Malkin built his fortune in the banking sector, notably with his business partner Bidzina Ivanishvili. The two men founded Rossiysky Kredit, which was the third largest Russian bank until the financial crisis of 1998. He officially retired from business in 2004, when he became a member of Federation Council, representing the east Siberian republic of Buryatia (from 2004 to 2013). In 2012, headed a delegation of four Russian senators in Washington lobbying against the Magnitsky Act. Vitaly Malkin and his colleagues tried to convince American senators that Sergei Magnitsky was a criminal and that he died from pancreatitis.