Russiaâ€™s Suleyman Karimov is a member of the Federation Council of Russia (the upper chamber of the Russian parliament), a businessman, an investor and an active philanthropist. He has a degree in financial accounting and economics from Dagestan State University. And he is currently listed as number 118 on Forbesâ€™ list of the Worldâ€™s Billionaires, with a reported net worth of $7.8 billion. A self-made investor, Kerimov earned his success by building a diverse investment portfolio made up of both public and private interests. And his charitable organization, the Suleiman Kerimov Foundation, has directed over $60 million to charitable causes.
Most prominently, in January 2011, he purchased the Russian Premier League football team FC Anzhi Makhachkala. And this past August, Karimov made a huge splash by acquiring Samuel Etoâ€™o and making him the highest paid footballer in the world. Etoâ€™oâ€™s salary is estimated at â‚¬20 million ($AU27 million) net per season, eclipsing the estimated â‚¬12 million ($AU17.4 million) that Cristiano Ronaldo earns at Real Madrid and the â‚¬10.5 million ($AU15.2 million) that Lionel Messi is paid by Barcelona. After a week of negotiations, the transfer fee was reportedly set between â‚¬25 and â‚¬27 million ($36 and $39 million). The deal also put the former Inter and Barcelona striker ahead of the NBAâ€™s highest-paid player, Kobe Bryant ($AU25.2 million). The New York Yankeesâ€™ Alex Rodriguez still makes more with his $32 million this season.
From 1999 to 2007, Kerimov served as a Deputy of the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament. He was Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Physical Education, Youth and Sports and also a member of the State Dumaâ€™s Security Committee. He now serves as a member of the Financial Markets and Monetary Circulation Committee.
Kerimov is married and has three children. A lifelong athlete and supporter of youth sports, Kerimov currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Wrestling Federation. He has served in this position since the board was created in 2006.
On November 26, 2006, in Nice, France Kerimov was seriously injured in a road accident on the Promenade des Anglais. He suffered severe burns from this accident followed by prolonged recovery. Following his car crash and resulting medical treatment for severe burns, Kerimov donated â‚¬1 million to the non-profit organization Pinocchio. The non-profit organization, which works with children suffering from burns, has an annual budget of between â‚¬250,000-300,000.
In 2007, Kerimov founded The Suleiman Kerimov Foundation with the vision to help lives by investing in initiatives that strengthen communities and help those in need. The foundation supports projects all over the world, with particular emphasis on Russia and Russian communities. Between its 2007 and 2009, the foundation made donations totaling over $164 million in support of worthwhile projects and causes.
On December 17, 2010, it was announced that Kerimov would spend $100 million on the construction of an advanced comprehensive school west of Moscow â€œfor educating forward-minded children from different social groups.â€ The school is to include a modern sports complex with a swimming pool, a skating-rink, a giant dance floor, as well as a residential area for gifted children from the provinces.