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Suleyman Kerimov

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Firuza Kerimova

Net worth
20 billion USD (2021)

Suleyman Kerimov

Abusaid Kerimov

Investor, Politician

Suleyman Kerimov Suleyman Kerimov

March 12, 1966 (age 54) (
Dagestan, USSR

Alma mater
Dagestan State University

Representative of the legislative authority of the Republic of Dagestan

The Suleyman Kerimov Foundation

Gulnara Kerimova, Abusaid Kerimov, Aminat Kerimova

Dagestan State University (1986–1989)

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Suleyman kerimov

Suleyman Abusaidovich Kerimov (Russian: Сулейма́н Абусаи́дович Кери́мов; [sʊlʲɪjˈman ɐbʊsɐˈidəvʲɪtɕ kʲɪˈrʲiməf]; Lezgian: Керимрин Абусаидан хва Сулейман), Lezgin, born March 12, 1966 in Derbent, Dagestan, USSR, is a Russian businessman, investor and politician. Since 2008, Kerimov has represented the Republic of Dagestan in the Federation Council of Russia.


Suleyman Kerimov Suleyman Kerimov CrunchBase


Net Worth

Most financial analysts attribute his success to the ability to smartly invest in assets with high development potential. Throughout his career, Suleyman Kerimov has owned several major assets. He was the controlling shareholder in Polymetal, potash giant Uralkali, construction company PIK Group and many others.

Most financial analysts attribute his success to the ability to smartly invest in assets with high development potential. Throughout his career, Suleyman Kerimov has owned several major assets. He was the controlling shareholder in Polymetal, potash giant Uralkali, construction company PIK Group and many others.

Early years

Suleyman Kerimov Russian billionaire Suleyman Kerimov may face criminal

Born in Russia’s southernmost city of Derbent, which is at the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains, Suleyman Kerimov is the younger son in a large family. His father was considered the best attorney in the regional criminal investigation department and his mother was an accountant at a savings bank. 

Suleyman Kerimov Suleiman Kerimov Family Celebrity Family

From a young age, Suleyman liked mathematics, played chess, and appreciated other STEM disciplines. He also devoted much of his time to physical training—he practiced judo (with wrestling and martial arts being very popular in Dagestan) and kettlebell lifting. As a competitive athlete, he had many achievements. While studying at a university, he attained a high rank in judo, and while in the military service, he won his division’s championship in kettlebell lifting.

Suleyman Kerimov wwwkerimovfoundationorgfileadminprocessedcs

1983-1989: Military Service and University

At school, Suleyman Kerimov was a good student. He graduated with excellent grades. Kerimov then successfully passed the entrance exams to university and enrolled as an architecture and construction student at Dagestan State University.

At the time, universities did not grant draft deferment to their students, and, in 1984, Kerimov was called up for a 2-year period of service in the Strategic Missile Forces. Rising through the ranks, he became a senior sergeant and a crew commander.

In 1986, he returned to university to resume his studies, though this time he pursued an economics degree and graduated in 1989. At the same time, he became very involved in trade union activities at the school.

1993: Moving to Moscow

Suleyman Kerimov started working immediately upon graduation. In 1989, he took an entry-level job as an economist at Eltav, a public electronics factory in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan. Within just a few years, he went from being an economic advisor to becoming director general.

In 1993, Eltav founded Federal Industrial Bank in Moscow. Kerimov was made Eltav’s official representative to the bank and moved to Moscow. In 1995, he was appointed deputy director general and later director general of the Soyuz-Finance trade and finance company.

Research Activities

In 1997, Suleyman Kerimov made a career pivot and went into research in the field of economics. Eventually, he became vice president of the International Corporations Institute, a nonprofit organization specializing in giving advice to Russian businesses. At the same time, Kerimov received a PhD after successfully defending his doctoral dissertation on the role of transnational corporations in the implementation of industrial policies within developed economies. In 1999, Suleyman Kerimov left the International Corporations Institute and entered politics.

Suleyman Kerimov Suleiman Kerimov


Suleyman Kerimov Suleiman Kerimov Family Celebrity Family

In 1993, Kerimov was put in charge of handling relations between Eltav and Fedprombank, a Moscow bank established by the electrical company. Fedprombank financed lagging industries and Kerimov and his associates soon becames creditors to large utility companies, allowing them to continue to provide key services. Once the Russian economy stabilized, the debts were repaid with hefty returns for Fedprombank and, consequently, Kerimov.

