Alexander Knaster was bornon 19 February 1959 in United States. Moscow-born banker Alexander Knaster emigrated to the U.S. with his parents in 1976 and became a U.S. citizen. He returned to Russia in the mid-1990s and headed Credit Suisse First Boston's Moscow operation. He later became chief of Alfa Bank, Russia's largest private commercial bank. Now Knaster heads Pamplona Capital Management, a British private equity firm he founded in 2005, whose clients include Alfa Group. He got UK citizenship in 2009. In 2007 Knaster and other Russian Jewish billionaires formed the Genesis Philanthropy Group, a foundation that promotes Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews worldwide. He has also given significantly to his alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University, creating the Alexander M. Knaster Scholarship Fund to aid full-time undergraduate students in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; he also endowed the chair of the mathematics department at Carnegie Mellon. In March 2013 Alfa Group sold its stake in oil joint-venture TNK-BP for $28 billion, Knaster got $600 million out of this sum. In March 2014 German RWE, the one of the Europe's leading utilities companies, agreed to sell its oil and gas company RWE Dea to Alfa Group for 5.1 billion euro. Knaster is in the process of transferring the majority of his assets, including his stakes in LetterOne, into a new charitable foundation, whose objective is to fight cancer and which will be focused on early stage cancer research. This transfer will be completed in the end of 2014.
In 2014 Knaster established The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research
In 2011, in partnership with fellow alumnus Bruce McWilliams, Knaster helped to establish the Knaster-McWilliams scholarships, which allow for increased access to faculty and early research opportunities in addition to tuition assistance
He was very successful and due to his background in investment banking, Knaster established Pamplona Capital Management in 2004, in which the Alfa Group would invest some of its profit (he chose the name Pamplona after the Pamplona San-Fermin Festival which he attended after graduating from Harvard Business School)
In 1998, he resigned from CSFB and accepted an offer from Mikhail Fridman to become CEO at Alfa Bank
After graduating in 1985 with an MBA from Harvard Business School and working at several investment banks, he returned to Russia in 1995 to work as CEO of the Russian branch of Credit Suisse First Boston
In 1980, he accepted a job as an engineer with Schlumberger working on their oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico
Knaster was born in Moscow in 1959 to a Jewish family of academics