About Alexander

Mr Gorbachev – no relation of the former Soviet leader Mikhail – was born in Moscow in 1962. He was born into a modest family, his mother a civil servant and father a mechanical engineer.

His academic skills saw him rise in Moscow society and his entrepreneurial skills were widely recognised when Russia moved from socialism to a free market system in the 1990s.

In 1995-96, Mr Gorbachev and Mr Guriev took control of Apatit, PhosAgro’s predecessor company. They stabilised the firm’s finances and grew the company through acquisitions, creating a vertically-integrated miner, processor and trader of phosphate-based fertilisers.

These assets were consolidated to become PhosAgro in the early 2000s. Mr Gorbachev held a number of roles during these years, including Chairman of PhosAgro, Board Director of Apatit and vice-president of the International Fertiliser Association, the global industry body. He was the public face of the company.

Following the 2003 arrest of Mikhail Khordokovsky, a business associate of Mr Gorbachev and Mr Guriev, he was forced to flee the country to evade politically motivated fraud charges. Because he had a higher-profile role in the business at the time than Mr Guriev, he was more vulnerable to such charges. He had not been told what criminal activity he was alleged to have been involved in. Mr Gorbachev was granted asylum in England in 2005 and has lived there ever since.

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