Vladimir Olegovich Potanin (Владимир Олегович Потанин in Russian; born January 3, 1961) is a Russian businessman and oligarch. His partner has been for many years Mikhail Prokhorov. He acquired his wealth notably through the controversial loans-for-shares program in Russia.
Early Life and Education
Potanin was born in Moscow, in the former USSR, into a high-ranking communist family.
In 1978, Potanin attended the faculty of the International economic relations at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), an elite school that groomed students for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Upon graduating MGIMO in 1983, he followed in his father's footsteps and went to work for the FTO "Soyuzpromexport" with the Ministry of Foreign trade of the Soviet Union.
During perestroika, Vladimir Potanin quit the State’s structures of Foreign trade and in 1991 created the private association Interros using his knowledge gathered at Ministry of Foreign trade and his previous professional network.
In 1993, Potanin became President of United Export Import Bank. From August 14, 1996 until March 17, 1997 he worked as First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.
Since August 1998, Potanin hold the positions of President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Interros Company.
Potanin's Interros owns 30% and controls Russian Nickel giant Norilsk Nickel, a company owned by Oleg Deripaska's RUSAL, Abram Reznikov's Alamak Espana Trade and Alisher Usmanov's Metalloinvest.
Since March 2003 Potanin has taken charge of the National Council on Corporate Governance (NSKU), whose main goal is to improve the legislative regulations in Russia and to introduce professional and ethical standards of corporate governance into the operations of Russian companies to boost up the reputation and investment appeal of the Russian business.
Since December 2001 he has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (NYC). In April 2003 Potanin was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the State Hermitage, the most renowned Russian art museum. Since 2005 Potanin has been a member of the Public Chamber of Russia.
In January 2007 in Paris Potanin was named an Officer of the prestigious Order of Arts and Literature for his cultural contributions. The French Ministry of Culture and Communications granted the award.
In March 2009, Potanin sued former business partner and Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov $29 million over a property disagreement in Moscow.
He is married to Natalia Potanina; the couple has three children: Anastacia, Ivan and Vassily. He is fluent in English and French.
From : www.wikipedia.org