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Alisher Usmanov

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Alisher Usmanov is a Russian business magnate, high volume investor, and the richest man in Russia. With a fortune estimated at US$18.6 billion, Usmanov is listed as the world’s 34th richest person. A self-made man who grew up with aspirations of becoming a diplomat, Usmanov received a degree in international law from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1976. The aspiring businessman was arrested and convicted on charges of fraud in Uzbek SSR in 1980 and imprisoned for six years.

Once free, Usmanov built his wealth through metal and mining operations and numerous investments in telecommunications companies and media outlets. He is the majority shareholder of Metalloinvest, which is a Russian industrial conglomerate. Usmanov owns Kommersant Publishing Houses, is the co-owner of MegaFon (Russia’s second-largest mobile phone company), and co-owner of Russia’s largest internet company, Mail.ru. Usmanov is also the largest investor of Digital Sky Technologies, a company which paid $200 million for a 1.96% stake in Facebook. Other international investments include Twitter, Zynga, Groupon, AirBnB, and ZocDoc. Usmanov is also a shareholder in Arsenal Football Club, a team in which he is extremely passionate about. He invested a reported $100 million in Apple in 2013, but disposed of his shares in 2014.

Beyond his numerous investments, Usmanov has founded numerous charities and philanthropic organizations, including “Art, Science, and Sport”. In 2007, he paid a reported $25 million for an art collection owned by the late Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, which he subsequently donated to the Russian state. He also bought and donated a large collection of Soviet cartoons for a reported $5-10 million to a children’s television station.

Usmanov belongs to the Board of Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and serves as the chairman of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs committee. He is considered one of the most significant and charitable philanthropists, reportedly donating more than $120 million to numerous charities.

Companies and Investments

MegaFon (Co-Owner), Apple (Investor), Kommersant Publishing House (Founder), Mail.ru (Co-Owner), Arsenal F.C. (Investor), USM Holdings (Founder), Metalloinvest (Co-Owner), Digital Sky Technologies (Investor), Facebook (Investor), Twitter (Investor), Groupon (Investor), Zynga (Investor), AirBnB (Investor), ZocDoc (Investor), Alibaba (Investor), 360buy (Investor), The International Charity Fund for the Future of Fencing (Founder), Specialized Endowment Fund to Support Veterans Fencing (Founder), FIE (President)

Lessons Learned

It is important to remember your beginnings and to always give back to your community, especially if you are fortunate enough to have found wealth.

Nothing is eternal. I believe in making investments that I see as promising for the present future, not necessarily forever.

I try to do everything I can to make the world a better place on my own right now. I prefer this to having someone else do it for me, as I have no idea how good of a job they will do.

Being a smart businessman means sticking to what you know and not trying to venture into sectors you know nothing about.

Inspiring Quotes

We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful

Warren Buffett

Alisher Usmanov's Quotes

I have been very fortunate to be successful in business, and I believe that it is right that people who have this type of wealth should give something back to society.

Alisher Usmanov

It is my dream to have a controlling stake of Arsenal.

Alisher Usmanov

My home is in Moscow and I have no plans to change this.

Alisher Usmanov

It was always a challenge to me to prove that a Russian financial investor can be as successful in the West as back home in Russia.

Alisher Usmanov

Making money from money is like aerobatics.

Alisher Usmanov

Influential Books