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The Transformation Of Sberbank Into A Modern Financial Institution – The Speed Traders 2012 Workshop

Russian banking

Abacus to ATM

The transformation of Sberbank into a modern financial institution - The Speed Traders 2012 Workshop

Sberbank has its roots in an 1841 order by Tsar Nicholas I to create private savings banks. In the 20th century the bank grew to resemble a Soviet public utility, with all the gleaming efficiency and attentive customer care that denotes. For years after the break-up of the Soviet Union, it functioned much as before, resting on its huge, built-in client base and a reputation for dependability. It was, as it remains today, a state-owned company, with 57.6% of its shares held by Russia's central bank.

Its operations were divided into 17 regional banks, each with its own procedures and no way to communicate. As Denis Bugrov, the senior vice-president for strategy, says, this "Russian nesting-doll architecture" raised overhead costs and made it difficult to implement strategy. Its branches were stuffy, unfriendly places. Overall, the bank was "20 or 25 years behind decent practice", says Mr Bugrov.

The process of reform began with the arrival of Mr Gref as chief executive in 2007. He hired young executives who broke down the bank's old structure and centralised operations. Loans were no longer approved by each regional office according to opaque, subjective judgments, but processed through a single, standardised system. The default rate on loans has dropped from around 8% to 0.5%.

The Speed Traders Workshop 2012 will be extremely insightful for delegates who are working in finance and investments, from financial institutions, investment banks, hedge funds, pension funds, broker dealers, consultancy groups, prime brokers, solution providers and exchanges, who wish to gain a thorough understanding and practical knowledge of high-frequency trading. The Speed Traders Workshop 2012 will reveal how high-frequency trading players are succeeding in the global markets and driving the development of algorithmic trading at breakneck speeds from the U.S. and Europe to India, Singapore and Brazil.