Mikhail Khodorkovsky was born on June 26, 1963, the only child of Marina and Boris Khodorkovsky, who worked as chemical engineers at an industrial tool plant. He followed in the footsteps of his parents, studying at Moscow’s Mendeleev Institute of Chemical Technologies.
From a young age, Khodorkovsky saw the importance of modernising Russia’s increasingly outmoded technological and scientific infrastructure; and in 1987, at the age of 24, he founded the Youth Centre for Scientific and Technical Development, to provide market research to large manufacturers and introduce them to new technologies. In 1989, following the development of a successful import-export business, Khodorkovsky acquired a banking licence, and with several business partners formed Bank Menatep, one of the first commercial banks in Russia. Subsequently, Khodorkovsky and his business partners established Rosprom, a diversified holding company, precursor of Group Menatep Limited (GML).