After the fall of the Soviet Union, it seemed only slightly ironic that William Browder would become one of the most prominent foreign investors in Russia. His grandfather, labor organizer Earl Browder, had spent years in the country, then became the head of the U.S. Communist Party in the 1930s and early ’40s. The family was shunned during the McCarthy era, and Bill Browder determined early in life he would take the opposite path. “I would put on a suit and tie and become a capitalist,” he wrote in a memoir about his time in Russia, Red Notice. Browder earned an MBA from Stanford, joined the Boston Consulting Group with a focus on Eastern Europe and moved on to investing in Russia for Salomon Brothers. In 1996, he founded the hedge fund Hermitage Capital Management in Moscow.
Maybe more unexpected is the fact that Browder has become one of the biggest thorns in the side of Russia president Vladimir Putin—and possibly a key reason Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
You can read my Worth interview with Browder here.