The Russian invasion of Ukraine has so far brought about sanctions for around 855 individuals and with no let-up of violence in the east of the country, more of Russia’s elite could be facing sanctions in the near future.
Whilst their effectiveness remains an open question, there’s no doubt sanctions have had a significant impact on the Russian economy. Rosstat, Russia’s state economic statistics agency, has said inflation in Russia accelerated to 17.6% as of April 15. This is the highest level since 2002.
There are still many wealthy individuals who could face sanctions from the international community including half of Russia’s 20 richest people.
GlobalData’s database of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) reveals the landscape of Russian millionaires.
These are individuals who GlobalData defines as having more than $1m, or millionaires, in onshore liquid assets.
Most of Russia’s millionaires are older than in comparison to the global proportion of millionaires. As many as 41% of millionaires in Russia fall into the 51 to 60 age bracket, while in comparison only 27% of millionaires globally are aged 51 to 60. However, the proportion of 61- to 70-year-old millionaires both in Russia and globally is fairly similar.
Russian millionaires within these age brackets are mostly male, making middle-aged and older males the most prevalent millionaires in the country.
One of these individuals, included in GlobalData’s database, is 61-year-old co-founder of the international investment firm LetterOne and chairman of Altimo, Andrei Kosogov.
Forbes estimated the Russian businessman’s net worth to be around $1.2 billion as of March 2022.
Fellow entrepreneur, 62-year-old Andrei Guriev serves as the deputy chairman of Phosagro, one of the world’s leading producers of phosphate-based fertilisers, based in Russia. His net worth is thought to be around $4.8 billion.
These Russian entrepreneurs aren’t alone as the main source of wealth for Russian HNWIs is entrepreneurship, with more than half of them sourcing their wealth this way. Only 1% of Russia’s millionaires have inherited their wealth.
In comparison, only 20% of millionaires globally gained their wealth through entrepreneurship and 2% inherited their wealth.
Many of Russia’s millionaires live abroad, with 8.6% of HNWIs domiciled outside the country.
The largest proportion are domiciled in London with 38.2% of Russian millionaire expats domiciled in the UK. The United States saw the second highest number of Russian millionaires domiciled there at 26%.
The number domiciled in the UK includes Vladimir Makhlay, a core shareholder in the world’s largest ammonia producer Togliattiazot.
He entered the UK on a golden visa: a visa scheme that offered residency to those investing £2m or more in the UK, and allows their families to join them.
Since 2008 under the now scrapped visa scheme, the UK Home Office issued 2,581 of these visas to Russian citizens.