Mikhail Prokhorov

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov was born in Moscow and received his degree at the Moscow Finance Institute and began his career in finance. As his career flourished, he became an investment tycoon with the most lucrative of his investments being in the metals industry. While he was running Norilsk Nickel, the company became the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium. As of 2014, Forbes estimates his wealth at $10.9 billion.

He decided to become a politician in early summer 2011, but held important positions in two metal companies prior to that decision. He was the head of Norilsk Nickel, and was also chairman for Polyus Gold, the biggest producer of Gold in Russia. He resigned from his position as President of ONEXIM Group when he entered the political world. Prokhorov ran for president in 2012 as an independent candidate. He didn’t win, with 7.94% of the total vote, but he did become founder of the “Party of Civic Platform,” which is a new political party in Russia.

Prokhorov, a basketball fan, decided to buy an NBA team. He was the first non-North American team owner in the NBA. He bought 80% of the New Jersey Nets. He owned half the stake in the new arena for the team which moved it to Brooklyn.