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Who Are the Russian Oligarchs?

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Who are the Russian Oligarchs?

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Who are the Russian Oligarchs?

Russia’s richest individuals have lost more than $38 billion in 2022 because of Western sanctions on Russia in reprisal for the invasion of Ukraine.

Together, the top 10 Russian oligarchs have a net worth of $186 billion, equivalent to the market cap of large publicly-traded companies like McDonald’s and AMD.

But who are the Russian ultra-rich? In today’s graphic, we use data from Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index to show Russia’s richest individuals… and how much they’ve lost due to the war so far.

Metals, Art, Luxury, and Sports

The richest person in Russia, Vladimir Potanin, has a 35% stake in Moscow-listed Nornickel.

The company is the world’s biggest producer of palladium, a metal used in vehicle catalytic converters, and also the world’s largest producer of nickel, an essential metal for EV batteries and renewable energy.

RankNameNet worth USD $ YTD change*Bloomberg List
#1Vladimir Potanin$25.9B-$5.00B53
#2Leonid Mikhelson$22.6B -$9.87B66
#3Alexey Mordashov$22.5B -$6.32B 67
#4Vladimir Lisin$21.6B-$6.44B69
#5Alisher Usmanov$19.0B-$2.25B 89
#6Andrey Melnichenko$17.8B+$0.35B99
#7Viktor Vekselberg$16.7B-$1.79B107
#8Roman Abramovich$14.1B-$3.90B132
#9Mikhail Prokhorov$13.8B-$0.23B138
#10Suleiman Kerimov$11.8B -$3.37B177
Total$185.8B-$38.8B

*Based on Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as of March 24, 2022

Former First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and a close associate to President Vladimir Putin, Potanin is a major benefactor of the arts. He recently stepped down from the board of the Guggenheim Museum, after 20 years as a trustee.

Arts and luxury are common among the Russian oligarchs.

The Russian ultra-rich are also among the biggest owners of private jets and superyachts⁠—some of which are getting snagged by law enforcement as part of the sanctions designed to crack down on Russia.

The fifth-richest man in Russia, Alisher Usmanov, owns Dilbar, the largest motor yacht in the world by gross tonnage. The boat is 512-feet long and reportedly cost $800 million, employing 84 full-time crew members.

dilbar superyacht facts, owned by Alisher Usmanov, the largest motor yacht in the world by gross tonnage

Named after Usmanov’s mother, the yacht was seized by German authorities who later discovered that it’s really owned by a Malta-based firm and registered in the Cayman Islands.

Besides art and luxury, the Russian oligarchs are also deeply involved with sports.

Roman Abramovich, once Russia’s richest man, is the departing owner of Chelsea Football Club, a London-based soccer team. He was sanctioned by the UK while trying to sell the club for $3.9B.

Besides Abramovich, Mikhail Prokhorov—founder of Onexim Group, a Moscow-based company with interests in banking, insurance, and real estate—owned the Brooklyn Nets basketball team and its home arena from 2009 to 2019.

The list also includes Vladimir Lisin, chairman of the steel group NLMK. A shooting sports enthusiast, he is the president of the European Shooting Confederation.

Fading Fortunes? Not so Fast

This is not the first time Russian oligarchs have faced tough economic sanctions. Since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, 20 Russian billionaires have been sanctioned by the EU, U.S., U.K., Switzerland, or Canada.

Most of them have real estate ownership in relatives’ names or have assets registered in tax havens like the British Virgin Islands or the Isle of Man.

For example, upon being hit by sanctions, steel baron Alexey Mordashov transferred his majority stake in gold miner Nordgold to his wife, Marina.

Despite the crash of the ruble and the tanking of the Moscow stock market, Russian oligarchs are still able to shield their money and assets in creative ways.

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Money

Visualizing Wealth Distribution in America (1990-2023)

Wealth distribution in America is becoming increasingly unequal, with the wealth held by the top 0.1% reaching its highest level on record.

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Visualizing Wealth Distribution in America

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Wealth distribution in America has become increasingly concentrated since 1990.

Today, the share of wealth held by the richest 0.1% is currently at its peak, with households in the highest rung having a minimum of $38 million in wealth. Overall, roughly 131,000 households fall into this elite wealth bracket.

This graphic charts patterns in U.S. household wealth, based on data from the Federal Reserve.

Distribution of U.S. Household Wealth

Below, we show how the share of household wealth breaks down by wealth bracket:

Share of Household Wealth2023 (%)2020 (%)2010 (%)2000 (%)1990 (%)
Top 0.1%141311109
99-99.9%1718181714
90-99%
3638403637
50-90%
3129313436
Bottom 50%
32<134

Figures are as of Q4 for each year aside form 2023 where Q3 data was used based on the most recently available data.

With $20 trillion in wealth, the top 0.1% earn on average $3.3 million in income each year.

The greatest share of their wealth is held in corporate equities and mutual funds, which make up over one-third of their assets. Since 1990, their total share of wealth has grown from from 9% to 14% in 2023—the biggest jump across all wealth brackets.

In fact, the richest 0.1% and 1% were the only two rungs to see their share increase since 1990.

Meanwhile, the greatest decline was seen across the 50-90% bracket—households in the lower-middle and middle classes. Those in this rung have a minimum $165,000 in wealth with the majority of assets in real estate, followed by pension and retirement benefits.

Averaging $51,000 in wealth, the bottom 50% make up the lowest share, accounting for 3% of the wealth distribution in America. Income growth across this bracket has increased by over 10% between 2020 and 2022, higher than all other brackets aside from the top 1%.

Overall, the top 10% richest own more than the bottom 90% combined, with $95 trillion in wealth.

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