Russia’s Richest Man: Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov

This is the 60 Minutes interview with the 6′ 8″, jock billionaire who is currently Russia’s wealthiest man. He spends two hours every day working out no matter what is happening around him. (This is a great habit to cultivate.) Prokhorov makes an interesting point about having been one of the Oligarchs who got his start in what one historian calls “frontier capitalism.”This is when there’s no rule of law by which to conduct business. During the first decade after the collapse of the USSR there were no rules to govern business because capitalism had been illegal for roughly 70 years. “It was Wild West. It was a territory with no sheriff, no rules, you need to survive.” You had to have the courage to go out and cease opportunities and then worry about holding onto them afterwards.Oftentimes, this meant literally risking your life.

Like most Russian billionaires, Prokhorov’s fortune was molded from the ashes of the former Soviet Union, with a little bit of luck and the help of a powerful political connection.

He was raised among the Soviet elite and studied at the prestigious Moscow International Financial Institute where he majored in international finance.

So when communism and the Soviet Union finally collapsed, he was one of the few people who knew anything about world markets and free enterprise.
“We made a crazy transformation, just crazy. I can’t imagine 20 years ago, we know nothing about capitalism, nothing,” he remembered. (Source)

In other words,”Who dares, wins,” as the SAS motto goes.

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