Leonid Mikhelson

(biography, photos, videos) Leonid Mikhel’son

photo Leonid Mikhelson

  • Name: Leonid Mikhelson ( Leonid Mikhel’son )
  • Date of birth: 11 August 1955.
  • Age: 61 years
  • Place of birth: Kaspiysk, Russia
  • Height: 175
  • Activity: the Russian entrepreneur, billionaire, head of the gas company «NOVATEK», the largest shareholder of netholding SIBUR
  • Marital status: Married

    Leonid Mikhelson: a biography

    Leonid Mikhelson is one of the leaders among Russia’s richest businessmen, who in 2016, took first place among the richest people in the country. His fortune is estimated at $14.4 billion, allowing it to occupy the 60th position in the Top richest people in the world. To such a financial success, billionaire came through the extraordinary diligence and dedication as he started his career as a foreman at the plant for the construction of the pipeline, rising to head the second largest gas company in Russia, «NOVATEK».

    Born Leonid Viktorovich Mikhelson August 11, 1955 in Kaspiysk, located in Dagestan. His father, Victor Zelmanovich was the Builder of the pipeline, and after the birth of her son became the Director of «Kuybyshevtruboprovodstroy», the mother of the future oligarch, Praskovya Fyodorovna, also worked in the construction industry. After the birth of a son, the family of Michelson immediately moved to Berlin, where he spent his childhood and youth of the future tycoon.

    In the school years Leonid Mikhelson paid much attention to education and were high achievers among their peers. Father since childhood attracted him to the oil and gas business so regularly take to the fields.

    In 1972, oil and gas magnate finished school and entered the Kuibyshev construction Institute, from which he graduated with a degree in civil engineering. As a young professional, Leonid Viktorovich went to develop Siberia, where he worked as a foreman on the construction of the largest gas pipeline «Urengoy-Chelyabinsk».

    After five years of active work career path Michelson became the first to achieve heights. First, the future oligarch was promoted to the position of the head line on the «Kuybyshevtruboprovodstroy», and soon became the chief engineer of similar enterprises in Ryazan.


    The turning point in the successful career of Leonid Mikhelson began in 1987, when his father died. Then he headed «Kuybyshevtruboprovodstroy». For this purpose taken care of in advance father, which caused considerable discontent among the working class of the trust. But the new head of the company has proved its professionalism on the field, so it soon became the most influential specialist in the oil and gas sector to be reckoned with colleagues from all over Russia.

    In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union «Kuybyshevtruboprovodstroy» became the first Russian privatized enterprise which was renamed to SNP Nova. In the same period, under the leadership of the Michelson people’s company received a large-scale development in Tyumen oblast, where they took control of the largest gas field East-Tarkosalinskoye of the site.

    In 1994, the «New» was controlled OAO Novafininvest, led by Michelson. This company had been not the construction of oil pipelines and extraction of hydrocarbons. In a few years that the enterprise was transformed into a new large company NOVATEK, which today is the largest gas company in Russia after Gazprom.

    In the late 90-ies Leonid Mikhelson added to its assets the only Russian plant manufacturing insulating materials for pipelines «Truboizolyatsiya». In 2005, acquired the Purovsky processing plant condensate, which has allowed NOVATEK to independently export gas via its own terminal in the White sea. Did NOVATEK is the only independent oil and gas company on the Russian market.

    Besides oil and gas, Leonid Mikhelson interested in the banking sector. In 2000, he took control of the Tolyatti Bank «Suasiveness», which in 2008 was renamed to First United Bank. He is also the owner of the Fund of the regional non-profit project «the GIFT». In 2011 oil and gas magnate, became Chairman of the Board of Directors of the largest Russian petrochemical holding «SIBUR».

    Like most Russian billionaires Leonid Mikhelson actively involved in charity work. He is the founder of the Foundation for contemporary art «Victoria — Art to Be Modern». The Fund got its name after the daughter of an oligarch Victoria. Its main idea is the integration of Russian art into the global art context.

    Personal life

    Personal life Leonid Mikhelson has little substantiated facts, as the billionaire does not like to put it on display. It is known that in the beginning of his career path, he married a childhood friend, Lyudmila, with which they have been together for over 25 years.

    In 1992, the couple Mikhelson was born the only daughter of Victoria, which is called the rich heiress Russia. Girl leads a secular lifestyle, takes part in all kinds of fashion promotions and «events» for the Metropolitan elite. The daughter of Leonid Viktorovich was also involved in the development of the parent Fund for contemporary art – she headed the Samara branch of the gallery, and also founded her own charitable Foundation for children.

    Free from business time, Leonid Mikhelson like to devote to your family and sport. He enjoys volleyball, being a sponsor of volleyball club «NOVA» in his native Novokuybyshevsk. Also he is actively involved in infrastructure development in his hometown – thanks to billionaire school No. 8, which he in due time graduated, entered the TOP 100 best educational institutions of Russia.


    The condition of Leonid Mikhelson in 2016 is estimated at 14.4 billion dollars, which allowed him to become the richest businessman of Russia. Compared to the previous year the financial assets of billionaire rose by almost 3 billion, and raised it to a leading position in the ranking of the richest Russians. Among the world’s oligarchs Leonid Viktorovich occupies the 60th place.


    Leonid Mikhelson

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