The first sign of Aven’s growing involvement in the operation of Alfa-Bank came in 1994, when he held a bilateral asset swap, trading in 50% of the total shares in FinPA for 10% of Alfa-Bank.
By 1994, he had been made President of Alfa-Bank Russia and Member of the Board of Directors. The bank had been founded by Mikhail Fridman four years previously in Moscow as a partnership with limited liability in the final days of the Soviet Union. It would receive a licence to operate as a bank the following year, when the first corporate clients opened their accounts.
Petr Aven remained prominent in his official capacities at Russia’s largest private bank for the next 18 years, becoming Chairman in 2011 and ultimately stepping down in 2022. It was during his time at Alfa-Bank that the now billionaire amassed much of his net worth, which today stands at an estimated USD 4.8 billion.
One of the key players in the bank’s activities, Aven was responsible for overall strategy direction and ensuring good relations with members of the business community as well as politicians, both in Russia and abroad. The bank’s finances have also fared well, with a total equity of USD 8.67 billion, assets worth USD 61.85 billion and a net income of USD 1.35 billion as of 2020. The bank employs over 26,000 people, and has over 1 million retail customers and more than 22 million corporate clients.
On 1 March 2022, Alfa-Bank announced that, in the near future, Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven, Alexander Galitsky and Sergey Matsotsky would leave its Board of Directors. Fridman and Aven have retained their respective 32% and 12.4% ownership of ABH Holdings, keeping the pair under the 50% threshold and therefore protecting the banking group from sanctions.