In 1995, Kerimov was appointed to head the banking and trading company Soyuz-Finans, and by 1997, Kerimov had built a 50% stake in Vnukovo Airlines and used his leverage to take over Fedprombank, buying out his partners’ shares.

Nafta Moskva

In late 1999, Kerimov bought a 55% stake in the oil trading company Nafta Moskva, the successor to the Soviet monopoly firm Soyuznefteexport, for $50 million. By 2000, he had increased his stake of Nafta Moskva to 100%. Kerimov undertook a mass restructuring of the company, selling off all of the oil-related aspects and creating an investment and holding company. Nafta's investments in the mid-2000s included purchase of the business center Smolensky Passazh and AvtoBank.

Gazprom and Sberbank investments

In 2003, Kerimov managed to secure a $43 million loan from the state-owned Vnesheconombank, which he invested in the oil and gas company Gazprom. Within the next year, share prices for the Russian gas company doubled and Kerimov was able to pay off the entirety of the loan within four months. In 2004 Sberbank, now the largest bank in Russia and Eastern Europe, provided Kerimov with a loan of $3.2 billion., which was later repaid, and these funds were also invested in equities. By 2008, Kerimov had amassed a 5% stake in Gazprom, a 6% stake in Sberbank, along with an estimated fortune of $17.5 billion, making him the 36th richest man in the world. However, in mid-2008, Kerimov sold all his Gazprom and Sberbank shares.


In November 2005, Kerimov’s Nafta Moskva acquired JSC Polymetal, one of Russia’s largest gold and silver mining companies. In 2007, he took the company public on the London Stock Exchange, then sold 70% of his shares in 2008 before gold would go on to climb to an all-time high in 2011. In 2008, Kerimov sold control over Polymetal.

Role in the 2008 crisis

As markets around the world began to tighten in 2007, Kerimov and his associates expected that Russia would suffer more than the West from the impending economic crisis. A concerted effort was thus made to build closer ties with Western banks. Kerimov decreased his stakes in Gazprom and other Russian blue chips and approached Wall Street, proposing to invest the vast majority of his fortune to defend the institutions from short-sellers. In return, it was expected that Kerimov would receive favorable lending terms for future loans.

In 2007, Kerimov invested billions in Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and other financial institutions. Though neither Kerimov nor the Western banks have disclosed the exact size of his investment, it was sizeable enough for Kerimov to receive a call from the United States Treasury during the darkest days of the economic crisis imploring the Russian oligarch not to sell his stakes.

Polyus Gold

Following his losses during the economic crisis, Kerimov shifted his investment strategy to buying stakes large enough to influence the strategies of the companies he invests in. In 2009, Nafta Moskva bought a $1.3 billion stake (37% stake) in OAO Polyus Gold, Russia’s largest gold producer, from Vladimir Potanin.

Later the stake was increased up to 40.2%. In 2012 the company held an IPO on the London Stock Exchange. In 2015 Kerimov's companies consolidated a 95% equity stake in Polyus Gold. After the shares buy-back, the gold miner was delisted from the LSE.

Property developer PIK Group

In the spring of 2009, shareholders of Russia's construction giant PIK Group sold 25% of their company's shares to Kerimov. PIK required extra funding after their debt level reached $1.98 billion, and the value of their capital fell by more than 40 times to $279.9 million. Nafta Moskva later increased its stake in PIK Group to 38.3%.

In December 2013 Kerimov sold his shares to property investor Sergei Gordeev and businessman Alexander Mamut, who owns a stake in precious metals miner Polymetal.


In June 2010, Kerimov and his partners Alexander Nesis and Filaret Galtchev together paid Dmitry Rybolovlev an estimated $5.3 billion for a 53% stake in Russian potash giant Uralkali, which, together with Belaruskali, makes up the duopoly that controls 70% of the global potash market: the Belarusian Potash Company (BPC). Kerimov secured substantial loans from Russia’s VTB bank for the Uralkali takeover.

In July 2013, Uralkali announced it was pulling out of the BPC cartel, dropping prices and increasing production to maximum capacity in a grab for market share. The immediate consequences on the global economy have been a 25% drop in potash prices to around $340 a tonne, harming the prospects of both Canadian producers and the Belarusian economy. Belarusian authorities estimate they may lose up to $1 billion a year.

