Russian billionaire investor and oligarch Vladimir Olegovich Potanin has an estimated net worth of $13.6 billion as of 2015, according to Forbes. This rose to $15.3 billion as of October 2018. He is the richest man in Russia.
Born Vladimir Olegovich Potanin on 3 January 1961 in Moscow, Russia, into a high ranking communist family. He attended the faculty of the International economic relations at Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1978. The institute grooms students for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After graduating from the institute, he worked for the FTO “Soyuzpromexport” with the Ministry of Foreign Trade of the Soviet Union.
In 1991, during Perestroika, he quit state’s structure of foreign trade and created the private association Interros. He became the president of the United Export Import Bank in 1993. Currently, he is the president and chairman of the Interros Company. He has held to these positions since August 1998.
Potanin acquired his wealth notably through the controversial loans-for-shares program in Russia. Along with his partner Mikhail Prokhorov, he took control of metals giant Norilsk Nickel and oil company Sidanco in controversial “loans-for-shares” privatization auctions.
Potanin married Natalia Potanina and had three children with her. They divorced in December 2013. He married Ekaterina in 2014. Potanin has four children.