Vladimir Potanin

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Person.png Vladimir Potanin  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(businessman, billionaire)
Vladimir Potanin 2018 (cropped).jpg
Born3 January 1961
Moscow, Russia
Alma materMoscow State Institute of International Relations
Member ofCouncil on Foreign Relations/Global Board of Advisors, Russia/Deep state, The Giving Pledge, WEF/Global Leaders for Tomorrow/1997
InterestsAnatoly Chubais
Russian businessman. The 10th richest person in the world.

Employment.png First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
14 August 1996 - 17 March 1997
Succeeded byAnatoly Chubais, Boris Nemtsov

Vladimir Olegovich Potanin is a Russian businessman and politician. He acquired his wealth notably through the controversial loans-for-shares program in Russia in the early to mid-1990s,[1] when the country's national fortune was looted. Being a creator of the program as Deputy Prime Minister, he secured himself its most lucrative part, the mining complex Norilsk Nickel.

He is the second wealthiest man in Russia and the 10th richest person in the world,[2] with an estimated net worth of $87 billion.[2] His long-term business partner was Mikhail Prokhorov until they decided to split in 2007. Subsequently, they put their mutual assets in a holding company, Folletina Trading, until their asset division was agreed upon.[3]

As part of an effort to integrate the new Russian rulers, he was selected as a Global Leaders for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 1997. He is on the Global Board of Advisors of the might US think tank Council on Foreign Relations. He is part of the Bill Gates' billionaire network The Giving Pledge.

Early life and education

Potanin was born in Moscow, in the former USSR, into a high-ranking communist family.[4] In 1978, he attended the faculty of the International economic relations at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), which groomed students for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Upon graduating MGIMO in 1983, he followed in his father's footsteps and went to work for the FTO "Soyuzpromexport" with the Ministry of Foreign trade of the Soviet Union.[5][6]

Beginnings (1991–1998)

During perestroika, Potanin quit the State's structures of Foreign trade and in 1991 created the private association Interros using his knowledge gathered at Ministry of Foreign trade and his previous professional network. In 1993, Potanin became President of the newly formed United Export Import Bank (ONEKSIMbank).[7][8] Oneksimbank is the financial twin of MFK and was also known as the ONEKSIMbank-MFK banking group which was also close to Andrey Vavilov.[9][10]

Potanin is a close supporter of Anatoly Chubais who introduced Potanin to Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin.[11]

In 1995, Potanin was instrumental in the creation of the "loans for shares" auctions that became a fundamental pillar of Russia's post-Soviet economic change.[12] The auctions allowed the selling-off of Russian firms' assets at below market prices and are regarded as the founding moment of Russia's oligarchy.[13][14]

From 14 August 1996 until 17 March 1997, he worked as First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.

In 1997, Boris Jordan introduced George Soros to Potanin which led to the Soros Group supported by Potanin, Anatoly Chubais, and Alfred Koch to have the controlling stake in the Russian communications monopoly over the Berezovsky-Gusinsky group.[15]

Since August 1998, Potanin has held the positions of both President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Interros Company.[16]

On November 25, 1998, Potanin recommended Boris Jordan to be Chairman of Sidanko which Jordan held until February 1999 when he stepped down.[17]


  1. https://www.ft.com/content/4b9a2a56-7826-11e0-b90e-00144feabdc0#axzz3p6quuqKg
  2. a b https://www.bloomberg.com/billionaires/profiles/vladimir-potanin/
  3. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/potanin-sues-prokhorov-over-office/376814.html
  4. https://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/moscow/potanin.html
  5. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/public-servant-private-empire/319468.html
  6. https://web.archive.org/web/20001209071500/http://www.flb.ru:80/potanin/12.html
  7. https://web.archive.org/web/20180327084420/https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=6544746&privcapId=2421202
  8. Объединенный экспортно-импортный банк "ОНЭКСИМ-банк": аналитический обзор 1997 год
  9. "Справка Сорокина" о залоговых аукционах 1995 года и их последствиях: Методы и последствия приватизации "Норильского никеля"
  10. "Умный, хваткий, с авантюрной жилкой"
  11. Объединенный экспортно-импортный банк "ОНЭКСИМ-банк": аналитический обзор 1997 год
  12. https://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/15/magazine/the-russian-devolution.html
  13. https://www.ft.com/content/fa162fc2-0f3a-11df-8a19-00144feabdc0
  14. {https://www.rferl.org/a/1061761.html
  15. Тихий американец или 5 российских скандалов из жизни Бориса Йордана
  16. http://www.interros.ru/en/team/potanin/#.ViYxu9aprzI
  17. Йордан Борис Алексеевич ("Панорама")
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