Russian Oligarchs

Vladimir Lisin: Biography and Details of Novolipetsk Chairman

Early Life and Education

Vladimir Lisin was born on May 7, 1956, in Ivanovo, Russia. He embarked on his career in 1975 as a mechanic in a Soviet coal mine. Lisin’s academic journey includes degrees in Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Foundries from the Siberian Metallurgic Institute, Economics from the Higher School of Commerce and a doctorate in Technology and Economics from the Academy of National Economy and Administration. His academic achievements also include a Master’s degree in Metal Engineering and Economics.

Rise in the Steel Industry

Metal Worker and Managerial Roles

Lisin's ruse in the Steel Industry
Lisin’s ruse in the Steel Industry

In his early career, Lisin worked at Tulachermet Metals Works, starting as a mechanic and progressing to managerial roles. By 1979, he had already assumed positions such as shop manager and later Deputy Chief Engineer.

TransWorld Group and Novolipetsk Steel

After the fall of communism, Lisin joined the Trans World Group (TWG), a British-based investment firm. TWG aggressively invested in the Russian steel industry, acquiring companies that constituted a significant portion of the Russian market. The internal rift within TWG led to a split in 2000, and Lisin received a substantial share of Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) in the settlement. Over time, he acquired more shares, eventually becoming the Chairman of the Board in 1998. NLMK emerged as the third-largest metal producer in Russia in 2013.

Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK): Brief details


Novolipetsk Steel, commonly referred to as NLMK, asserts its prominence as one of the foremost quartets within Russia’s expansive steel industry. Commanding a substantial 21% share of domestic crude steel production, it stands as a formidable player in the metallurgical landscape. Functioning as a vertically integrated juggernaut, NLMK oversees the production of a diverse array of steel products, ranging from flat steel, hot-rolled and cold-rolled steel, heavy plates, pig iron, pre-painted steel, and transformer steel, to electrical steel.

The purveyor of metallurgical excellence tailors its offerings to an extensive array of industries, spanning from the realms of oil and gas, automotive, railroad transportation, mining, agriculture, shipbuilding, and electronics, to construction. Headquartered in Moscow, Russia, Novolipetsk Steel extends its operational footprint across Russia, North America, the European Union, the Middle East, Turkey, Asia, and Oceania.

Tracing back to 1931, the annals of Novolipetsk Steel unfold with the commencement of plant construction on the grounds of an iron ore mine in the Lipetsk region of central Russia. Over the course of its history, it has metamorphosed into one of the globe’s most lucrative steel enterprises per ton of production and the preeminent steel-making entity in Russia.

Other Investments

Lisin diversified his investments beyond the steel industry. About half his net worth is invested in transportation companies under Universal Cargo Logistics Company (UCLC). He holds stakes in various companies, including Saint Petersburg Sea Port, Tuapse Commercial Sea Port, North Western Shipping Company, Volga Shipping Company, Chermonorneftegaz, Severneftegaz, Federal Grid Company, and Distribution Grid Company.

Entrepreneurial Ventures

Universal Cargo Logistics Company (UCLC)

In 2011-12, Lisin made a notable investment of $5.8 billion in First Cargo, part of UCLC. His transportation and logistics portfolio expanded to include key players in the industry.

Other Ventures

Apart from transportation, Lisin has stakes in gas companies (Chermonorneftegaz and Severneftegaz) and electric companies (Federal Grid Company and Distribution Grid Company). These holdings are predominantly managed through Fletcher Group Holdings.

Asset Relocation

In the summer of 2023, it was reported that Lisin registered Serenity II Holdings and Nebula II Holdings in Abu Dhabi, indicating a strategic move of transferring assets.

Educational and Metallurgical Expertise

Lisin’s educational background and expertise in metallurgy are extensive. Holding various patents for metallurgical processes and having published over 100 articles on metallurgy and economics, Lisin’s contributions to the field have earned him recognition. He is a professor of the Academy of National Economy and received several honours, including the Knight of the Order of Honour of the Russian Federation and the Knight of the Order of St. Sergiy Radonezhsky.

