Oleg Deripaska

No. 170 in the world - Richest RussianOleg DeripaskaOleg Vladimirovitch Deripaska’s (Влади́мирович Дерипа́ска) net worth as of June 2014 was $8 billion placing him among the top twenty richest people in Russia. At the peak of his financial success in 2008, Forbes listed him as the ninth richest person in the world with a net worth of $28 billion. Currently, Deripaska is the owner of EN+ Group energy holding company, the CEO of United Company RUSAL, the largest aluminum producer in the world, and the founder of Basic Element which is an industrial group with over a hundred companies in ten industries that cooperate with each other. He is active in philanthropy and public service. 

Education and Family Life
Oleg Deripaska was born in Dzezrhinsk, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast (1968). Soon after his father died, his mother moved to the farm village of Ust-Labinsk, Krasnodar Krai in southern Russia far from Moscow. They lived off the cows he milked and the animals he tended. He later received a degree in physics from Moscow state University (1993) and in economics from Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics (1996).

In 2001, he married Polina the daughter of Valentin Yumashev who was Boris Yeltsin’s Chief of Staff. He has two children.

From Ambitious Student to Aluminum Tycoon
When Communist Russia fell and the economy was very unstable, Oleg Deripaska struggled to feed himself as a student and continue studying. He was yearning to earn lots of money and live comfortably. In the early 1990’s, he started trading metals. In 1994, he negotiated with Michael Cherney the Russian entrepreneur to acquire a large stake of Sayanogorsk Aluminum Smelter in Siberia. It later became Sibirsky Aluminum (SUAL). He was made the manager at SUAL and fought to make the company efficient and profitable. At the same time, he worked as the president of Sibirsky Aluminum Investment Group which acquired mining and aviation production companies. 

In 2000, RUSAL was created from a merger of SUAL with Sibneft, a major oil producer. In 2013, RUSAL produced 8% of the world’s aluminum and 7% of the world’s alumina, making it the world’s leading aluminum producer.

Basic Element
In 2001, Deripaska founded Basic Element from the collected assets of Sibirsky Aluminum Investment Group. Basic Element coordinates the activities of companies in energy, metallurgic, mining, financial services, automotive, aviation and agriculture industries together in order to maximize profits and efficiency. It includes RUSAL, EN+ Group, GAZ Group, a car producer, Bank SOYUZ, Aviakor, a plane manufacturer, EuroSibEnergo, an electric power supplier, and much more. Basic Element’s assets reached $49 billion with revenue of $26 billion in 2007. 

In 2009, the net worth of Deripaska sunk, dropping more than 80% due to the world financial crisis that hit the metals and manufacturing industries. Deripaska negotiated his way through accrued debt obligations. He was able to protect many of his assets by restructuring his obligations. He sold some of his assets to Suleiman Kerimov

Yachts and Air Fleet
Oleg Deripaska owns Queen K, one of the fifty most expensive yachts in the world. The yacht is used for vacation and hosting events with other billionaires and politicians. He also owns three luxurious jet planes including two long distance Gulfstreams and a Sikorsky helicopter. 

Philanthropy and Public Service
Oleg Deripaska founded Volnoe Delo, the largest charity in Russia. It provides education, health and cultural services with a budget of more than 8.5 billion rubbles. He represented Russia in 2004 to the Asia Pacific Economic Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and is a member of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneur.