ZAO Standard Bank, a 100% subsidiary of Standard Bank Group, has announced its plans for the aggressive development of its Russian business supported by a reorganisation of its top management team.

Two new board members are elected, Yury Voicehovsky and Dmitry Shevtsov. Voicehovsky, who has been a non-executive director of ZAO Standard Bank for over a year since late 2005, was elected as president and chairman of the management board (with the appointment subject to the final approval of the Central Bank of Russia).

Shevtsov will oversee several business divisions, including investment banking, corporate lending and direct investments. Philip Hurley, formerly president, will remain on the board of directors of ZAO Standard Bank, with primary responsibility for the bank’s trading activities and operational infrastructure.

According to Martin Botha, Standard Bank’s regional head for Europe, Middle East and Central Asia, and chairman of the supervisory board of ZAO Standard Bank: “These new appointments are a demonstration of our new and more aggressive plans for our Russian business, which the new team will spearhead. Standard Bank looks to the local markets for top management positions throughout the world, believing local talent can bring a greater understanding of the market, thus adding to our competitive edge. Yury and Dmitry are an exceptionally strong and professional team with a great understanding of business in Russia and a unique skill set in structured finance, investment banking and private equity. These skills are complementary to the existing strong product capability of our successful Russian business. Standard Bank plans to build a much more substantial business in Russia and there will be a further series of initiatives to attain that goal. ”

According to Voicehovsky, “We have a big task ahead of us. The banking sector is already global and becoming more competitive and we would like to fully utilise the competitive advantages  of Standard Bank’s natural affinity with emerging markets and its global presence, including UK, South Africa, South America and Asia. Our priorities for 2007 will be to finalise our strategy, to expand our team by hiring the best talents from the market and to form new partnerships, including in certain areas of retail business. We will consider acquisitions too, when they can add value. We are going to focus on certain niches and expect to build our business around our clients “core needs, whether they be financing, restructuring, risk management or advice. We also plan to establish a private equity platform and will seriously consider investing in infrastructure projects in Russia. I would like this assignment to be a success for all stakeholders, especially our clients, our shareholders and our staff. I am very happy that I will be working together with Dmitry and the existing team at Standard Bank on this big but exciting challenge.”

According to Hurley, “I am pleased that Yury, who has been working together with us for a year, has been appointed as president. I am confident that his and Dmitry’s professional abilities and their interests in a variety of fields will put us in a strong position to deliver against our vision for the future of Standard Bank in Russia. The broadening of the management team will give us the capacity to develop the bank in a number of new directions.”

According to Shevtsov, “I believe that direct investments in non-listed Russian companies will bring the biggest returns in the current business environment. We are considering investing in infrastructure projects in Russia and participating in certain public-private partnership projects, which will become a big part of the future Russian economy. I’m certain the role of Standard Bank will further increase in Russia and in the CIS financial markets by meeting clients “demands in key fields of investment and corporate banking.”

ZAO Standard Bank is the Moscow-based, wholly-owned Russian subsidiary of the Standard Bank Group. ZAO Standard Bank was established in 2002 and granted its Russian banking licence in 2003. ZSB enables the Standard Bank Group to serve its Russian and international clients with a full range of corporate and investment banking services in the Russian market.

Voicehovsky has over 15 years of international experience in banking, including 10 years at the EBRD. Before the EBRD he worked at HSBC in London. Voicehovsky is a co-founder of Astor Capital and currently serves as its non-executive chairman. He has originated several high profile transactions in Russia and FSU and advised top corporate managements, and also co-founded the New Europe Real Estate Fund.

Shevtsov is a former managing partner of Eurasian Resources. He was managing director and general counsel of Renaissance Capital Group, director general of Renaissance Capital Financial Consultant, member of the board of directors of OAO Kuzbassenergo and Astor Capital.

Before Renaissance, Shevtsov worked in the London office of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton and Baker Botts in Washington DC, two leading international law firms.

He has worked on a number of high profile projects representing the Russian ministry of finance, Gazprom, RAO UES, AIG and National Grid Group (UK) among others.