Two weeks after Uralkali’s July announcement, Belarusian prime minister Mikhail Myasnikovich responded by inviting Kerimov and the Uralkali managers to Minsk to discuss the current situation. Uralkali's then-CEO Vladislav Baumgertner attended in Kerimov’s place and was arrested by state security forces and charged with "abuse of power".

In the meantime, Belarus also opened a criminal investigation into other Uralkali employees and its main shareholder Suleyman Kerimov. Baumgertner was held in a Belarusian KGB jail until a plan to change ownership of Uralkali was announced, and Belarus then extradited Baumgertner to Russia. Belarus put Kerimov on the national wanted list, and also requested Interpol to publish a Red Notice for him. Interpol clarified later that no Red Notice had been issued and that the request was political in nature. The Belarusian authorities later withdrew the case against Kerimov and closed the criminal investigation. By December 2013, Kerimov sold 21,75% of Uralkali shares to Prohorov and 19,99 % to Uralchem.

Media portrayal of business style

Forbes magazine describes Kerimov as one of the most private Russian billionaires, who has not given a single interview over 20 years in business.

Moscow Times quoted a former deputy editor of Forbes Magazine Russia Kirill Vishnepolsky as describing Kerimov as a "Russian Warren Buffet" for a similarly astute investment style.

A senior Moscow banker is reported to have said of Kerimov: "Sometimes it is difficult to talk to him. He is always a few steps ahead of you. For foreigners, it is next to impossible, even those used to a Russian environment. He is very quick and creative, in a sense that ideas come to him that don’t come to other people".

Kerimov reportedly made extensive use of leverage for his investments, according to financiers and bankers active in Russia.

His financial success is based on investments that have significant growth potential with a strategy focused on locking in asset capital gain through resale.

FC Anzhi Makhachkala

In 2011, Kerimov purchased FC Anzhi Makhachkala — his hometown football club which competes in the Russian Premier League.

FC acquired number of famous players, the most striking were international stars Roberto Carlos and Samuel Eto'o from Inter Milan, Yuri Zhirkov from FC Chelsea.

In March 2012, it was reported that Kerimov had given the club a summer transfer budget of over €230 million, in an attempt to qualify for the UEFA Champions League within the next three seasons.

Apart from FC Anzhi, Kerimov financed the construction of a modern football stadium Anzhi Arena for 30,000 spectators and teams from Anzhi's Youth Football Academy.

In August 2013, as a part of new long-term strategy for the club, it was decided to scale back the club's annual budget by $50–70 million, down from their previous outlay of $180 million a season. The club sold some international players and recruited Russian young players instead.

Kerimov sold the club to Osman Kadiyev on 28 December 2016.

Business controversy over Nafta Moskva

Shortly after Kerimov bought into Nafta Moskva, the company found itself in a conflict with businessman Andrei Andreev. Andreev's assets were transferred to Nafta Moskva, Millhouse Capital and Basic Element. Further dispute brought the parties to the court.

In July 2004 Andreev and Nafta Moskva reached an amicable settlement and the dispute was resolved.

Moskva Hotel ownership and associated issues

Nafta Moskva, controlled by Kerimov, acquired a 25% stake in the Hotel Moskva project, a multibillion-dollar project to construct a replica of the enormous Stalin-era luxury hotel demolished in 2004. in February 2009, closing the deal by January 2010. In September 2010, Member of Russian Parliament Ashot Egiazaryan accused Kerimov of conspiring with the city government of Moscow to forcibly acquire his 25% stake in the project. After claiming he received death threats, Egiazaryan fled to the United States to seek asylum and filed lawsuits in a civil court in Cyprus, the London Court of International Arbitration and on Capitol Hill claiming that a campaign of threats of criminal prosecution and armed police raids forced him to give up his shares. According to Kerimov's lawyer Mr Egiazaryan transferred his interest in the Moskva Hotel as part of a legitimate business deal but was overextended and was deep in debt. Mr Egiazaryan was facing financial ruin.

Pending deliberation by the courts, Kerimov’s assets were frozen, upsetting Uralkali’s $39 billion joint bid with Chinese company Sinochem for the Canadian Potash Corp. The Nicosia district court in Cyprus lifted Kerimov’s billion dollar asset freeze in February 2011, arguing that the plaintiffs "failed to prove the urgency of their petition." According to Egiazaryan’s lawyer, Andreas Haviaras, the Cyprus ruling was based on "technicalities" and did not prejudge the merits of the case.

