Russian entrepreneur Kirill Shamalov turned 34 last week and is now one of the world's youngest billionaires. Shamalov, a former economic expert of the Russian government, is wed to President Vladimir Putin's daughter, Katerina Tikhonova. The son of Rossiya Bank investor Nikolai Shamalov, a longtime good friend of Putin, Kirill is now the second-largest investor in the petrochemical giant Sibur, which is said to amount to $2.85 billion. Sibur obtained a boost in December, 2015 when Chinese state-owned Sinopec purchased 10 % of the company for $1.3 billion.
Shamalov’s rise to wealth shows how those who are connected closely to Putin have been given important positions in major companies in Russia. It is not a secret that these favored people receive incredible loans from Gazprombank and the details of such loans are kept away from scrutiny.
The wedding of Kirill and Katerina took place in February, 2013 at Igora, a ski hotel snuggled in the hills an hour's drive north of St. Petersburg. No expenditure was spared as well as every person attending was guaranteed privacy. After the ceremony, the couple rode in a Russian sleigh pulled by three white steeds. The hotel is co-owned by the family of Yuri Kovalchuk, an old and good friend of Putin, as well as a Cyprus company. Both Kirill Shamalov and his wife Katerina Tikhonova hold considerable business holdings worth approximately $2 billion and also own a multi-million dollar villa in France.