#58. Vladimir Potanin

- Net worth: $26.2 billion

- Source of wealth: metals

- Age: 60

- Country/territory: Russia

Vladimir Potanin originally bought shares in Norilsk Nickel and now owns more than a third of the metals giant. He is credited with devising Russia's so-called loans-for-shares program, under which banks and businesses loaned money to the government, secured by the state-owned natural resource companies. When the government could not repay the loans, the lenders got extensive assets in the natural resource companies. Potanin has holdings in pharmaceutical company Petrovax Pharm and is the developer of a Russian ski resort, Rosa Khutor. He was a deputy prime minister to Russian President Boris Yeltsin and has ties to President Vladimir Putin.