In an appearance at the Russian Frobes Club last week, Jewish Billionaire Mikhail Maratovich Fridman, 52, who is worth $14.2 billion according to Forbes, which ranks him second wealthiest Russian, said he plans to leave almost all his fortune to charity. Nothing to his children.
“I’m not a big fan of this kind of public announcements,” Fridman told the Forbes Club audience, “but I can say that I am going to leave all my money to charity. I don’t plan to leave any money to my children.”
Fridman is a major patron of Jewish initiatives in Russia and elsewhere in Europe. In 1996 he was one of the founders of the Russian Jewish Congress. He makes large contributions to the European Jewish Fund, a non-profit organization promoting tolerance and reconciliation.
Fridman, together with Stan Polovets and fellow Russian Jewish billionaires Alexander Knaster, Pyotr Aven, and German Khan, founded the Genesis Philanthropy Group, to develop and enhance Jewish identity among Jews worldwide. In 2014, at the first annual Genesis Prize event in Jerusalem, Fridman told the audience that the prize is intended to inspire the next generation of Jews with the example of the Laureates’ outstanding professional achievement, contributions to humanity and commitment to Jewish values.
The Ukraine born Fridman shares control of Alfa Group, the biggest financial and industrial investment group in Russia, with two college buddies and now billionaires German Khan and Alexei Kuzmichev. They have been partners since 1989, when they launched Alfa-Eco, then Alfa-Bank—today the biggest private bank in Russia. The three college buddies bought Tyumen Oil from the Russian state in the late 1990s, merged it with BP’s Russian assets to form TNK-BP, then sold their stakes in 2013. Alfa Group has stakes in telecommunication giant Vimpelcom; owns Russia’s second-biggest retailer, X5; bought German oil and gas company DEA for $5.7 billion in 2015; and invested $200 million in Uber in 2016. (Source: Forbes)
Fridman, who has four children, the youngest is 10 and the eldest 22, told his Russian audience he wants his children to follow in his footsteps and create something on their own. He also confessed that he is worried his elder daughter Laura, 22, be targeted by bad people, which is something to be considered when you’re a very wealthy Russian.
Fridman revealed that his two close friends and business partners have made the same decision regarding their own children.