Herman Gref

Herman Gref
Герман Греф
Chairman and CEO of Sberbank
Assumed office
November 2007
Preceded by Andrey Kazmin
Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Russian Federation
In office
18 May 2000  21 September 2007
Preceded by Andrei Shapovalyants
Succeeded by Elvira Nabiullina
Personal details
Born Herman Oskarovich Gref
Герман Оскарович Греф

(1964-02-08) February 8, 1964
Panfilovo, Pavlodar oblast' Kazakh SSR, Soviet Union
Political party No affiliation
  • Yelena Gref
  • Yana Gref (2004–)
Children 2
Alma mater Omsk State University
Leningrad University
Religion Roman Catholicism

Herman[1][2][3] Oskarovich Gref (Russian: Герман Оскарович Греф, born February 8, 1964) is a Russian statesman and top manager. He was the Minister of Economics and Trade of Russia from May 2000 to September 2007. He currently is the CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of the largest Russian bank Sberbank.

Education and early career

Herman Gref was born in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (now Kazakhstan) into a family of ethnic German deportees who were exiled there in 1941. After fulfilling two years of military service, he studied law at Omsk State University in Siberia from 1985 to 1990.

He then moved to Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) and taught law at Leningrad University until completing his post-graduate degree in 1993. In 1992 – 1998 Gref worked on several positions at the Saint Petersburg City Administration.

Work for the Russian government

In August 1998, Herman Gref was appointed First Deputy Minister of State Property of the Russian Federation, and was a member of its board until 2000. He was also appointed to the board of the Federal Commission for the Securities Market of the Russian Federation and the board of state-owned Svyazinvest and Gazprom in 1999.

Gref was first appointed as Minister of the newly formed Ministry of Economic Development and Trade on May 18, 2000 and was reappointed to the position in the succeeding Cabinet in 2004.

Herman Gref was a major advocate of Russia’s joining the World Trade Organisation.[4][5] He is also responsible for creation of the Stabilisation Fund.[6][7]

Gref was considered as one of the liberal reformers in Vladimir Putin's administration of the early and mid-2000s, besides Alexei Kudrin.

Work as CEO of Sberbank

In November 2007 Gref was elected as president of the state-owned savings bank Sberbank at an extraordinary general meeting.[8] Under Gref’s leadership, the bank has undergone a number of radical changes aimed at improving its efficiency and corporate culture.[9][10]

Herman Gref is member of boards and supervisory boards of a number of companies, including Yandex.[11]

Personal life

Gref married the designer Yana on May 1, 2004 in the throne room of Peterhof Palace.[12] His wife has a teenage son from a prior relationship, just as Gref has a son, Oleg, from his marriage with Yelena, who refused to move to Moscow when Herman Gref was called into the government in 1998.[12][13] Since 2006 the couple has a daughter. Oleg studied jurisprudence in St. Petersburg until 2004 and moved to Germany for further education. Gref speaks German and loves Goethe and German Expressionism.[13]

In an interview with Russian News Agency TASS, Gref admitted to speculating with Bitcoin.[14]


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