Petr Aven graduated from Moscow State University in 1977, receiving a Candidate of Economic Sciences qualification in 1980. In 1989, Aven was appointed as an advisor to the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During this period, he was sent under contract to the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria. In 1991, he was appointed as First Deputy Minister of Foreign Economic Relations under Yegor Gaidar. In 1992, he was named Russian Minister of Economic Relations under the administration of Boris Yeltsin. He was tasked with creating a new ruble exchange programme and solving Russia’s foreign debt crisis.

He left his post in 1992, becoming an advisor for billionaire Boris Berezovsky, who was then the president of Russia’s first private car dealership and at one point had a net worth of USD 3 billion according to Forbes.
He quickly made the jump from politics to business and, by 1994, had been made President of Alfa-Bank Russia and a Member of the Board of Directors. He would remain prominent in his official capacities at Russia’s largest private bank for the next 18 years, becoming Chairman in 2011 before ultimately stepping down in 2022. It was during his time at Alfa-Bank that the now billionaire amassed much of his net worth, which today stands at an estimated USD 4.8 billion.

Along with Mikhail Fridman and German Khan, Petr Aven founded the LetterOne Holdings investment company. He was officially made a board member of the LetterOne Group in 2013. LetterOne, also known as L1, has made significant long-term investments in several key sectors such as telecommunications, healthcare, energy and technology.