It’s not easy to become a billionaire in Russia these days, especially compared with the wild period of the 1990s when a few dozen men took control of vast parts of the economy.
But at least one new path is emerging for young Russians, and it’s open to both men and women: Inheritance.
Take Anton and Ekaterina Fedun, the children of oil tycoon Leonid Fedun. They were given a 2% stake of Lukoil PJSC in November 2018. The stock has surged 33% since, making them the nation’s newest billionaires, assuming the holding was divided equally.
Anton, 34, has pursued a very different path to Leonid, who served in the Soviet Army and then helped build Lukoil from the wreckage of the nation’s oil industry in the 1990s.
After studying tourism management in the U.K., Anton owns and runs two luxury hotels in London -- the Ampersand and Vintry & Mercer, where rooms cost $400 a night.
Ekaterina, meanwhile, worked in public relations after graduating from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Lukoil’s press office declined to comment.
The Feduns are among the first of the original billionaires to start transferring their fortunes to their kids. It’s the first time it has happened on a serious scale since before the Bolsheviks seized power and will have implications for who ends up controlling key parts of the nation’s economy.
The success of potential heirs will affect the evolution of succession in the long-term, according to a 2019 research report from the Skolkovo Wealth Transformation Center in Moscow called “The Generation Gap”.
Others passing on stakes include steel tycoon Alexey Mordashov, 54, who last year handed over a portion of his holdings worth $1.7 billion to his sons Kirill and Nikita. Vladimir Evtushenkov, 71, meanwhile, gave a 5% stake in publicly traded Sistema PJSC to his son Felix.