Mikhail Balakin: Russian Construction Magnate

Posted on February 21, 2014


Engineering graduates are supposed to be good with numbers. Some are also good with numbers in the financial sense and have become successful businessmen. Mikhail Balakin is a graduate of the Moscow Institute of Civil Engineering. While others have gotten into careers not directly related to their fields Mikhail began working at Glavmosstroi, the huge Soviet construction company.

Mikhail worked in the period when the Soviet Union was beginning to privatize state enterprises. It so happened that in 1993 the division he worked in went private as Construction Department 115. Later he took over majority control of the company. His company can actually trace its origin all the way back to 1954 when it was known as “Stroymontazhtrest Number 3”.

The company is better known today as CD-155 (a.k.a. SU-155). The state is still a major client but more of the revenue is now coming from commercial and private construction. One of its notable projects has been the refurbishment of the Bolshoi Theater.

The construction business has made Mikhail a billionaire. There have been negative reports on some of his projects involving delays and other matters.  In January 2013 his company paid $70 million in settlements to creditors.