Mikhail Dmitrievitch Prokhorov (Михаи́л Про́хоров) is an influential Russian entrepreneur turned politician and sports promoter. In 2014, Forbes estimates the value of his assets at $10.9 billion. He started in the Russian banking industry. In 1992, he co-founded Interros Hol
ding Company and became the Chairman of the Board of Onexim Bank in 1993. Interros and Onexim Bank benefited from the Russian government’s need for immediate loans and the privatization of Russian metal mining and shipping industries. He continued to expand his holdings in many industries. He was involved in politics and placed third in the 2012 Russian Presidential Elections. In 2012, he founded the Civic Platform Party.
Mikhail Prokhorov was born in May 3, 1965 to Dmitri Prokhorov a lawyer who worked for the Russian international relations in the Soviet Committee of Physical Culture and Sport and Tamara. Mikhail traveled with his father outside of the iron curtain on foreign relations trip. There he experienced life outside communist Russia.
Mikhail Prokhorov served in the Russian army for a couple years. He later graduated from the Moscow Finance Institute in 1989, shortly before the fall of the Soviet Union.
After the death of Mikhail Prokhorov’s parents in 1989, he continued to live with his divorced sister and niece as a bachelor. He and his older sister, Irena, work together in the Civic Platform Party. He trusted the Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation that promotes Russian culture, his magazine and publishing house to Irena.
Prokhorov the Banker
After graduating from university, he secured a position as a manager in the International Bank of Economic Cooperation (MFK). In 1992-1993, he was Chairman of the Board. He earned his position by arraigning the bank’s acquisition of discounted Soviet assets.
In 1992, Mikhail Prokhorov and Vladimir Potanin founded Interros and Onexim Bank. They continued buying up shares of undervalued Soviet assets while also working with the Finance Ministry as an agent for governmental bonds.
In 1995, Prokhorov bought up shares from workers of Norilsk Nickel the world’s largest nickel and palladium producers and one of the ten largest copper producers in the world. When government and company debts grew, Norilsk Nickel was turned over to Interros. Under Prokhorov, Norilsk Nickel was privatized and became an efficient, productive and international company. In 2007, Prokhorov sold his shares of Norilsk Nickel for $7 billion and 14% of UC Rusal before world markets collapsed.
Prokhorov consolidated Norilsk Nickel’s gold mine assets in order to create Polyus Gold valued at $8.5 billion gold producer. Polyus Gold is one of the ten largest producers of gold in the world.
In 2007, Mikhail Prokhorov split from his long time partner Vladimir Potanin. They separated billions of dollars of assets that they amassed together. The split was a difficult and long. Prokhorov founded the Onexim Group a bank and holding company used for many significant acquisitions.
Prokhorov’s current assets include Polyus Gold, Intergo and Rusal in metal production, IFC Bank, Renaissance Capital and Soglassye Insurance Company in the financial markets, Quadra a utility provider, Open Investments in real estate, Nanotech, RBS Information Systems in media, the Brooklyn Nets a NBA basketball team and more.
Turn to Politics
Mikhail Prokhorov contested the 2011 presidential elections and ran for president of Russia in 2011 against Vladimir Putin as an independent. He considers this the most important decision of his life. He received 8% of the votes. After stints with several parties, Mikhail Prokhorov formed the Civic Platform Party after the 2012 elections.
With his involvement in politics, like another Russian billionaire Kerimov, Prokhorov left the management of his holdings to others. The Party has thirteen seats in regional Parliaments. Prokhorov claims that he wants to redraw regions based on ethnicity, protect private property and freedom.