Andrei Guriev (Андрей Гурьев) has built up his fortune, with a career background as a Russian politician, in his country’s fertilizer industry, rising to become an influential captain of the sector. Guriev grew up in what was the then USSR and entered politics as a member of the Communist Party, later serving as a committee leader. Following the shift away from Communism that began at the start of the 1990’s, Guriev turned towards the newly privatized economy to create a powerful industrial sector for the fertilizer market. Through his transformation from the public arena into the world of business, Guriev succeeded in becoming one of Russia’s top 30 billionaires, with a net worth estimated at over $3 billion.
Education and Political Career
Born in 1960, Guriev attended the State Central Institute of Physical Culture, where he received his first degree. In the period that preceded the fall of Communism, he was a party member and was a committee leader. Hailing from the Murmansk region, he served on the Federation Council as a representative in the upper house of the Russian parliament. He later resigned from politics to pursue his business in the fertilizer industry at PhosAgro.
Entrance into the Private Market
Guriev’s involvement with PhosAgro began while he was still in politics. However it was only after leaving the public sector in an effort to avoid a possible conflict of interest that he fully delved into the market. PhosAgro is considered to be one of the top fertilizer producers in Russia (alongside TogliattiAzot), and one of the biggest suppliers of industrial-level fertilizers on the global market. Guriev started off as a minority shareholder in the company, eventually gaining a larger share of the available stocks to become a major player at the firm. Along the way, he developed close ties with well-known Russian billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky and formed a connection with the powerful Menatop Group.
Leadership at PhosAgro
Under Guriev’s supervision at PhosAgro and the Menatop Group, the company succeeded in expanding its base of operations into additional sectors of the fertilizer market. In a move aimed at improving the vertical integration for the company’s production, a 20% stake was bought in the raw material supplier Apatit. Over the two years that followed, Guriev led his company to take majority control of the supplier in a move that helped to streamline the company’s production and improve profits. Guriev currently holds the position of Deputy Chairman at PhosAgro.
Guriev has overseen shifts into the fertilizer export markets supplying Asia and Europe. While the company has had a long-standing relationship with India, prices have dropped there, making it a far less desirable destination for exports. Guriev has stated to the press that he intends to divert a large percentage of the company’s deliveries towards Vietnam, Thailand, and other countries in Southeast Asia. Additionally, he has expressed high hopes for the possibilities for growth in the European market, which could prove to be highly advantageous for PhosAgro.
Guriev is married with two children. His son Andrei Guriev Jr. works with him at PhosAgro as the CEO of the firm. While a native of Murmansk, Guriev and his family are reported to live in Moscow.