Pytor Olegovich Aven (Петр Авен) has built his fortune and reputation throughout a career of advancement in the fields of economics and finance. Believed to possess a net worth of around $6.4 billion, this self-made businessman and former government minister has risen to the top of Russia’s financial echelons with his keen intellect and deep understanding of global economics. As the director of the Open Joint Stock Company Alfa Bank, Russia’s largest bank, Aven holds immense influence over his country’s financial institutions. In his prior capacity as the Russian Federation’s Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, he has proven himself to be a well-respected authority on global financial matters.
A native of Moscow, Aven started his entry into the field of academics in his hometown, earning his undergraduate degree in 1977 at Moscow State University. After attaining his BA, he continued his education in Economics with a PhD, completing his studies in 1980. During the course of his academic development, Aven took a keen interest in the sciences. He remained in academia until 1991, serving first at the USSR Academy of Sciences in the All Union Institute for System Studies before transferring in 1989 to the the Austrian based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. Building upon his strong understanding of international economic policies during his academic career, Aven was fully prepared for his next role as his government’s representative in the world in the field of economics.
Term in Government and Politics
In the period of transition following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Pytor Aven helped to play a crucial role in helping to open up Russia’s economy to the global market. During his year as the Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Aven was responsible for entering into negotiations with the governments of Western nations and establishing trade relations with them. As the official representative to the Group of Seven, he was present at an essential turning point in the relationship between Russia and the West. After stepping down from his role in the government, in 1993 Aven ran for national office under the ticket of the Choice party. He soon left politics for the private sector, bringing with him a wealth of experience as he started his new career.
Building an Empire
Upon entering the private sector, Aven soon joined up with the powerful Alfa Group, one of Russia’s most influential financial organizations. His initial involvement with the group came when he became a significant stockholder in Alfa Bank. As he increased his activities with Alfa, he became a member of the Supervisory Board at the consortium, and eventually was appointed to the role of President for the financial powerhouse. While he has since resigned his post in 2011, Aven continues to play an active role in the company and still sits as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. In addition, some of his past business ventures have included stakes in the CTC Media firm and the TNK-BP energy firm, both of which were later sold for impressive profit margins.
Personal Details and Philanthropic Activities
Aven comes from a mixed Russian and Latvian Jewish background. He continues to live in his native Moscow with his wife and two children. Along with his close friends Mikhail Fridman and German Khan, he is deeply committed to his involvement with the Russian speaking Jewish community. He and his friends have been active in the Genesis Philanthropy Group, an organization that promotes the welfare and culture of Russia’s Jewish community. An avid supporter of the arts, he is reported to own the largest private gallery of Russian art in the world.