Vladimir Lisin (Владимир Лисин) made his fortune by joining the Trans World Group, which invested aggressively in the Russian steel industry after the fall of communism. He is a leading financial and technical innovator in the Russian steel industry. Since 1993, Lisin has served on the boards of multi-billion dollar steel companies, including Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK), MMK, Sayansk and Novokuznetsk Aluminum Plants. Since 1998, Vladimir Lisin has been the Chairman of the Board of Novolipetsk.
In July 2014, Lisin’s fortune was valued at $15.2 billion making his net worth the 69th highest in the world and 4th highest in Russia behind Alisher Usmanov, Mikhail Fridman and Viktor Vekselberg. In 2011, his fortune was valued at $24 billion the 14th highest net worth in the world then. Around that time he was estimated to have the biggest fortune in Russia. Bloomberg reports that in 2010-12 he gave $105 million to philanthropic causes making him the seventh largest Russian donor.
Vladimir Lisin was born in 1956, in Ivanovo, Russia. He has degrees in Ferrous and Non Ferrous Foundries from the Siberian Metallurgic Institute, Economics from Higher School of Commerce and a doctorate in Technology and Economics from the Academy of National Economy and Administration. Vladimir Lisin was an economics professor at the Academy. He has written many research papers and developed many patents used in the steel industry. He won a prize in science and technology.
In 1975, Vladimir Lisin started working at Tulachermet Metals Works as a mechanic. By 1979, he earned managerial positions as shop manager and later Deputy Chief Engineer.
Trans World Group and Novolipetsk Steel
After the fall of communism, companies were turned into joint stock companies owned by workers. While many workers sold there shares off, Vladimir joined Trans World Group (TWG), a British based investment firm, where Mikhail and Lev Cherney were charged with Russian steel investments. TWG bought up steel companies worth 40% of the total Russian market. However, TWG felt market pressures from Oleg Deripaska and Roman Abramovich’s Russian Aluminum (RUSAL), government pressures and an internal rift that brought the company to split.
In 2000, Lisin got a large share of Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) in a settlement. Soon after, Vladimir Lisin acquired more of the company from billionaire George Soros and others. Since, he has sold some of NLMK’s shares. He has been the Chairman of the Board since 1998. In 2013, NLMK was the third largest metal producer in Russia and the thirteenth largest company in Russia just ahead of Norilsk Nickel where Lisin is also a Director.
Universal Cargo Logistics Company (UCLC)
About half of Vladimir Lisin’s net worth is invested in transportation companies under Universal Cargo Logistics Company (UCLC). In 2011-12, Lisin paid $5.8 billion for First Cargo. Some of Lisin’s other holdings include Saint Petersburg Sea Port, Tuapse Commercial Sea Port, North Western Shipping Company and Volga Shipping Company. Vladimir Lisin also serves as the Director of OJSC United Ship Building Corporation.
Lisin has stakes in Chermonorneftegaz and Severneftegaz gas companies which are owned in part by Suleyman Kerimov’s Gazprom. Lisin also has stakes in electric companies: Federal Grid Company and Distribution Grid Company.
Vladimir Lisin serves as the Vice President of the Russian Olympic Committee and is the part of the Executive Committee of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). Since he was a child, he has had an affinity to guns and shooting. He built a large shooting range in Lisya Nora outside Moscow.