Iskander Makhmudov (Искандер Махмудов) is a self-made billionaire. With a net worth of some $8.7 billion, his name falls into the 15th position of the wealthiest Russians. In 2013, Ferrit listed him as the sixth wealthiest mining billionaire in Russia, and number 123 globally. With the help of well-placed friends, he pulled himself up from being a mere Arabic language translator to where he is now, as owner of the Uralskaya Gorno-Metallurgicheskay Kompaniya (UGMK) Holding company and a well-respected philanthropist. In fact, over the course of the past decade Makhmudov has donated in excess of $1 billion to charity and provides free health care to children of his employees. He also donated the ice arena in Sochi, which he built, for government use during the Olympics.
Education and Beginning in Metals
Iskander Kahramonovich Makhmudov was born in Bukhara, Uzbek SSR in 1963. After earning his degree in Oriental studies at Tashkent Sate University, he worked in different Soviet military positions situated in Iraq and Libya. When Makhmudov made the move to Moscow, he teamed up with his old friend Michael Cherney to seek out business opportunities. His first business position was with a prestigious Russian metal trader, Trans-World Group. A metal trading giant, at one time it was the largest of all metal dealers based in Russia. In other business positions, he was the Deputy Marketing Director at JSC Alice, the Director of JSC Industrial-Financial Company Meta Service and the CEO of Ai, a mining and processing business.
Fall of USSR Brings New Opportunities for Wealth to Russian Businessmen
Along with For savvy Russian businessmen such as Makhmudov, the fall of the USSR in 1991 opened up a whole new world of opportunities. Building on his earlier experience in the metals industry, Makhmudov established the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC) in 1999. The business has overtaken the Russian market as its second largest producer of copper and the fourth biggest non-ferrous metallurgical conglomerate. It is primarily due to his success in this business that he is one of Russia’s top oligarchs today.
Delving Deeper Into Russian Businesses
Along with his partner, Iskander Makhmudov bought shares in Izdatelskiy Dom Rodionova, also known as the Rodionov Publishing House. He also purchased shares of Aeroexpress, which handles railway transportation that connects surrounding airports with Moscow. He bought Moscow Passenger Company (MPC), which went on to acquire shares in Central Suburban Passenger Company (CSPC) in 2011. The company is responsible for more than 55% of all Russian transportation in suburban areas – that’s quite a lot when considering the size of the country! In addition to increasing his share in Russia’s public transportation system, Makhmudov’s Ural Mining Company also owns International Space Services. This is in addition to his partial ownership of CJSC Transmashholding, which is the biggest producer of the railways’ and subways’ rolling stock.