Michael Friedman: biography, creativity, career, personal life

The total state of Mikhail Friedman’s assets rolled over for 10 billion dollars back in 2007. According to Forbes magazine, businessman is one of the leading places in the list of richest representatives of Russia, tenth in the list of rich people in Great Britain and first in the list of residents of London. Who is he and where? How came to the top of financial Olympus?


Mikhail Maratovich Friedman is a native of the city of Lviv, came from an average family of engineers. It came to light on 21 April 1964. Besides him in the family was another son, the eldest. The boy’s parents were involved in developing navigation systems for aviation, his dad was even awarded a prize for creating an identification system for military aircraft (among other development authors).

Michael graduated from the school on “excellent”. To games with his peers, he preferred classes in the exact sciences — chemistry, mathematics, physics. He did not receive a gold medal due to one “four” in Russian. Hoping for his perfect knowledge, he went after graduation to the capital — dreamed of going to the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, one of the most prestigious universities in the country. But this dream was not destined to come true — the entrance exams the young man failed, he had to return home.

But Mikhail Fridman didn’t refuse his desire to study in Moscow. A year after failing at MIPTI, he easily enrolled at MISS, the faculty of rare earth and non-ferrous metals. In parallel with his studies, he began his work activities, not exactly legal, but generating income. Entrepreneurial vein at the young man manifested already during the period of student life.

Beginning of career

The first income to Mikhail Friedman brought art. As a child, at the urging of his mother and grandmother, he attended music school, played piano well, was a member of the school ensemble. This is the direction the young man chose as a source of income.

At first, Mikhail took up reselling tickets to the theater. Where and how he got tickets for the best, ancholage productions — it is unknown, but the additional income received impressive.

The guy didn’t spend money on entertainment, and invested in another, no less profitable business. He took up the organization of entertainment activities for students from the hostel, where he lived himself. Mikhail Fridman organized the youth club “Straganichnaya Polyana”, within the framework of which there were discos, concerts of famous and novice vocalists, bards in the hall of the hostel. Performers he paid for the performance from 20 to 30 rubles, which was quite a high “dachshund” for those times. Besides, Friedman was engaged in “fartsa” – got and sold brand things.

It was during that period that Mikhail Fridman met and befriended future associates in big business. Almost immediately after graduation, he engaged in commercial activities, the benefit of changes in the country allowed to do so.

Big business

Two years after graduation Mikhail Fridman worked as a design engineer at Elektrostal. In parallel, he developed his first business of his own, the Courier Cooperative, specialized in window washing. And in 1989, together with several like-minded people, he created a company selling computers and components to them, software, photographic materials, copying equipment.

In the early 90’s Mikhail Fridman was already a well-held businessman. Its activities included several areas:


  • sale of art objects, the
  • trade in food products,
  • investment and insurance,
  • processing and oil, gas,
  • telecommunication services,
  • innovative technologies,
  • banking sector and everything associated with it.$

Now with the name of Mikhail Friedman such well-known corporations and business directions as trading networks “Pyaterochka”, “Kopeyka”, “Carousel”, pharmacy network “A5”, “Alfa-Bank”, investment group LetterOne and others.

Charity and Politics

The political activities of Michael Friedman are not related to the government of any country. It actively supports two Jewish organizations, the Russian Jewish Congress and the European Jewish Foundation. Moreover, he is one of the founders of the first organization.

For many years there has been a charitable foundation created by Mikhail Friedman called “Lifeline”. He is in the business of funding expensive treatment for seriously ill children. Money to the fund comes not only from voluntary donations, but also from Friedman himself, from his business brainchild, Alpha Bank.

In addition, Mikhail Maratovich funds the development of Jewish cultural projects. For example, he paid the cost of creating the film “Russian Jews”.

Personal life

Mikhail Fridman was married twice — in official and civil. His fellow student Olga Aiziman became the first spouse of the businessman. The marriage lasted more than 20 years, the couple had two daughters — Larissa (1993) and Katya (1996). In the early 2000s, the couple decided to break up, the girls together with their mother went to France. So far Michael fully funds their lives.

In a civil marriage with Oksana Ozhelskaya, Friedman had two children — son Alexander (2000) and daughter Nick (2006). The media wrote that it was the new sweetheart that caused Friedman’s divorce from his first wife. But he didn’t comment on the situation himself.


businessman’s second marriage lasted no small 10 years, but eventually broke up too. Now Mikhail Maratovich lives secluded, spending most of his time in his London residence. The man engages in extreme crossings in jeeps, collects samurai weapons.

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