The former co-owner of NorNickel and a presidential candidate, as well as Russia’s tallest billionaire about money, sports and parties with beautiful girls
In January 2007, a scandal erupted in Courchevel, Switzerland. Local police arrested a two-member Russian businessman. It was Mikhail Prokhorov #11, he was accused of pimping. Later, suspicions were dropped, and five years later, Prokhorov registered his candidacy for the presidential election and managed to take third place with 7.98% of the vote. After that, however, his political career was on the wane.
Prokhorov may not have turned out to be a great politician, but what he was good at was his business acumen. In 2008, during his bitter divorce from Vladimir Potanin, he sold a 25% stake in Norilsk Nickel to Oleg Deripaska, leaving his former partner to deal with the uncooperative aluminum king on his own. A war between Deripaska and Potanin immediately broke out over control of MMC. At the same time, the crisis hit; Norilsk’s market capitalization in December 2008 slumped fourfold, to $12 billion, and Prokhorov topped Forbes’ list in 2009 with a bag of cash and a fortune of $9.5 billion.
Once again, Prokhorov demonstrated wonders of foresight when he got rid of UC Rusal shares in a few approaches by February 2018. And he did it in time: already in April, the United States imposed unprecedentedly harsh sanctions against Russia, under which the main shareholders of UC Rusal – Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg # 22 . Forbes recalled the most striking statements by one of the richest men in the country and the most enviable bachelor billionaire.
Money is always a question of trust. If there is confidence in the currency, it is, according to Marx, a universal equivalent. If there is no trust, then it is not.
The human mind will always come up with something that will not have time to be regulated by the state, and some of these ideas, under certain conditions, may well turn into something quite real.
Secretly helping someone who needs it is generally a very sure way of experiencing a sense of genuine joy that gives your existence extra meaning. But as soon as you start to PR, the joy disappears. So I want to keep it inside of me, it’s my own, and I’m not going to share it with anybody.
I’m good at resenting myself. On others, not so much.
If a person lacks self-irony, his fate is unenviable.
I went to work very early. I wanted to do it myself, and the time was like that. So ever since then I’ve been in that mode, and I’m not very interested in the domestic part of life. No, I like to eat. I need at least six hours of sleep a day. But I spend the rest of the time at work, so I have no time to enjoy the estates, and I don’t really want to.
Once I got a candy with strong liquor, and since then I know that I do not like the taste of alcohol very much.
I care a lot more about the evaluation inside the team than what they say on the outside. Authority inside is gained on a daily basis. Even in a team built around your ownership, personal qualities and the ability to do things better than others are important.
I’d honestly rather be lost at the bottom of the [Forbes] top ten to get less attention. I sat quietly for 16 years. And I was always comfortable that all the glory of our group was collected by my former partner Potanin.
It is possible to be a socially responsible businessman and at the same time lead a lifestyle that differs from some generally accepted standards. Perhaps this irritates some people, but I have always been against double standards. That is why I got burned a couple of years ago in Courchevel.
I don’t like double standards. I have seen some businessmen who have painted an image for themselves, but do not conform to it completely. And then the problems begin – I want to do one thing, but the image does not allow. I am not a politician, I am not an artist, I am in business. And my private life is my personal choice. I’m not going to pretend at all, it’s uncomfortable for me. I don’t hide anything from anybody. That is, if I like going to discos, I go, if I like hanging out with beautiful girls, I hang out. I already have very little time left for personal things after work, so I want to do whatever I like.
Our advantage is a heightened point of creativity. A third of Silicon Valley is made up of our former compatriots. As one famous American figure used to say: “If you Russians could add German clarity, there would be a supernation. But apparently nature does not need supernation, which is why we are such slackers.
It should not be easy in business. It has to be hard, and businessmen have to take more risk and love it. It’s part of the profession. If you like risk, go into business. Easier – no, harder – I don’t think so. I’ve definitely gotten more interested. Even though my businesses have no debts and have cash in accounts, I don’t have to relax.
I never act on the conspiracy theory. They say, “The West is hurting us. I believe that the weak are always being hurt, and that the strong must be able to defend themselves.
Some people think that sport is a hobby, but for me it is a system of survival. After sports I am calm, balanced, rested.
The difference between business and politics is that in politics people’s trust is the currency. If you lose that trust once, you can’t get it back. And in business there are constant ups and downs.
For me it is an important psychological moment. All my life I worked as the first number one and made decisions myself. I cannot be a deputy minister or deputy prime minister. For 26 years I have been making decisions and managing. My head does not fit into this model – to be someone’s deputy.
A politician who is not beaten is not a politician. I’ve made a point. Taking on a political party without a political fight is the wrong way to go.
I have a phone in my car. And here. I’m at work all the time. I practice here, too. And what happens if I hear the news in half an hour? That’s some kind of psychological slavery. I mean, a dealer or a journalist, they need to know everything now. But I deal with large systems. Immediate information is bad for me.
I grew up as an eternally hungry accelerator, I played sports and I was always hungry. Once I saw a movie about a squad of red commanders breaking through the wall of a kulak barn and climbing into the cellar. And there was ham, baked pork, pickles… Anyway, I wrote an essay that I wanted to be a hero of this film. The parents were called to school. The teacher says: why aren’t you feeding your child?! Mom came back and said: are you completely stupid? Write that you want to be a cosmonaut. And that’s how I went on.