Suleyman Kerimov: Short Biography and Charitable Projects

Suleyman Kerimov is a big businessman, philanthropist, and art patron. He is engaged in large-scale charitable initiatives, supports projects on culture, education, sports, and finances Hajj pilgrimages.

Suleyman Kerimov‘s most noteworthy projects include an acquisition of Polyus, the largest Russian gold mining company, in 2009. Back then, Pavel Grachev took the position of its CEO. However, last year, Kerimov’s son sold a part of his stake in Polyus and donated the other part to the Islamic Organizations Support Fund. Pavel Grachev left Polyus at the same time and Alexei Vostokov replaced him as the CEO of the gold mining holding.

Childhood and education

Suleyman Kerimov was born in the city of Derbent (the Republic of Dagestan, the Russian Federation) in 1966. From a young age, he showed determination and diligence and, after graduating from school, he entered the Dagestan State University, where he studied at the Faculty of Economics and got his degree in 1988.

Professional experience

Kerimov’s first employer was the Eltav plant (Makhachkala). Suleyman Kerimov started his career as an economist but very soon became an assistant to the CEO.


In the early 1990s, Kerimov executed his first major project in the banking sector. Later, his business interests evolved and embraced mining and metals, oil and gas, telecommunications, and construction.

He bought Polyus, the largest Russian gold mining company, and a few years later the businessman handed it over to his son Said. In 2016, Said Kerimov joined the Supervisory Board of Polyus, and Pavel Grachev took up the position of its CEO.

In April 2022, Said Kerimov sold 30% of his stake in Polyus to Akropol. In May of the same year, he left the company for good, donating the remaining shares to Islamic Organizations Support Fund. In the spring of 2022, Pavel Grachev also left Polyus while Alexei Vostokov replaced him as the CEO of the gold mining holding.

Charity projects

Suleyman Kerimov is not only a successful and influential entrepreneur but also a prominent philanthropist. He provides consistent donations to support and develop impactful and salient projects.

One of the notable examples of Mr. Kerimov’s charitable contributions is his support of educational initiatives. He finances the construction of the campus for “School 21,” a free coding school located in the city of Makhachkala. He also funds several educational institutions and provides scholarships to talented students and widens their selection of high-quality education options.

Suleyman Kerimov is known for his strong support of cultural and historical projects. He helped restore the Moscow Cathedral Mosque and the Prophet Muhammad Mosque in Makhachkala. Suleyman Kerimov facilitated the construction of a museum, a library, a light and musical fountain, and an observation tower in Derbent. He helped with renovating the Nizami Ganjavi City Park.

Mr. Kerimov is an avid supporter of athletic initiatives. In 2011, he became the main sponsor of the Anji football club from Makhachkala, investing heavily in the team and helping to recruit famous players from all over the world. The philanthropist funded the construction of a football stadium and sponsored a children’s football academy.

For many years, Suleyman Kerimov has been helping the people of Dagestan to perform Hajj pilgrimages. He takes care of all the trip expenses to Medina for the pilgrims who seek to perform the sacred ritual.

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