Nurzhan Subkhanberdin is known for his prominent role in establishing Kazakh private business and entrepreneurial spirit through his founding of Kazkommertsbank (KKB), an independent private financial institution in 1991. Nurzhan began his journey in business and finance by attending Moscow State University and graduating with a First-Class Honours degree in Economics. After graduating from MSU he was determined to build up a world-class financial institution, which would help Kazakhstan to thrive in a new economic era.
As a private person and businessman, he was never affiliated with any ruling establishment party or circle in the country and is consequently recognized as a solid symbol of self-made success and entrepreneurship for all generations of businessmen in Kazakhstan. His remarkable talent for leadership, unique entrepreneurial vision, and highest standard of business ethics propelled the rise of Kazkommertsbank (KKB)- the largest private financial institution in the CIS, the former Soviet Union region, with assets of more than 24 bn USD.
Mr. Subkhanberdin is a true founder of Kazakhstan’s private banking system and private business, setting up a high standard for the industry and carrying out an integral impact on the development of a Kazakh entrepreneurial spirit.
In November 2001, joined by other Kazakh businessmen, Mr. Subkhanberdin established an opposition political party to promote democratic political change in the country. Throughout 2006-2009 he supported the influential newspaper Vremya through his block of shares. Vremya was the main independent mass media for an alternative view of social, political, and economic events. His open support of promoting democracy in the country coupled with his independent financial success became to be considered a potential source of threat to the ruling circle’s regime in the country.
Along with his entrepreneurial activity, Nurzhan Subkhanberdin and other executives at KKB have been heavily involved in Kazakhstan’s philanthropic projects via the bank’s charity fund Kous Zholy. The fund was among the largest in the country and provided aid to the city of Almaty through projects that supported public welfare and infrastructure. The fund acquired new ambulances for the city, helped new productions at the State Opera and Ballet Theatre, and held International Opera festivals in Almaty. Kous Zholy provided funding for small and medium enterprises initiated by the disabled community.
Mr. Subkhanberdin holds over two decades of experience in finance and economics. Including banking and investment management in global, emerging, and frontier markets. He served as a founder and Chairman of the Board managing Kazkommertsbank from 1991 till 2015; in 2015, he sold his stake in the company that had become his major source of wealth.