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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Fortune Smiles on 5 Russians

Corporate crises might be shriveling the wealth of many of America's richest, but the young billionaires and multimillionaires of China and Russia are swelling the ranks of Fortune magazine's "40 Richest Under 40" list published this week.

For the first time since it started to track the richest Americans aged under 40 in 1999, Fortune has ventured outside the United States and compiled an international list. Russia's richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, consequently finds himself top of the international list and in second place overall, his wealth eclipsed only by that of American computer tycoon Michael Dell, 37, whose fortune is estimated at a hefty $16.49 billion.

Fortune named Khodorkovsky, 39, whose 36 percent stake in Russian oil company Yukos was estimated at $7.2 billion, to be the richest non-American in the world in the "under 40" category.

Besides Khodorkovsky, there are four other young Russians on the Fortune international list. Roman Abramovich, 35, the largest shareholder in oil company Sibneft and co-founder of Millhouse Asset Management, is in fourth place with $4.2 billion to his name.

In ninth place is Mikhail Fridman, 38, chairman of the board at Russia's largest private bank, Alfa Bank, with a personal wealth of $2.1 billion. Oleg Deripaska, Russia's 34-year-old aluminum tycoon, closely follows him with $1.5 billion.

"Unlike the American list, which is restricted to self-made multimillionaires, the international list includes people who inherited wealth -- but only those trying to create more of it," Fortune said. "The self-made fortunes tend to come from Russia or China. That's the case with the richest man on the list, Khodorkovsky."

These rich Russians are not newcomers in the world rankings. Earlier this year, Forbes magazine named Khodorkovsky Russia's richest man and estimated his wealth at $3.7 billion. Abramovich, Fridman and Deripaska were also on the list with lower estimations of their personal wealth than Fortune's.

But this time, Fortune has included one more Russian on its list -- Andrei Melnichenko, owner of MDM-Bank and president of the MDM industrial group. At 30, Melnichenko is the youngest among the Fortune "40 under 40" international list and his fortune is estimated at $380 million.

"It wasn't easy finding the young rich, and calculating their wealth was even tougher," Fortune said. According to Fortune, in some cases, holdings in listed companies are a matter of public record, but such information isn't readily available in every country.

"In other cases, we put a dollar value on private companies by using evaluation models based on revenue figures and comparing the results with those of public companies in the same industry," the Fortune article said, and sometimes it was impossible to separate an individual's share of a family enterprise. Another problem faced by Fortune was that "hardly anyone wanted to be on the list."

In Russia, people have a different approach. "I don't see anything inappropriate in being on such list," said a Russian banker, who declined to be named.

"Of course, it could damage the reputation of some government officials if they found themselves on the list," he said. "But Melnichenko, like others, is a businessmen, and it is not shameful to be rich. It gives you respect in society."

Fortune's Richest People Under 40

RankNameAgeCompanyWealth
Americans
1Michael Dell37Dell Computer$16.49 bln
2Pierre Omidyar35eBay$3.82 bln
3Jeff Skoll37Skoll Foundation$2.18 bln
4Jeff Bezos38Amazon.com$1.66 bln
5Ted Waitt39Gateway$1.05 bln
6Dan Snyder37Washington Redskins$664 mln
7David Filo36Yahoo$551 mln
8Jerry Yang33Yahoo$514 mln
9Michael Jordan39Washington Wizards$408 mln
10Vinny Smith38Quest Software$398 mln
Non-Americans
1Mikhail Khodorkovsky39Yukos$7.2 bln
2Ernesto Bertarelli37Serona (Switzerland)$4.7 bln
3Stefan Quandt36BMW (Germany)$4.5 bln
4Roman Abramovich35Sibneft$4.2 bln
5Lorenzo Mendoza36Empresas Polar (Venezuela) $2.9 bln
6Hiroshi Mikitani37Rakuten (Japan)$2.2 bln
7Jonathan Harmsworth34Daily Mail (Britain)$2.2 bln
8Kumar Birla34Aditya Birla Group (India)$2.1 bln
9Mikhail Fridman38Alfa Group$2.1 bln
10Richard Li35Pacific Century Group (HK)$1.6 bln
Other Russians in Top 40
13Oleg Deripaska34Russian Aluminum$1.5 bln
24Andrei Melnichenko30MDM-Group$380 mln