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It's been a quarter century since the fall of the Soviet empire triggered one of history's greatest wealth transfers. Now bankers are preparing for another as Russia's first generation of capitalists makes way for the next. The 22 Russians on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index daily ranking of the world's 400 wealthiest people control about $200 billion combined and more than half of that – $115 billion – is tied up in closely held or publicly traded companies operating in Russia.In the U.S., people have used the ever-growing sophistication of the legal system to safeguard the transfer of wealth between generations for decades.Sam Walton, for example, handed ownership of Wal-Mart to his four children in the 1950s, creating the world's largest family fortune. A quarter of the 125 billionaires from the U.S. in the ranking inherited their wealth while half of Europe's 106 biggest fortunes were passed down at least one generation.There are some 60,000 business owners who will grapple with the transfer dilemma over the next several years, according to Ruben Vardanyan, chairman of the expert council for the Skolkovo center.
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