The hotel reopened in 2014 under the Four Seasons brand. In October 2015, Suleiman Kerimov sold his interest in the property to businessmen Yury and Alexey Khotiny for an undisclosed amount.

Member of the State Duma

From 1999-2003, Kerimov was a member of the State Duma of the 3rd Convocation — the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia — as well as a member of the State Duma Committee for Security. From 2003-2007, while continuing his role on the Committee for Security, he was also a member of the 4th Convocation and Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Physical Education, Sports and Youth. He first gained a seat in parliament with the Liberal Democratic Party, led by Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

Member of the Federation Council

Since 2008, Kerimov has served as a member of the Federation Council of the Federation Assembly of the Russian Federation — the upper house of the Federation Assembly— and represents the Republic of Dagestan.

In response to the Russian parliament’s passage of a bill prohibiting government officials from holding foreign-issued securities and bank accounts abroad, Kerimov transferred his assets to the Suleyman Kerimov Foundation, a charity registered in Switzerland, in May 2013. This way, he retained both his position in the Federation Council and beneficiary rights to his business assets. Suleiman Kerimov was re-elected to the Federation Council in September 2016.

Endorsement of Moscow

In October 2011, Kerimov used his connections to fly Western financial figures such as Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan, Richard Parsons of Citigroup and Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone to Moscow in support of Medvedev’s initiative to turn Moscow into an "international financial centre".

In 2007 Kerimov got involved in the reconstruction of the Moscow Cathedral Mosque, which opened in September 2015 and is the largest in Europe . Kerimov donated a total of $100 million to the project.

Family Life and Hobbies

Suleyman Kerimov has three children—two daughters and a son. His elder brother is a medical doctor, and his elder sister teaches Russian language and literature at a school. Suleyman Kerimov enjoys soccer, judo, and yachting.

Philanthropic Activities

In 2013, Suleyman Kerimov transferred the rights to all his assets to the Suleyman Kerimov Foundation that was established in 2007. The foundation provides financial support to dozens of programs in the field of education, culture, sports, and many others. It works to preserve religious heritage, sponsoring research in medicine and technology and helping the vulnerable.

The Suleyman Kerimov Foundation works in close partnership with many Russian and international organizations. The foundation donated over $100 million for the construction of the Moscow Cathedral Mosque. Opened in 2015, the mosque is the biggest in Europe.

Suleyman Kerimov Suleyman Kerimov

In the photo: Suleiman Kerimov with the Chairman of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Russian Federation and the Council of Muftis of Russia, Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin

Between 2007 and 2012, Kerimov headed the Board of Trustees of the Russian Wrestling Federation. He initiated and developed the Fight and Win program through which Russia’s national wrestling team won several dozens of gold medals at the Olympic Games and World Championships. In many ways, this philanthropic initiative helped to preserve wrestling as an Olympic sport through the development of new rules and formats of competition.

Suleyman Kerimov Suleyman Kerimov

In the photo: Olympic champion Bakhtiyar Akhmedov dedicated the Beijing Olympics medal to Suleiman Kerimov.

Suleyman Kerimov’s wife, Firuza, also engages in charitable activities. She supports a number of important social initiatives through her Territory of Good foundation.

Suleyman Kerimov Suleyman Kerimov

In the photo: Suleyman Kerimov with his wife Firuza Kerimova

Suleyman Kerimov became a sponsor of the Sirius educational centre for gifted children, located in Sochi and Dagestan.

Recognitions and Honors

The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) honored Kerimov the "Gold Medal" in 2013.

On March 10, 2016, Kerimov was recognized with an award for outstanding social contribution to the Republic of Dagestan, by the Head of the Republic, Ramazan Abdulatipov.

On February 8, 2017 Kerimov and his wife received an award from Andrei Vorobyov, Governor of Moscow Oblast, recognizing their contribution to the reconstruction of the Zarechenskaya secondary school, and their service to the Moscow region.

On March 20, 2017 Suleyman Kerimov was awarded the Order for Merit to the Fatherland of II degree by President Vladimir Putin for his outstanding contribution to the development of parliamentarianism and legislation.


Suleyman Kerimov Wikipedia