Middleman: Vitaly Malkin

Co-owner of Abalone Investments

Vitaly Malkin, now aged 58, was estimated to be worth around $1bn according to Forbes’ “World Billionaires” 2008 feature. His fortune could not have hurt his rise to the position of senator in the upper house of the Russian Parliament in 2004. Malkin joined forces with Boris Ivanisvhili in 1990 to form a host of banks in the newly democratic Russia, at the same time purchasing an array of Russia’s newly privatised mineral assets.
The extent of their business acumen was revealed in 2004–05 when they sold their combined metallurgical assets for an estimated $2.2 billion. In 2012, Malkin’s official tax returns showed that he was the richest member of the Russian upper house of Parliament, earning $33.6 million in 2011 alone. He resigned from Parliament in 2013 after allegations emerged that he unlawfully held dual Israeli and Russian citizenship and substantial assets in Canada.