Fridman Mikhail Maratovich

The Biography:


Born April 21, 1964 in Lvov (Ukraine). Friedman's parents worked as an engineers at the factory, and his father had once been awarded the State Prize for the development of identification systems for military aircraft. After school Misha decided to go in the footsteps of his parents - moved to Moscow to enroll in the Physical-Technical Institute. He passed examinations with glitter, but failed the contest. After the failure Misha returned to Lvov, worked as a lab technician in the Physical-Mechanical Institute and prepared for a second attempt - he had a year before the army. But a year later the story repeated. Then Friedman gave up and easily entered the Institute of Steel and Alloys, the Faculty of ferrous and rare metals.

In 1986 he graduated from the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys.

In 1986 - 1988 - Design engineer at the plant «Elektrostal» in Elektrostal town, the Moscow region.

In 1988 he organized a cooperative "Courier", specializing in window washing.

In 1989 he created the company "Alpha-photo" (sale of computers, copying equipment)

Since 1990 - creator of "Alpha-Capital".

Since 1991 - Chairman of the Board of Directors of Alpha Bank.

From 1995 to 1998 - Member of the Board of Directors of "Russia's public television."

Since 1996 - Chairman of the Board of Directors of the consortium Alpha Group.

Since January 1996 - founder and vice president of Russia Jewish Congress (RJC), head of the Committee on Culture RIVERS.

Since 1996 - Member of the Board of Directors of OJSC "Oil Company SIDANCO»

Since October 1996 - Member of the Board of banking activities under the RF Government.

In 1998, after the merger of Alpha Bank and Alpha-Capital " became chairman of the board of directors of Alpha Bank.

In September 1998 stated that Russia's banking system was going to survive, on condition it formed "inner circle" of 5-6 banking institutions, and limited expansion of foreign banks.

Since 1998 - Member of the Board of Directors of ZAO "Trading House" Crossroads ".

In February 2001, included in the Business Council under the Government of Russia.

In summer 2001, entered the list of the richest people in the world, compiled by Forbes magazine. According to the magazine, Friedman owns $ 1.3 billion

Until February 2008 - Chairman of the Board of Directors of Alpha-Bank. Member of the Board of Directors of VimpelCom and member of the Supervisory Board of Directors of Pyaterochka Holding N. V. Member of Bureau and Board of the Russian union of industrialists and businessmen, member of Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, member of Presidium of the Russian Jewish congress, Chairman of Conference of heads of Jewish organisations of Russia. By data for March, 2009 held 71 place in a rating of the richest people of the world.

Married. Has two daughters- Kate and Laura.

His wife Olga arrived in Moscow from Irkutsk and studied with a future spouse on the same course. In 2000 she graduated from the designers course in Paris. Friedman does not have any contacts with his wife. Lives alone.
Site "Business Guide" magazine "Profile"

The Dossier:


Mikhail Fridman got engaged in commerce yet in the institute, where he organized informal youth club - a prototype of modern disco. He was also engaged in the resale of theater tickets and hand-made carpets. Friedman even was suspected of selling drugs - the main consumer of which was an artistic party.

In 1986 Friedman organized cooperative "Courier", engaged in windows washing. Business was so successful that in 1989 Friedman created an intermediary trading company "Alpha-photo", which in turn was the founder of JV "Alpha-Eco». During the first years company traded rugs, as well as tea, cigarettes, sugar. The sugar trade resulted in a high-profile case with drugs. In early 1995 in the small town of Far East intestinal epidemic happened. The cause of poisoning turned out to be opium, which was contained in sugar, sold in the local market. Police found out that sugar sellers stole it from the railroad. Goods were in the way from China to Moscow. Alpha-Eco was listed in the requisites. The office on Novy Arbat was searched. It came out that sugar was transported from China along with drugs, the Chechen group was engaged in unloading,afterwards the drugs were sent to Europe, and the money went to the "Alpha-Eco» account. Later they reminded to Friedman of "Sugar story" many times.

But first they spoke of Mikhail Fridman in the early 90's, when his company "Alpha-group" flew up suddenly. The secret to his success was simple - in 1992 the company joined the federal program for the export of petroleum and petroleum products for the state needs. The way Friedman entered into that program is unknown till nowadays. But then they suspected that the company of the successful businessman contained criminal capital. Moreover, Friedman made no secret of his acquaintances with criminal authorities. "Baumanskaja brigade", the Ossetians, and the Dagestans ... Friedman was familiar not only with criminals, but also with the security forces - including the KGB. Even then they characterized the way Friedman did business – those were threats, intimidation, deception of people. One of the "victims" of Friedman – the Head of Impexbank, member of the Presidential Council of Entrepreneurs, Oleg Kiselev; together they established cooperative “Alpha-photo". But when the company became engaged in oil, Friedman squeezed Kiselev out of the business through involvement of "criminal resource" - the leader of the Moskvoretskaya OCG, former boxer Alexander Kurbatov (Kurbat). He also used Kiseleva's love affairs against him, Kiselev's wife learned about it, and the family almost fell apart.

