Deripaska, Oleg Vladimirovich

Deripaska, Oleg Vladimirovich
(1968– )
   Born in Dzerzhinsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Oleg Deripaska grew up in Krasnodar Krai and graduated from both Moscow State University and the Plekhanov Academy of Economics. Seeking to avoid poverty, he abandoned theoretical physics in favor of more practical studies, a decision that ultimately led him into metals trading. He later became the chief financial officer of Aluminprodukt, which allowed him to obtain a stake in a Siberian aluminum smelter. He survived and eventually excelled in the mafia-linked world of aluminum, ultimately allying with Roman Abramovich to create Russian Aluminum (RusAl). The company, currently the world’s second-largest aluminum producer, has annual sales of $4 billion. Deripaska also has interests in the automobile, energy, and insurance industries. He is chief executive officer of Basic Element Company (BasEl), one of Russia’s leading investment firms. Forbes magazine ranked him as Russia’s richest man in the spring of 2008, though the periodical estimated that Deripaska lost more than three-quarters of his fortune during the subsequent 2008–2009 global financial crisis. Deripaska is on good terms with Vladimir Putin and enjoyed a close relationship with Boris Yeltsin’s inner circle. He has also gained some popular support through his funding of renovation projects for dilapidated Russian Orthodox churches.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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