48 Facts About Mikhail Fridman


Mikhail Fridman is one of the co-founders of Alfa-Group, a multinational Russian conglomerate.


Until 2022 Mikhail Fridman was chairman of the supervisory board of Alfa Group Consortium, and served on the boards of Alfa-Bank and ABH Holdings.


Mikhail Fridman is a member of the supervisory board of DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG, which is owned by LetterOne.


Mikhail Fridman has been a member of numerous public-facing bodies, including the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the Public Chamber of Russia, and the Council on Foreign Relations.


Mikhail Fridman subsequently decided to step down from the boards of LetterOne and Alfa Group so that they could avoid sanctions.


In December 2022, a man reported by Russian state media to be Mikhail Fridman was arrested in London by the UK's National Crime Agency on charges of money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the Home Office and conspiracy to commit perjury.


However, the UK National Crime Agency did not name the man as Mikhail Fridman, stating only that it had detained a 58-year-old "wealthy Russian businessman" at a "multi-million -pound residence" in the British capital.


Mikhail Fridman was born in 1964 in Lviv, Ukrainian SSR, USSR, where he spent his youth.


Mikhail Fridman graduated from high school in Lviv in 1980.


Mikhail Fridman says he was denied entrance to Moscow's top physics college because he was Jewish, and instead attended the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys.


Mikhail Fridman had various jobs while a college student in Moscow, including washing windows and founding and co-owning a student discotheque named Strawberry Fields.


Mikhail Fridman led a group of students who would queue for tickets at popular Moscow plays, and then use the tickets as hard currency to barter for rare goods and favours.


In October 2019, Mikhail Fridman told a Spanish court that he was a friend of Vahe Yengibaryan.


In 1988, along with German Khan and Alexey Kuzmichev, Mikhail Fridman co-founded Alfa-Photo, which imported photography chemicals.


Mikhail Fridman grew to become one of the largest private banks in Russia.


Alfa Group flourished considerably after Mikhail Fridman recruited Petr Aven, the former Minister of Foreign Economic Relations for the Russian Federation; in 1994 Aven became president and chairman of Alfa-Bank.


Also in 2001, Alfa purchased a strategic ownership interest in Vimpelcom, a large cellular operator in Russia, and Mikhail Fridman joined Vimpelcom's board of directors.


Mikhail Fridman resorted to protracted and aggressive efforts to strong-arm Telenor in 2005, and although the merger of Vimpelcom and Kyivstar was achieved in 2010, conflicts with Telenor over control of Vimpelcom lasted seven years in total.


Richard Burt and Mikhail Fridman have a strong working relationship.


In 2012 Mikhail Fridman sold his entire stake in MegaFon for $5 billion.


In 1997, Mikhail Fridman had collaborated with Len Blavatnik and Viktor Vekselberg to purchase the state-owned TNK, an oil company in Siberia, for $800 million.


Mikhail Fridman served as TNK-BP chairman for nine years, and CEO for three years.


Mikhail Fridman resigned as CEO of TNK-BP in May 2012.


In 2012 Mikhail Fridman partnered with American real-estate developer Jack Rosen in a joint venture to invest $1 billion in distressed real estate properties along the US East Coast.


In 2016 Mikhail Fridman coined the term "Indigo Era", for his theory of a global shift to an emerging era of economics based on creativity and digital skills rather than on natural resources.


In January 2018, due to concerns over possible sanctions stemming from the 2017 US Congressional sanctions on Russia, Mikhail Fridman announced that Alfa-Bank was phasing out its holdings in Russia's defense industry.


On 28 February 2022, the European Union blacklisted Mikhail Fridman and had all his assets frozen as part of a package of sanctions imposed against Russian officials and oligarchs in response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Mikhail Fridman said that the war would "damage two nations who have been brothers for hundreds of years" and called for the "bloodshed to end".


In October 2022 Mikhail Fridman offered to transfer $1 billion of his personal wealth into the Ukrainian Sense Bank that he co-founded.


Mikhail Fridman denied making a quid pro quo offer to Ukraine.


Mikhail Fridman first appeared in the Spanish press in November 2002, when the Liberian tanker Prestige sank off the coast of Galicia.


El Confidencial published a series of articles about the story of ZED's bankruptcy, and accused Mikhail Fridman of staging an illegal takeover by removing Javier Perez Dolset from the business and ruining him financially.


In October 2019, Mikhail Fridman attended court proceedings relating to the Zed case in order to be questioned by Spain's National Court in Madrid.


Mikhail Fridman was summoned to a pre-trial hearing as a person under investigation.


In January 2021, the Spanish National Court dismissed a case alleging that Mikhail Fridman had manipulated the market to devalue Dia's shares, with the judge stating the court instead saw Dia's decline in value as a result of "mismanagement" and lack of investments in marketing.


Mikhail Fridman is on the board of directors of ABH Holdings, which is the Luxembourg-headquartered holding company of Alfa Banking Group.


Mikhail Fridman is a member of numerous public-facing bodies, including the National Council on Corporate Governance in Russia and a boardmember of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.


Mikhail Fridman was elected as a member of the Public Chamber of Russia in November 2005.


In 1996 Mikhail Fridman was one of the founders of the Russian Jewish Congress, and he has been an active member since then, including having been its vice president and head of its cultural committee.


Mikhail Fridman is a major donor to the European Jewish Fund, which promotes inter-religious dialogue.


Mikhail Fridman was one of the major funders of the Holocaust memorial project at Babi Yar in Kyiv, Ukraine, which was launched in 2016.


In 2003, Mikhail Fridman was honoured with the Golden Plate Award from the Academy of Achievement in Washington, presented by former US President Bill Clinton, and he was named one of "The Stars of Europe: 25 Leaders at the forefront of change" by BusinessWeek.


Mikhail Fridman stated that the property's asking price was low because the building was dilapidated and sold without land.


Aven, Khan, and Mikhail Fridman then brought a lawsuit for defamation in Britain against Orbis Business Intelligence, Steele's private intelligence firm.


The judge stated that Steele's dossier inaccurately claimed that Aven and Mikhail Fridman provided foreign policy advice to Putin.


The Russian Embassy in London, meanwhile, stated that Mikhail Fridman had not asked for consular assistance.


Mikhail Fridman was based for many years in Moscow, often spending time in European cities such as London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Hamburg.


Mikhail Fridman has two children with his second wife Oksana Ozhelskaya.