he senator, philanthropist, and investor Suleyman Kerimov currently represents the Republic of Dagestan in the Federation Council of Russia. Rarely in the public eye, Kerimov has worked his way up from the bottom, weathering economic disaster to become one of the most successful men in Russia. Growing up in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan, he dreamed of one day changing the world. Through shrewd investment insight and perseverance, he slowly and quietly amassed the ability to do just that. Today his philanthropic foundation donates millions to the more economically disadvantaged, strengthening communities and building opportunities. Particularly close to his heart are interfaith initiatives that promote tolerance and peace. To learn more about the Senator and the exemplary work he does for his country and for his people, we invite you to explore this website.
- Suleyman Kerimov -
Early life: Born on 12 March 1966 in Derbent, Dagestan, Suleyman Kerimov’s early life was marked by economic hardship, leading him as a young man to dream of one day becoming successful and bringing hope to those in less fortunate circumstances. After graduating high school in 1983, Suleyman enrolled in the Dagestan Polytechnic Institute to study engineering. He paused his studies to complete his national service, and in 1989 he graduated Dagestan State University with a degree in economics. Since his early years he has stood out for his quiet and thoughtful demeanor, which coupled with an insightful approach has guided him to financial success.
Business Career: After graduating university, Suleyman Kerimov quickly worked his way up the hierarchy in his first job at Eltav, an electrical company in Dagestan’s capital of Makhachkala, where he and his young wife Firuza were living on 150 roubles a month in a shared flat.
By 1993, when modern Russia was emerging from the Soviet Union, Kerimov was the Deputy Director General of Eltav in charge of relations with Fedprombank. Thanks to his well-honed financial acumen and his talent for sniffing out hidden investment potential, he successfully negotiated the post-Soviet stabilization period in Russia, making a profit from loans granted to utility companies. Unlike other individuals who found success during this time through securing long-term ownership of state assets, Kerimov was rewarded for his remarkable foresight and patient approach, acting simply as a financial investor and selling the companies on after a few years.
In 1999, Kerimov also entered the political sphere, becoming a member of the State Duma. Believing in global integration, Kerimov gradually built stakes in the US and European financial system, notably in Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Fortis, and RBS.
Philanthropy and Political Career: After his near-fatal 2006 car accident, Suleyman was left with severe burns on his hands. Following this experience, his attention was drawn to Pinocchio, a charity that works with children suffering from burns, to which he donated €1 million. Suleyman had always been drawn to the idea of charity work. Mindful of his own difficulties as a young man, and passionate about philanthropic initiatives to help the average family, in 2007 he founded the Kerimov Foundation to invest in projects that strengthen communities and help the needy.
Dagestani Pride: A true patriot, Suleyman Kerimov has continued his activities in government, and since 2008 he has represented the Republic of Dagestan as a Senator in the Federation Council of Russia. Coupled with his love for his homeland, Suleyman has always had a great love of football, and in 2011 he purchased FC Anzhi Makhachkala. Representing his hometown in the Russian Premier League, under Suleyman’s leadership the team acquired some famous international players, earning the team global recognition. He also financed the building of a modern stadium at the Anzhi Arena, the team’s new home and the practice grounds of its youth divisions. By revitalizing the team in this way, Suleyman has brought international attention to Dagestan and has helped develop a major source of local Dagestani pride.
Suleyman Kerimov Foundation: The importance of the work done by the Suleyman Kerimov Foundation is at the core of the Senator’s values and beliefs. The Foundation strives to help improve lives today and for future generations by donating to initiatives that strengthen communities and ease the plight of the disadvantaged in Russia and throughout the world. To date, the Foundation has provided over 475 grants to institutions and non-profit organizations that enabled them to: finance sports activities for young men and women, provide medical access for children, start interfaith initiatives, build churches, mosques, and synagogues, publish books, help the disadvantaged to perform Hajj, fund medical research, found endangered language preservation initiatives, build schools, preserve historic and cultural buildings, promote Russian culture abroad, support cultural festivals, sponsor conferences, preserve Jewish and other minority cultural heritages, and support victims of natural disasters and terrorism.
Honors and Awards: Suleyman Kerimov’s hard work has been widely recognized the world over, through prestigious awards:
20 March 2017 – awarded the Order for Merit to the Fatherland of II degree by President Vladimir Putin for his ‘outstanding contribution to the development of parliamentarianism and legislation’.
8 February 2017 – Suleyman and his wife Firuza received an award from Andrei Vorobyov, Governor of Moscow Oblast, recognizing their contribution to the reconstruction of the Zarechenskaya secondary school, and their service to the Moscow region.
10 March 2016 – recognized with an award for outstanding social contribution to the Republic of Dagestan, by the Head of the Republic, Ramazan Abdulatipov.
Ever since his childhood, Suleyman Kerimov has always preferred to keep a low profile, allowing his work to speak for him. However, over the years he has accepted to be profiled by select media outlets, which give a small amount of insight into Suleyman’s journey to success. Some of the profiles which exist of him online include: