Steel tycoon Vladimir Lisin is Russia’s richest billionaire, according to a list compiled by the Finans Magazine.
The Russian has climbed from an entry position as a steelmaker to the top of one of the biggest metal production company – Novolipetsk Steel. His wealth is valued at $18.8 billion – significantly more than what his predecessor Mikhail Prokhorov, another metal boss, was banking in 2008.
Lisin is secretive and shuns the media spotlight, but his extravagant hobbies don’t disappoint.
Vladimir Sergeevich Lisin was born in the Russian town of Ivanovo, also know as the Red Manchester, in 1956.
In the 1970s and 1980s he completed a metal engineering degree at the Siberian Metallurgist Institute, and economics and management degrees at a Russian business school.
After graduation, Lisin climbed from an entry steelmaker position to a deputy chief at a steel factory, which later was acquired by Mittal Steel.
Lisin is a professor of Economic Sciences and Engineering authoring more than 150 scientific publications, including 16 books on the science of metallurgy.
He is married with three children.
Lisin purchased a further 50% of the Novolipetsk Steel's shares from George Soros and Monaco-based financiers Richard and Christopher Chandler.
The remaining major shareholder -- fellow Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin -- proved a tough competitor holding 34% of the firm. After undisclosed agreement in 2002, the two swapped assets -- 'with Potanin yielding his (34%) stake in Novolipetsk for an 8 per cent stake Lisin had bought in Potanin's Norilsk Nickel.' (via Templetonthrop)
Not a bad deal for Lisin. Overall, the Novolipetsk Steel takeover cost him $400 million, while he collected $370 million in dividends in 2004, according to Russia's Finans.
Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) clearly outperformed other Russian steel production companies last year:
Lisin bought this 16th-century Aberuchill Castle, a 3,300-acre property near Comrie, for about $11 million in 2005.
The billionaire would enjoy excellent grouse-shooting, deer-stalking and game fishing on the estate, as well as hiking in 704 acres of forestry.
The castle features 13 bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a billiards room, a farm and a dozen cottages on its property.
Source: The Scotsman
Lisin got fascinated with the sport of shooting at age 14, and later became a Master of Shooting Sports of Russia, according to the Russian Shooting Union.
He is a President of the Russian Shooting Union, the national shooting sport federation that includes Olympic and non-Olympic class of rifle and shotgun shooting. The highlight of 2009 for Lisin is arguably his election as the president of the European Shooting Confederation.
The billionaire has built one of the biggest clay pigeon shooting and target shooting centres in Russia.
Unlike other Russian billionaires who splurge on mega-yachts, exotic real estate and sports cars, Lisin's hobby is a bit more humble.
He enjoys Cuban cigars, which can cost a few hundred dollars.
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