Russian Oligarchs

Iskander Makhmudov: Biography, Net Worth and Prominence

Iskander Makhmudov, a prominent Russian entrepreneur, has made significant contributions to mechanical engineering, the coal industry, and nonferrous metallurgy, accumulating a fortune estimated in the billions of dollars. Makhmudov was born on December 5, 1963, in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, and his given name, Iskandar, reflects the Uzbek pronunciation and pays homage to Alexander the Great, known in their language as Iskander Zulqarnain. Makhmudov has demonstrated a blend of traditional Eastern methods throughout his life, combining softness and pliability with moments of treachery and cruelty in his pursuit of success.

Early Life and Iskander Makhmudov’s family

Makhmudov’s family gave him a happy childhood full of love and affection. The Makhmudovs moved to Tashkent in 1966, where the father worked in construction to help rebuild the city after the earthquake. The mother, a Russian language teacher at Tashkent University, was also an important figure in the family’s humble existence. Despite limited resources, the only thing that dragged Iskander’s otherwise happy childhood down was money talk.

Despite his financial difficulties, he was not a spoilt kid. Iskander developed a deep love for science fiction as an avid reader, distinguishing himself as one of the best students in his class. Recognizing his potential, his parents directed him to the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Tashkent State University after he graduated from high school.


Iskander excelled in his university studies, graduating with honours in Arabic languages due to his sharp intellect, exceptional memory, and language proficiency. His education laid a solid foundation for his future success, showing the value of academic pursuits in his rise from obscurity to prominence in Russian and global business. 
Today, Iskander Makhmudov‘s entrepreneurial achievements are widely recognized, and he is regarded as one of the Russian Federation’s most generous philanthropists.

Strategic Expansion into Mining and Industry (1994-1998)

Life of Iskander Makhmudov
Life of Iskander Makhmudov

Iskander Makhmudov, a graduate of TSU, seized the opportunity to work overseas. His unassuming demeanour caught the attention of the USSR’s secret services, leading to assignments in Libya and Iraq during 1986 and 1988, respectively. Working as an engineer-translator in a weapons supply organization and later as a military construction officer, Makhmudov showcased his linguistic and negotiation skills, gaining respect in the East.

His initial foray into commercial knowledge occurred during his tenure at an enterprise, where he honed transactional skills and established a cooperative for consumer goods. Partnering with the Cherny brothers, they formed the Trans World Group but parted ways in 1994 due to disagreements. Makhmudov then delved into copper mining, eventually becoming the director of the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company by 1998, establishing a significant presence in the industry.

Expanding his business empire in 2002, Iskander Makhmudov entered the carriage building, co-founding Transmashholding, a leading railway rolling stock manufacturer. Over the years, he acquired stakes in Transoil, gained control of the Moscow Passenger Company, and purchased assets from Zheldorremmash and Kunovice Aircraft Industries.

Makhmudov’s wealth accumulation strategy involves astutely identifying weaknesses in partner and competitor businesses, driving them into debt, and acquiring their assets when bankrupt. His shrewd tactics, coupled with Eastern cunning, have consistently propelled his success in various ventures.

Overview of Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC)


Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC) is a Russian metallurgical company based in Verkhnyaya Pyshma and is the second-largest copper producer in Russia. The company was founded in 1999 and is a publicly traded entity.

Uzbek billionaire Iskander Makhmudov is the owner, while the president is Andrew Kozitsin.

UMMC is a leading diversified base metals and coal producer with over 80,000 employees.

The company’s headquarters are located in Verkhnyaya Pyshma, and it has its own rail and port infrastructure, enabling it to reach markets and customers worldwide.

Key facts and statistics about Ural Mining and Metallurgical Companies include:

  • Industry: The company operates in the mining, metallurgical, and steel-making industries.
  • Products: UMMC produces nickel, copper, coal, and lead.
  • Revenue: In 2010, the company’s revenue amounted to US$5.1 billion, while in 2015, it reached 23.2 billion Russian rubles. In 2022, the company’s revenue amounted to 299 billion rubles.
  • Employees: UMMC employs more than 80,000 people.

In 2012, UMMC invested 254 million rubles in enforcing environmental protection measures.

Brief details of Transmashholding


Transmashholding stands as the premier manufacturer of locomotives and rail equipment in Russia, boasting an expansive network of 14 engineering and production facilities within the country, supplemented by an additional production site situated in Belarus. The company’s diverse product portfolio encompasses diesel-locomotive shunters, main-line and electric industrial locomotives, passenger and freight cars, electric train cars, locomotive and marine diesel, as well as car castings.

