Sberbank's Gref aims for glory
Sberbank’s chief German Gref has the task of creating a national banking champion for Russia. That includes building a presence overseas.
The Russian state wants a national banking champion to be proud of and has brought in new management, many from the private sector, to transform Sberbank into a top-notch corporate and retail bank. Its ambitious plans include establishing strong positions in foreign markets.
German Gref, the former Russian minister of economics and trade, was given the job at Sberbank with the mission to lead it to its next stage of development
ANTON KARAMZIN, FORMER chief financial officer of Morgan Stanley in Russia, had not met German Gref when he took the call from a headhunter on December 27 last year. Just two days later, he was preparing to sign a new job contract and shaking hands with the former Russian minister of economics and trade – chief Russian negotiator on World Trade Organization entry, father of the multi-billion dollar Russian stabilization fund, liberal economic reformer and long-term member of president Vladimir Putin’s inner circle until his sudden removal from the cabinet in 2007. Gref had been given the top job at Sberbank, Russia’s biggest bank, with a clear mission to lead to the next stage of development an institution that the previous management team, under outgoing president Andrei Kazmin, had already transformed from a sleepy state savings bank into a decent universal bank.