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The Emergence of New Russian Elite

The departure of Western companies from Russia has created opportunities for new Russian players to get hold of valuable businesses at bargain prices. A recent Bloomberg article names several members of the “new Russian elite,” mid-sized and lower-profile entrepreneurs who now own significant assets that used to belong to the world’s largest multinationals.

Most of those “new tycoons” have been in business for a while but are relatively unknown outside the country. Ivan Tavrin, who features prominently in the article, is a perfect example:  the former head of a Russian telecommunications firm and a partner of Alisher Usmanov, he made the largest wartime deal so far, buying out the classified advertising platform Avito from Prosus, a global investment group based in the Netherlands.

One of the less noted effects of the war has been a quiet but sizeable reordering of Russia’s business landscape - the replacing of foreign investors by domestic players is a major part of this, and it will be fascinating to observe how their new assets fare under their control. 

A new cohort of Russian business elite has emerged to benefit from the void left when international firms suddenly exited following President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.