Opinions about businessman Mikhail Fridman vary. Someone considers him too tough and even to some extent dangerous, while someone sees in him a sociable and gentle romantic. The only thing that is true is that he made himself, starting with the resale of theater tickets and petty "fartsi".
The total state of Mikhail Fridman's assets exceeded $ 10 billion back in 2007. According to Forbes magazine, the businessman occupies one of the leading places in the list of the richest representatives of Russia, the tenth in the list of the rich in Great Britain and the first in the list of residents of London. Who is he and where is he from? How did you come to the top of the financial Olympus?
Mikhail Maratovich Fridman is a native of the city of Lvov, a native of an average family of engineers. He was born on April 21, 1964. In addition to him, the family had another son, the eldest. The boy's parents were engaged in the development of navigation systems for aviation, his dad was even awarded an award for the creation of an identification system for military aircraft (among other authors of the development).
Mikhail graduated from school with excellent marks. He preferred to play with peers in the exact sciences - chemistry, mathematics, physics. He did not receive a gold medal because of one "four" in the Russian language. Hoping for his ideal knowledge, he went to the capital after graduation - he dreamed of entering the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, one of the most prestigious universities in the country. But this dream was not destined to come true - the young man failed the entrance exams, he had to return home.
But Mikhail Fridman did not give up his desire to study in Moscow. A year after his failure at MIPT, he easily entered the MISiS, the faculty of rare earth and non-ferrous metals. In parallel with his studies, he began his labor activity, not entirely legal, but generating income. The entrepreneurial streak of the young man was already evident during his student days.
Art brought Mikhail Fridman's first income. As a child, at the insistence of his mother and grandmother, he attended a music school, played the piano well, was a member of the school ensemble. It was this direction that the young man chose as a source of income.
At first, Mikhail started reselling tickets to the theater. Where and how he got tickets for the best, sold-out performances is unknown, but the additional income was impressive.
The guy did not spend the money he earned on entertainment, but invested in another, no less profitable business. He took up the organization of entertainment events for students from the hostel, where he himself lived. Mikhail Fridman organized a youth club "Strawberry Glade", within the framework of which discos, concerts of famous and novice vocalists, bards were held in the hall of the hostel. He paid the performers for a performance from 20 to 30 rubles, which was a rather high "tax" for those times. In addition, Fridman was engaged in "fartsa" - he got out and sold branded items.
It was during that period that Mikhail Fridman met and made friends with his future associates in big business. Almost immediately after graduation, he took up commercial activity, since the changes in the country made it possible to do this.
Two years after graduation, Mikhail Fridman worked as a design engineer at Elektrostal. At the same time, he developed his first business of his own - the Kurier cooperative, which specialized in window cleaning. And in 1989, together with several like-minded people, he created a company selling computers and components for them, software, photographic materials, and copying equipment.
In the early 90s, Mikhail Fridman was already an accomplished businessman. The scope of his activities included several areas at once:
- sale of art objects,
- trade in food products,
- investments and insurance,
- processing and sale of oil, gas,
- telecommunication services,
- innovative technologies,
- the banking sector and everything connected with it.
Now such well-known corporations and business lines as the retail chains Pyaterochka, Kopeyka, Karusel, the pharmacy chain A5, Alfa-Bank, LetterOne investment group and others are associated with the name of Mikhail Fridman.
Charity and politics
Mikhail Fridman's political activities are not associated with the government of any country. He actively supports two Jewish organizations - the Russian Jewish Congress and the European Jewish Fund. Moreover, he is one of the founders of the first organization.
For many years, the Life Line charitable foundation created by Mikhail Fridman has been operating. He finances the costly treatment of critically ill children. The money for the fund comes not only from voluntary donations, but also from Fridman himself, from his business brainchild, Alfa-Bank.
In addition, Mikhail Maratovich finances the development of Jewish cultural projects. For example, he paid for the costs of making the film Russian Jews.
Mikhail Fridman was married twice - in the official and civil. The first wife of a businessman was his classmate Olga Aiziman. The marriage lasted more than 20 years, the couple had two daughters - Larisa (1993) and Katya (1996). In the early 2000s, the couple decided to leave, the girls and their mother left for France. Until now, Mikhail completely finances their lives.
In a civil marriage with Oksana Ozhelskaya, Fridman had two children - a son, Alexander (2000) and a daughter, Nika (2006). The media wrote that it was the new lover who became the reason for Fridman's divorce from his first wife. But he himself did not comment on the situation.
The second marriage of a businessman lasted almost 10 years, but in the end it also fell apart. Now Mikhail Maratovich lives in seclusion, spends most of his time in his London residence. The man is engaged in extreme driving in jeeps, collects samurai weapons.