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Red Notice

A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice

By Bill Browder
13-minute read
Audio available
Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice by Bill Browder

Red Notice (2015) is a gripping, true story of one man’s experience with fraud, corruption and violence in post-Soviet Russia. After discovering rampant fraud in Russia’s investment market, the author found himself in a nightmare: first, he was declared a national security threat, then he feared for his life.

  • Investors looking into opportunities in post-Soviet states
  • Human rights activists and legal advisors
  • People interested in modern Russian politics

Bill Browder, founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, was the largest foreign investor in Russia until 2005. He holds an MBA from Stanford Business School and before founding Hermitage, he was vice president at Salomon Brothers.

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Red Notice

A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice

By Bill Browder
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice by Bill Browder
Synopsis

Red Notice (2015) is a gripping, true story of one man’s experience with fraud, corruption and violence in post-Soviet Russia. After discovering rampant fraud in Russia’s investment market, the author found himself in a nightmare: first, he was declared a national security threat, then he feared for his life.

Key idea 1 of 8

Born into a communist family, Bill Browder rebelled by embracing capitalism and getting an MBA.

As Bill Browder boarded a plane on November 13, 2005, he didn’t think that day would be different from any other. He often flew from his home in London to Moscow, where he worked.

But this time was different. When Browder landed in Moscow, the Russian customs officers wouldn’t let him through. Instead, they detained him for 15 hours, without food or water, and sent him back to London without explanation.

This event baffled Browder. As the founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital, an investment company worth $4.5 billion, Browder was essentially the largest foreign investor in Russia.

What happened? To find out, let’s start at the beginning.

Bill Browder was born in 1964 to an intellectual family with communist sympathies. Browder’s father, Felix, was an accomplished mathematician; his grandfather Earl Browder was a labor union organizer from Kansas. Earl became the leader of the Communist Party of the United States and was invited to Moscow for an official visit in 1926.

Browder, however, found it difficult to embrace the left-wing beliefs of his family, so he rebelled – and chose to become a capitalist, instead.

Even after receiving an MBA from Stanford, Browder was still fascinated with his grandfather’s legacy, an interest that inspired him to look for business opportunities in the former Soviet sphere.

In 1989, Browder joined the Boston Consulting Group and moved to London, as the focus of the company’s London office was Eastern Europe. Later, in 1991, he joined Maxwell Communications Corporation, one of the only Western firms investing in Eastern Europe at the time.

His experience with Maxwell allowed him to explore nearly every country of the former Soviet bloc, and in doing so, he was a key player in many regional investments.

Before too long Maxwell was revealed to have been involved in financial fraud. Browder quickly left, and in 1992 took up an associate position with the Eastern European investment banking team at Salomon Brothers in London.

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