Dmitry Yevgenyevich Rybolovlev (Дмитрий Рыболовлев), is ranked an impressive 152th on the Forbes Billionaire’s List and is the 16th wealthiest Russian. Rybolovlev is perhaps best known in the United States as the ‘Russian Donald Trump’, because of his success as a real estate mogul. In Europe and Russia however, he is better known as the billionaire doctor, entrepreneur, and owner of AS Monaco FC. With an estimated net worth of $8.5 billion, Dmitry Rybolovlev currently lives in ‘La Belle Époque’, a well-known penthouse apartment in Monaco, for which he paid over $300 million.
From Doctor to Business Dynamo – Early Career
Dmitry Rybolovlev was born in the city of Perm in 1966. Both his parents were doctors and Dmitry continued the tradition, graduating as a cardiologist from the Perm Medical Institute in 1990. He started a business with his father Evgeny that focused on offering medical treatments using magnetic fields. After the decentralization of the Soviet economy, many payments due to his Magnetics company were paid for using products, and Rybolovlev promptly attended to the business of finding buyers for them. This smart move made him his first million dollars.In 1992, Rybolovlev was awarded a certificate from the Russian Ministry of Finance, which allowed him to start dealing in securities, and his investment company was born. Within two years, he had opened a bank and purchased shares in many major industrial corporations in Perm, which allowed him to sit on the board of several large companies.
Uralkali – The Potash Industry
1995 saw Rybolovlev selling a large portion of his shareholdings and the start of his interest in the burgeoning potash industry. By 1995, he had controlling shares in Uralkali, which is the largest company in Russia producing potassium fertilizers, and was made Chairman of the Board. Over the next decade, Dmitry Rybolovlev turned Uralkali into a global business, helped in part by the large increase in the price of potash on the world markets.
In 2007, Uralkali listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), registering $1 billion in capital. Dmitry sold over 54% of his stake in the company to Russian investors, and in 2011 became owner of Silvinit; another potash producer that he has insisted will be the largest potash producer in the world.
Personal Life – In The Media Spotlight
Dmitry Rybolovlev married his wife Elena when he was studying to be a cardiologist. The couple had two daughters, Ekaterina born in 1989 and Anna in 2001. After several death threats made on his life, Rybolovlev moved his young family to Geneva, Switzerland, while continuing to work in Russia.
As of early 2015, Rybolovlev is going through a messy and public divorce, though he declines to publicly comment on the proceedings. In 2014, reports surfaced about a $4.5 billion settlement (over half his net worth) awarded to Elena by a Geneva court, but legal teams for both parties noted that this is not a final decision.
Rybolovlev’s daughter, Ekaterina, is a well-known socialite in Europe, regularly making a showing in the tabloids. She is a professional equestrian and latterly, a perceptive real estate investor with a keen business mind: In 2013, she bought the Greek island of Skorpios, formerly owned by Aristotle Onassis, as well as an apartment valued at $88 million in New York City.