graduation. As for their relations with the state, the businessmen are used to structure them in different ways. Some of the ‘rising billionaires’ are involved in the public and political activities in Russia, the others, to the contrary, are active in adopting the foreign experience.
It may be concluded that a person can achieve success in Russia regardless of his or her skill set or background as well work across various business sectors. The key is to find your own business from the very beginning and to do it when the most of your peers don’t even think anything of that yet.
ILYA SHCHERBOVICH, 42
The President of such investment company as United Capital Partners is ranked 111th by Forbes. His fortune is worth 950 million dollars.
The SHCHERBOVICH’S career can be described as the ‘early start’ formula. In 1991, he arrived in Moscow from Vladimir and entered the prestigious ‘PLESHKA’ (Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics). As early as the second year, he started work in one of the establishments controlled by the World Bank. Then, still being a student, he decamped to the Stock Market Monitoring Group of the Federal Securities Market Commission. As for his diploma, SHCHERBOVICH obtained it working for United Financial Group founded by ex-Vice-Prime Minister Boris FEDOROV and his American partner Charles Ryan.
SHCHERBOVICH worked for UFG for 12 years, having eventually become the company President and, along with FEDOROV and Ryan, ranked Top 3 UFG owners. The Company made major gains in the investment market. In 2003, Deutsche Bank decided to buy it. The merger of the bank and UFG was managed by SHCHERBOVICH for 3 years.
In 2006-2007, when UFG finally merged with Deutsche Bank, SHCHERBOVICH quit and created his own investment company UCP. By August 2013, the company’s assets have reached the total of 3.5 billion dollars. Today, UCP continues making successful investments in major Russian companies across various industries – from TRANSNEFT to VKONTAKTE.
ANDREY BARONOV, 51
The founder of VEEAM Software is ranked 113th by Forbes. The magazine’s experts rate his fortune at 900 million dollars.
BARONOV is doing business jointly with his former course-mate from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) RATMIR TIMASHEV. After his graduation, the latter moved to the United States, from where he, with the help of the Russia-based BARONOV, supplied computer accessories to Russia. In 1997, the course-mates established such company as AELITA Software, which was engaged in developing corporate tools for Windows. In 2004, they sold AELITA Software for 115 million dollars.
And in 2006, the partners founded a new software development company – VEEAM Software. The company is based in Switzerland. Now, over 70% companies of the Fortune 500 list are among its customers. The VEEAM Software’s revenue for 2016 was 607.4 million dollars.
In 2011, both BARONOV and TIMASHEV were included in the Forbes-made list of those Top 10 Russian businessmen, who were able to build business abroad from scratch.
Aleksey REPIK, 37
The founder of R-PHARM – a group of pharmaceutical companies – and the Co-Chairman of such non-profit-making organization as DELOVAYA ROSSIYA (Business Russia) is ranked 116th by Forbes. His fortune is 900 million dollars.
REPIK had worked in the pharmaceutical industry since 1995 and he established R-PHARM in 2001. Only in two years after that, he obtained his diploma of the Higher School of Economics.
The businessman is a public activist in the area of interaction between the business and the state. REPIK has been the Co-Chairman of DELOVAYA ROSSIYA since 2012. Moreover, he is a member of the Public Chamber of the RF and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, and has the status of Entrepreneurs’ Rights Protection Commissioner for the President of the Russian Federation.
In 2016, the total value of R-PHARM was rated at 1.7 billion dollars. In December 2016, an agreement was reached as for the sale of 10% of the company shares to the Japanese corporation Mitsui & Co. Furthermore, the corporation obtained an option for purchasing another 10% of the shares.
RATMIR TIMASHEV, 51
The other founder of VEEAM Software is ranked 118th by Forbes. However, the amount of his assets is roughly 900 million dollars, as BARONOV has. The business partners are included in the number of the ‘rising billionaires’ shoulder to shoulder.
Having moved to the United States after graduation from the MIPT, TIMASHEV obtained his second higher education – in 1995, he was admitted to a Master’s Degree in Chemical Physics at Ohio State University. Now, the businessman has a double citizenship of Russia and US.
Both TIMASHEV and BARONOV are not only engaged in software development, but the investment to the Russian IT startup development. For this purpose, in 2005, they created such venture fund as ABRT. Since 2007, ABRT jointly with such European venture fund as Mangrove Capital Partners has supported the program of investment to the IT startups in Russia and other Central and Eastern European countries.
ANDREY KOMAROV, 50
The owner of the Chelyabinsk Tube Rolling Plant (the CHTRP Group) came back to the Forbes rating after a 4-year break, having ranked 128th. The amount of his assets is rated at 800 million dollars.
In 1989-1992, a graduate from the Moscow Institute of Chemical Engineering KOMAROV worked on the administrative positions in such Moscow theatre as SATIRIKON. Then, he changed his career way rapidly, having started to trade in metal products.
In 1996, KOMAROV became the Deputy General Director of the CHTRP and started to buy up the plant’s shares. Now, he owns 72.9% of the CHTRP Group, which includes the Chelyabinsk Tube Rolling Plant and the PERVOURALSK New Pipe Plant.
In 2005, KOMAROB was elected to the Federation Council from the Chelyabinsk Region. His powers expired in 2010. Being a senator, he was a member of the Committee for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.
From 2006 to 2010 (except 2009), KOMAROV was Forbes-listed among the Top 100 richest businessmen of Russia. In 2007, he was ranked 4th – then his fortune was rated at 500 million dollars. However, in 2011-2013, KOMAROV was shifted to the rating of Top 200 richest businessmen and after that, he fell out from the list at all. In 2014, he became a person of interest – he was suspected of corrupt business practices.
All in all, it is not known if KOMAROV is exactly a rising billionaire, but it is certainly known that he is a former one. He still has chances to come back to the top – though that is, probably, even more difficult than to reach it for the first time ever.