However, an incredible start of "Alpha Group had another reason, whose name was Pyotr Aven, the Minister of Foreign Economic Relations in Gaidar's government. After leaving the civil service, Aven headed “Alpha-Bank "and led him to a whole new level. Bank became a comfortable refuge for many Kremlin officials, therefore became a tool of direct influence to the politics of the country. Thus Alpha Bank gave money to ensure the appointment of Gaidar the head of the government. In response, Mr Gaidar gave the bank state loans on concessional terms.

Business of the bank went uphill since 1995, when Peter Aven struck a deal with the head of CS First Boston (CSFB), David Mulford, former Deputy Minister of Finance USA. Then the "Alpha Group" paired with "Renova" and “won" the contest on the Tyumen Oil Company (TNK). Needless to remind th way privatization tenders in Russia get won. TNK was the only Russian oil company which obtained a loan (0.5 billion dollars) from the U.S. Eximbank in the post default period.

Aven's influence was so undeniable at the time, that Friedman had towithdraw into the shadows. At this time he actively, but unsuccessfully tried to take a position of the head of Russian Jewish Congress.

By the end of 90-es in the country formed a so-called "Semibankirschina" - an informal agreement of the seven richest people of the country, who agreed to bury "the hatchet" for that time to combinу their efforts for re-election of Boris Yeltsin for the second term in 1996. It is believed that the first President of Russia "paid" the bankers with infamous "loans for shares". Consortium of Alpha Group, according to experts, originally designed for pumping money out of Russia funds and transfering them abroad.

Notably, but only two of the seven bankers - Mikhail Fridman and Vladimir Potanin - managed to maintain their status. Of course, they had to forget about the effect on political countries.

In recent years "Alpha-bank" actively credited the leading of Ukrainian companies, and then took control over them - not always legally. It is believed that in Ukraine "Alpha-Bank" worked out all the known methods of seizing property. Ukrainian organized crime group "Kapitoshka” participated in the forceful takeovers. Here is one of the typical stories.

In 2005, the director of the Ukrainian Anti-virus Center Dmitry Zagorodnii took in Ukrainian “Alpha-Bank " a big credit of 60% per annum. After some time they started to demand the money back without any good reason. Zagorodniy first was abducted, then actually driven to suicide, which he committed in front of his own son. And the enterprise itself - at that time one of the leaders of the industry - became the property of structures close to the "Alpha".
Not in circumcision is happiness. - "Stringer", September 2001, an oligarch -, 17.02.2010, Alpha Telecom has changed its name to distance itself from Friedman -, 1.12.2005; Mikhail Fridman - "Bad oligarchs. "Path of washer windows to billionaire”« Handelsblatt », Germany, 21.03.2003

Friedman's relationship with "fellow oligarchs" was never easy. He called Potanin a "cheater guy" or simply "goat". He considered him to be his main rival. He gave nicknames to everyone. In this respect the following story is significant: in 2004 Boris Berezovsky filed a lawsuit in the Royal Court of Great Britain on Michael Friedman in connection with the performance of the latter in the TV program "To the barrier!". Basis for the claim were the words of Mikhail Fridman that during the preparation of purchase transactions of publishing house "Kommersant" in 1999 Berezovsky allegedly threatened Fridman. In this transfer, Friedman argued against the general director of PH "Kommersant" Andrey Vasilyev, "duelists" discussed the decision of the Moscow Arbitration Court, which ordered the newspaper to pay to “ Alpha-Bank "$ 11 million for impairment of reputation damage. Kommersant then appealed this decision, and the court reduced the amount of moral damages on 30 million rubles). Berezovsky won the trial.

Another conflict with a colleague occurred with Friedman recently - in 2009 - this time with Oleg Deripaska, head of the" Basel ". After Putin visited Pikalevo, “Alpha-Bank” demanded that the structures of Deripaska paid not less than $ 1 billion, and threatened to claim in court, if the "Basel" did not pay the loans. But the conflict was resolved immediately after the intervention of President Medvedev, who reminded the banker that the state had poured much money into the banking system and banks were supposed to be grateful ... Friedman, while coming out of Medvedev's cabinet, said that he had been friends with Mr Deripaska for a long time and they could agree on everything .

