Press Clippings

09 August 2004Europe’s Power 25: the most powerful people in business — Janet Guyon, FORTUNE

Mikhail Fridman
While other Russian oligarchs endure jail or self-imposed exile, Mikhail Fridman has emerged as the Russian businessman who does his best not to offend the Kremlin. “Of course we lobby our interests in Parliament,” he told a British paper last year, “but we don’t get involved in politics.” Estimated to be Russia’s third-richest man, with a fortune of more than $4 billion, the 40-year-old Fridman has taken out an insurance policy — selling half his TNK oil company to BP, the British oil giant. The deal earned Fridman and fellow TNK partners and oligarchs Viktor Vekselberg and Len Blavatnik nearly $7 billion. It also gave them powerful allies in the form of BP and the British government, which blessed the February 2003 deal. Another part of Fridman’s business empire, Alfa Bank, suffered a run on its deposits in early July but appears to have weathered the storm.

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