Mikhail Fridman (Co-founder, LetterOne)
Mr Fridman is one of the original founders of LetterOne.
Mikhail Fridman is an international businessman and co-founder of LetterOne, the international investment business, headquartered in Luxembourg, with offices in London and New York. Mikhail was born into a Jewish family, in Lvov, Ukraine on 21 April 1964, which before WWII, was part of Poland. His parents now live in Cologne in Germany. Mikhail graduated from school in Lvov in 1980, where he won school Olympiads in physics and mathematics. After graduating from university with a first class degree, he started work as an entrepreneur. Together with several partners he has built private businesses, from the bottom up, in retail banking; telecoms; insurance and water. He is co-founder of the ABHH group based in Luxembourg, which invests in banking groups, that provide retail banking services – for more than five million people and has about 40,000 corporate customers. In 1995 he and his partners entered the food retail market. They started with a handful of retail stores. The company they created – is today “X5 Retail Group”, which is listed in London – is the No.1 food retailer in Russia – with 9000 stores. In 2003 he completed a deal with BP to form the 50/50 TNK–BP joint venture, which was sold for $56 billion in 2012. Mikhail is a member of the International Advisory Board of the New York based Council on Foreign Relations. He is also the founder of the international Jazz festival in Lvov, which is now one of Europe’s top 10 Jazz festivals. He is an active supporter of Jewish initiatives worldwide – including co-founding the Genesis Prize, which is awarded annually in Jerusalem, and has been dubbed the Jewish Nobel by Time magazine. He also co-founded the Genesis Philanthropy Group, which develops and enhances a sense of Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews worldwide.