Vladimir Olegovich Potanin (Владимир Олегович Потанин in Russian) (born January 3, 1961, Moscow, former USSR), is a self-made Russian oligarch. His partner has been Mikhail Prokhorov. He acquired his wealth through the controversial loans-for-shares programme in Russia.
In 1978 Vladimir Potanin attended the faculty of the International economic relations at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), an elite school that groomed students for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Upon graduating MGIMO in 1983, he followed in his father's footsteps and went to work for the FTO "Soyuzpromexport" with the Ministry of Foreign trade of the Soviet Union
At the period of perestroika Vladimir Potanin quits the State’s structures of Foreign trade and creates in 1990 a private Association “Interros” using his knowledge gathered at Ministry of Foreign trade and previous professional network.