PROFILE-Russia’s central bank governor Sergei Ignatyev

Position: Bank of Russia Governor

Incumbent: Sergei Ignatyev, 62

Term: March 2002 to present.

Key Facts:

— Was appointed for a third term — a first in Russia’s
post-Soviet history — in June 2009. There are no limits as to
how many four-year terms the central bank governor may serve,
though Ignatyev’s current stint officially ends in 2013.

— Ignatyev has overseen the inflation battle of the oil
boom years and the scrapping of capital controls.

— He also led the central bank during the 2008-2009
crisis, when the regulator staged a gradual devaluation of the
ruble. The policy was subsequently judged to be successful, as
it managed to avoid panic and mass flight from the ruble seen
during the previous crisis, in 1998.

— Under Ignatyev, the central bank has been stepping up
its communication and becoming more open, as it gradually
increases the importance of interest rates and moves toward
targeting inflation rather than the exchange rate.

— Ignatyev took his first high-ranking job at the economy
and finance ministry under the pro-reform administration of
Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar when President Boris Yeltsin was in

— The grey-haired, bespectacled Ignatyev is reticent with
the press, almost never giving interviews and restricting
contact to occasional news conferences. Colleagues have
characterized him as a very careful man, who takes a balanced
approach and tends to avoid controversial decisions.

— Ignatyev leaves most public and media appearance duties
to First Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev — another member of
Gaidar’s reform team who has written a book of poetry, has been
photographed rollerblading and in March 2010 became a father
for a third time a few days short of his 54th birthday.

— Ignatyev, an author of more than 20 academic papers and
holder of a PhD in economics, hails from current Prime Minister
Vladimir Putin’s home town of St Petersburg and portrays
himself as a non-party affiliated moderate reformer.

— Russia’s central bank is officially independent,
although analysts have questioned the scope of the government’s
influence on policy. The central bank famously embarked on a
campaign of interest rate cuts in April 2009, just a day after
Putin publicly told Ignatyev rate cuts were possible given
lower inflation.

— Ignatyev, a keen smoker, earned 19.5 million rubles
($645,900) in 2009, co-owns a flat with his wife and has the
use of a central bank country house, according to official
(Reporting by Toni Vorobyova and Yelena Fabrichnaya; Editing
by Paul Simao)

PROFILE-Russia’s central bank governor Sergei Ignatyev