Sports Enthusiast

Shooting Sports

Sports activities of Vladimir Lisin
Sports activities of Vladimir Lisin

Vladimir Lisin has a deep passion for shooting sports. He has served as the President of the European Shooting Confederation, the Russia Shooting Union, and Vice President of the Russian Olympic Committee. In 2013, he became a member of the Executive Committee of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) and was elected President in November 2018.

Personal Life and Philanthropy

Vladimir Lisin is married and has three children. In addition to his business pursuits, he has displayed philanthropic efforts, donating $105 million to various causes from 2010-12, earning him recognition as the seventh-largest Russian donor.

Vladimir Lisin’s Net Worth

YearNet Worth (in billions)
201416.6 Billion
201511.6 Billion
20169.3 Billion
201716.1 Billion
201819.1 Billion
201921.3 Billion
202018.1 Billion
202126.2 Billion
202218.4 Billion
202322.1 Billion

Controversies and Sanctions

Australia sanctioned Lisin following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Despite expressing a commitment to peaceful conflict resolution, allegations surfaced in 2022 that NLMK, under Lisin’s control, supplied materials to Russian firms involved in nuclear weapons development. Tankers owned by Lisin were also accused of evading EU sanctions through oil trans-shipment. In October 2022, there were calls for the U.S. to sanction Lisin.

Asset Relocation to Abu Dhabi

In a strategic move, Lisin reportedly registered Serenity II Holdings and Nebula II Holdings in Abu Dhabi in the summer of 2023, indicating a shift in the location of his assets.

This detailed biography outlines Vladimir Lisin’s journey from a mechanic in a Soviet coal mine to becoming a prominent figure in the Russian steel industry, diversifying his investments across various sectors while maintaining a passion for shooting sports. The narrative also covers recent controversies and strategic decisions, reflecting the multifaceted aspects of Lisin’s life and career.


Vladimir Lisin, the principal figure and predominant stakeholder at Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK), has managed to elude sanctions from the United States, the European Union, Britain, and Ukraine. This is notable, considering his discernible associations with Russian military enterprises, active participation in the provision of resources for military endeavours, and collaboration with the Russian defence sector.

Queries and investigations have materialized in response to the surprising absence of sanctions against Lisin, given his intimate connections to Vladimir Putin and substantial affluence. According to the most recent available intelligence, Western nations have refrained from imposing sanctions on him, despite his affiliations with the Russian armaments industry and the government. The lack of sanctions has sparked apprehensions, prompting unofficial deliberations regarding the rationale behind this ostensibly peculiar exemption.

However, Lisin faced sanctions from Australia after the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Despite calls to step down as ISSF President, he remained in his position, supported by Russian-born ISSF Secretary General Alexander Ratner.

DatePlace of sanctions


Vladimir Lisin, born on May 7, 1956, in Ivanovo, Russia, began his career as a mechanic in a Soviet coal mine before rising through the ranks at Tulachermet Metals Works. Lisin’s pivotal role in the Trans World Group led to the acquisition of Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK), where he became Chairman in 1998. NLMK, a major player in Russia’s steel industry, produces a diverse range of steel products with a 21% share of domestic crude steel production.

Beyond steel, Lisin diversified investments in transportation, gas, and electric companies through Universal Cargo Logistics Company (UCLC) and Fletcher Group Holdings. A notable sports enthusiast, he served as the President of the European Shooting Confederation and the Russian Shooting Union, becoming President of the International Shooting Sport Federation in 2018.

Lisin’s net worth fluctuated, reaching $22.1 billion in 2023. Controversies arose as Australia sanctioned him post-2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, alleging NLMK’s involvement in nuclear weapons development. In 2023, Lisin reportedly relocated assets to Abu Dhabi. Despite international scrutiny, he avoided sanctions from the U.S., EU, Britain, and Ukraine.

In summary, Vladimir Lisin‘s journey encompasses a diverse career, philanthropy, sports leadership, financial fluctuations, and geopolitical controversies, illustrating the multifaceted aspects of his life and career.

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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