With global outreach, Transmashholding caters to clients in Russia and extends its services to numerous countries across diverse climatic zones. The company’s track record includes supplying railcars to prominent entities such as Warsaw Metro and Baku Metro, underscoring its international significance.

Transmashholding is dedicated to navigating the path of progress, aligning itself with the most advanced industry standards to meet the evolving needs of its stakeholders.

Entrepreneurial Prowess

Business Ventures of Iskander Makhmudov
Business Ventures of Iskander Makhmudov

The entrepreneur has consistently demonstrated nuanced business acumen to his peers. He is adept at navigating strategic maneuvers and is known for his firm and assertive demeanour. These qualities have positioned Makhmudov as a notable figure in the Russian business elite. While he celebrates notable successes, occasional setbacks are not foreign to him. Iskander approaches life changes with genuine Eastern wisdom. As of last year, his wealth was valued at $7.3 billion.

Iskander Makhmudov‘s yacht, the “Predator,” epitomizes his penchant for luxury, infused with an Eastern touch. In 2017, he divested a quarter of his stake in the Kalashnikov concern. Presently, Makhmudov holds predominant shares in UMGC, Transmashholding, and Kuzbassrazrezugol. He commands the CSKA football team and oversees catering ventures under the Food Service Capital umbrella.

Iskander Kahramonovich embraces an oriental sense of opulence. His possession of the “Predator” yacht is a testament to his appreciation for distinctive design, power, and opulence, with an estimated value of around 100 million euros. Acquiring an estate in France, he now owns a cultural heritage property in the country. Additionally, he maintains a residence in the Saint-Tropez area on the Cote d’Azur.

Iskander Makhmudov’s Net Worth

Makhmudov’s wealth primarily comes from his ownership of Uralskaya Gorno-Metallurgicheskaya Kompaniya (UGMK), Russia’s second-largest copper producer, and his involvement in Transmashholding, the largest maker of locomotives and retail equipment in Russia.

In addition to his business ventures, Makhmudov is also known for his philanthropic efforts, having donated more than $1 billion since 2001.

YearNet Worth (in billions)
20146.1 Billion
20153.5 Billion
20164 Billion
20176.5 Billion
20187.3 Billion
20196.6 Billion
20207.2 Billion
20219.7 Billion
20223.6 Billion
20237.3 Billion

Owner of Superyacht Predator

Superyacht Predator
Superyacht Predator

In 2008, the renowned shipyard Feadship crafted the magnificent motor yacht “Predator,” now under the ownership of the esteemed Iskander Makhmudov. This nautical marvel boasts an impressive length of 238 feet (73 meters) and comes with a hefty price tag of $100 million, accompanied by annual operational expenses totalling around $10 million.

“Predator” is not just a vessel; it’s a powerhouse on the water. With a cruising speed of 20 knots (equivalent to 23 mph or 37 kph), it gracefully glides using only two of its engines. Even in challenging weather conditions, this maritime gem maintains a top speed of 28 knots, showcasing its resilience and cutting-edge engineering.


1963Iskander Makhmudov was born on December 5 in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.
1966Makhmudov’s family moved to Tashkent, where his father worked in construction.
1986Iskander worked overseas, assigned to Libya as an engineer-translator.
1988Worked in Iraq as a military construction officer, showcasing linguistic skills.
1994Entered the business world, forming Trans World Group with the Cherny brothers.
1998Became the director of the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC).
2002Co-founded Transmashholding, a leading railway rolling stock manufacturer.
Expanded business empire, acquiring stakes in Transoil and control of Moscow Passenger Company.
Acquired assets from Zheldorremmash and Kunovice Aircraft Industries.
2017Divested a quarter of his stake in the Kalashnikov concern.
Held predominant shares in UMGC, Transmashholding, and Kuzbassrazrezugol.
Commanded the CSKA football team and oversaw catering ventures under Food Service Capital.
PresentEstimated wealth was valued at $7.3 billion. Owned the “Predator” yacht and cultural heritage property in France.

Iskander Makhmudov: Philanthropy, Family, and Diverse Hobbies

Personal Life
Personal Life

Iskander Kahramonovich, the billionaire, is currently in his second marriage to Margarita Ildusovna, a successful entrepreneur who owns the Bagheera agency, specializing in modelling and public relations. From his first marriage, Iskander has a 32-year-old son, actively involved in his father’s enterprises and recognized as one of the wealthiest heirs.