American millionaire, Jack Greenberg complained that Friedman was trying to win rights to explore for oil and gas fields in Grenada. According to Greenberg, Friedman bribedthe Minister of the country for BP interests. The damage made Greenberg estimated at $ 500 million. However, this conflict ended with nothing.
After meeting with President Friedman and Deripaska said they can "agree to a friend" on debts -, 18.03.2009; Berezovsky won a British court action to Friedman for honour and dignity -, 26.05 .2006

In 2005, Mikhail Fridman participated in so-called "dacha case”. According to the investigative committee, as a result of the organization of illegal auctions the state dachas “Sosnovka-3 "and "Sosnovka-1" were sold at a reduced cost to the structures, controlled by “Alpha-Bank”. Later “Sosnovka-1" was sold to Mikhail Kasyanov, and “Sosnovka-3" – to Mikhail Fridman. In 2006, the Moscow Arbitration Court declared invalid the results of auctions, and obliged to return the cottage to the State (Kasyanov who turned out to be good-faith acquirer, had the cottage adjudged a year later). As the State Duma deputy Alexander Khinshtein declaired (he first disclosed the deal details) the scapegoat were brought to justice, while Friedman and Kasyanov were questioned only as witnesses. The court's decision was interpreted as a signal of the Kremlin to the representatives of the business elite, who could support Kasyanov's presidential election. Friedman recognized the signal very well, and had no more common deals with Kasyanov.
Friedman's dacha has been taken away - "Vedomosti", 18.01.2006


In 2006 Friedman fell into trouble again. Foundation for Civil Liberties (existing at Berezovsky's money) announced Friedman one of assassin's paymasters of Kiev journalist Gongadze murder. According to the Fund, the murder of journalist was organized by Moroz (in 2006 he served as chairman of the Verkhovna Rada), in order to discredit the Ukrainian president Kuchma. Friedman allegedly had his interest in the story- in case of Kuchma dismissal he would be given a preference in privatization of energy facilities in Ukraine. Friedman responded to the allegations in an official letter stating that there were "PR-schemers acting against him ", thus alluding to his opponent Boris Berezovsky. The General Prosecutor of Ukraine did not take seriously the scandalous statement of the Foundation for Civil Liberties, considering that their statements were not based on any objective data.
Gongadze's head is set up to Moroz and Friedman-, 1.08.2006

In spring 2007 Friedman first became interested in business in Israel, where Partnerships “ Development and Progress” was established upon his initiative. According to the founders, the mission was only cultural and educational, not political. Furthermore, Friedman was going to help President Perez to organize a conference "on the future of the Jewish people." As experts considered, this sudden love of Friedman to the historical homeland happened due to cooling of his relations with the Kremlin. Something like that was also the reason of Friedman's retirement in February 2008 from the post of chairman of the Board of Directors of Alpha Bank, and further focusing on the general management. However the banker did not take part in the operational management of the bank, his brainchild was mainly TNK-BP, in which Friedman was appointed acting Chief Managing Director in summer, 2009. Apparently, the state intended to push Friedman of the oil industry, by making the oligarch getting nervous and making hasty statements. Thus, Friedman said that BP induced Gazprom to buy stake of TNK-BP. Gazprom, in turn, said that it never received such a proposal.

In business Friedman is still true to his attacking style. Recently, the "Alpha Group” acquired the outstanding debt of “Mirax Group” by Sergei Polonsky at $ 200 million with more than 60-percent discount, thus becoming the largest creditor of the developer. In Mirax they call actions of "Alpha" unfriendly. Purchase of outstanding debts, according to analytics, had one goal - bankruptcy of the company to get all the assets of the debtor.

Mikhail Fridman rarely gives interviews, he cannot stand the publicity. At once he allowed to take pictures at a birthday party of “Alpha Bank” in an embrace with the singer Masha Rasputina, as a reslut the picture appeared on a glossy magazine cover. In general Friedman is a great original. He is completely devoid of snobbery, in foreign trains he is hauling suitcases himself, not letting body guards do it for him. Once he bet with Peter Aven and rode one stop in the subway without body guards. He likes to drive in jeeps (in 1997 in the Brazilian desert he turned turtle in a jeep, and sustained a head injury). He travels around the world in the company of Viktor Vekselberg, Vladimir Grigoriev, Alexander Abramov (Assistant to the President of Russia), Herman Khan. At work has a principle: "If a person believes that he must say something to me personally, he should have such an opportunity." He believes that business and morality are incompatible. Mikhail Fridman always, not without a boastfulness, demonstrated his indifference to politics. Before the presidential elections in 2000 one of his manager asked , for whom of the candidates he felt sympathy. "Whoever wins," - said Friedman.
Friedman bought Polonsky - "Kommersant", 20.07.2009, Sergei Kupriyanov: surprising possibilities Friedman - "Vedomosti", 25.06.2008