Iskander Makhmudov is known for his philanthropy, generously contributing around a billion rubles to charitable causes. His benevolent efforts extend to managing clinics and orphanages, supporting orphans and children with disabilities, and participating in housing programs. Beyond his business pursuits, the billionaire has diverse hobbies, including diving and spearfishing. Notably, he has a keen interest in shark breeding and has engaged in South African safaris alongside his son.

Controversies and Scandals of Iskander Makhmudov

Danske Bank Scandal Unveils Swedbank’s Involvement in $10.2 Billion Transaction

A significant proliferation of the scandal involving Sweden’s oldest bank unfolded, revealing that the suspicious transactions handled by the institution, potentially linked to alleged money laundering at Danske Bank, amounted to a staggering US$10.2 billion. This figure exceeded the earlier reported amount of $5.8 billion, shedding new light on the depth of the financial irregularities.

The report detailed that the $10.2 billion in transactions between Danske Bank and Swedbank involved “questionable transactions and parties.” Swedbank has been under scrutiny in connection with the Danske Bank scandal since the beginning of the year, with reports suggesting that questionable transactions involving billions of dollars transpired between the two banks.

The Danske Bank scandal, which appeared in 2017, exposed the Estonian’s involvement in facilitating 200 billion euros of questionable funds, primarily from Russia, between 2007 and 2015.

Louise Brown, a corruption expert, emphasized the significance of the Swedish bank’s role in money laundering operations, stating –

“Swedbank’s accommodation of suspicious transactions comprised a significant part of the money laundering operations, in parity with Danske Bank.”

In response to the allegations, Swedbank asserted that not all transactions flagged as questionable in its risk analysis warranted further investigation. The bank emphasized its commitment to preventing and detecting money laundering. Notable individuals implicated in the alleged money laundering activities at Swedbank include Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s disgraced former president, who reportedly utilized a Swedbank account to transfer millions of dollars out of the country.

Makhmudov’s Role in the Scandal

Ukrainian prosecutors are inspecting transactions linked to Yanukovych, including a $3.6 million transfer labelled as a bribe disguised as a book deal. Iskander Makhmudov, a Russian businessman with Uzbekistan origins and an estimated net worth of $7.3 billion is another figure implicated in the scandal.

A database published by sources revealed that approximately $1.58 billion flowed through accounts registered to Carbo One, one of the largest coal traders and a major corporate client of Swedbank Estonia. Investigators traced a significant portion of these funds to accounts associated with Makhmudov.

The database further disclosed that the substantial sums revolved between Carbo One and Iskander Makhmudov involved at least 20 Swedbank accounts registered in tax havens, exhibiting signs of probable money laundering. Spanish prosecutors have linked Makhmudov to organized crime, with allegations of using corruption and violence to build a successful business.

Sanctions on Iskander Makhmudov

Makhmudov has been implicated in benefiting from or supporting the Russian government in his role as the President of Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC). He has been accused, along with his business partner Oleg Deripaska (who is under sanctions), of running a large-scale racketeering scheme in the United States.

The allegations include physical abuse, email fraud, and money laundering, as outlined in a federal lawsuit from 2003. Makhmudov’s connection to the Russian extractive sector, a strategically significant industry for the Russian government, has raised concerns. He is also listed in the “Kremlin report” by the US Treasury, which identifies individuals close to the Russian leadership, including officials and businessmen.

DatePlace of sanctions
19/09/2023United Kingdom
22/11/2022New Zealand


Iskander Makhmudov, a prominent Russian entrepreneur born on December 5, 1963, in Uzbekistan, has amassed a fortune through ventures in mechanical engineering, coal, and metallurgy. Raised in Tashkent, he excelled in his studies and graduated with honours in Arabic languages. Makhmudov’s entrepreneurial journey includes roles in weapons supply organizations and leadership in the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC) and Transmashholding. UMMC is a major copper producer, while Transmashholding leads in railway rolling stock manufacturing. His wealth, valued at $7.3 billion, primarily comes from UMMC and Transmashholding.

Makhmudov’s opulent lifestyle includes ownership of the “Predator” yacht and philanthropic efforts exceeding $1 billion. However, he faces controversies, being implicated in the Danske Bank scandal and accusations of benefiting the Russian government, leading to sanctions in the UK, USA, Ukraine, and New Zealand.

Alexander Harris

Alexander Harris - The Digital Bloodhound Alexander isn't your typical investigative journalist. He thrives in the digital world, scouring the web for hidden connections and leaked documents. An expert data analyst and coder, he builds intricate digital trails to expose fraud, cybercrime, and government overreach. Alexander Harris began his career as a journalist. He is one of the founders of the " Russian Oligarchs Tracker Unit ".

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