The Biography of Kyrylo Shevchenko

Kyrylo Shevchenko is a renowned Ukrainian banker, the chairman of the board at Ukrgasbank. He was born in Russia (Tula) in 1972, graduated from high school in the city of Stakhanov, Lugansk region, and in the period of 1987-1989 worked at a mine.

Education and the beginning of the banking career

In 1989, Kyrylo Shevchenko enrolled in The Kharkov Institute of Engineering and Economics (currently known as the Kharkiv National University of Economics). It is one of the most renowned educational establishments in the country that always had the superb foundation for grooming specialists in the area of economics. It bred a plethora of candidates and doctors of economics as well as specialists in the various related fields, such as entrepreneurship and management. Nowadays, the university also educates specialists in public administration, informational technologies, and computer sciences.

Kyrylo Shevchenko chose to study at the economic faculty of this university for a reason: he decided to devote himself to economy and entrepreneurship, thus he picked the university that provided a really strong theoretical and practical knowledge base.

Having obtained the degree in the specialty of accounting and analysis of entrepreneurial activity, Kyrylo came to work at the Kharkiv branch of the Ukrainian Credit Bank. This was in 1994, the period when the banking sector in the country was going through a period of its infancy, the market was changing and forming, there were almost no specialists who had real practical experience of work in the new economic conditions.

What were the difficulties that specialists in the area of banking had to encounter at that time? It was the period of departure from the strict administrative schemes of economic regulation to the market ones; the banking system was going through really tough times back then. It was necessary not only to search for solutions for their own arising issues but also to integrate into the reforming economic system and to make a contribution to this process.

The banks had to competently ensure the proper resource allocation for the short, medium and long term, provide the incentive for competitive relations and participate in processes of price determination. At the same time, the sector had to support and develop the monetary and credit connections and provide assistance in creating conditions for the operational capability of the transparent economy. It was necessary to enter the market of international circulation of commodities, investments and, at the same time, organize the financial discipline and acquaint the employees as well as the customers with it.

That’s how complicated was the period of time when Kyrylo Shevchenko came to work at the bank. He began his career as an ordinary economist, who specialized in operations with deposits, and then obtained the position of the economist at the credit department.

In 1995,Mr.Shevchenko transferred to the Kharkiv branch of Aval Bank. At that time, the bank had been working in the market for about three years and had already been accredited to participate in the projects initiated by the EBRD. It was one of the first banks that began working with international payment systems, and at a certain period of time, the Western Union even named Aval Bank its most reliable partner in Eastern Europe.

Having started from ordinary positions at the Kharkov branch of Aval Bank, Kyrylo Shevchenko became an acting manager of the loan sector and later became the chief economist at that bank.

This was followed by his transfer to the Finance and Credit bank. Back then, the bank, which is currently known to every Ukrainian, just began its activities after having passed the process of re-registration and was among the hundreds of small national banks. Most of these banks seem to have disappeared, leaving no trace in memory; however, by 2006, the Finance and Credit Bank, where Mr.Shevchenko had eventually acquired the post of the deputy chairman of the board, was ranked among the top 10 biggest banks in Ukraine. It had an extensive branch and ATM networks, was ranked among the top 20 banks in Ukraine with the largest volume of assets; dozens of major manufacturing and commercial enterprises in the country were associated with this particular bank.

Kyrylo Shevchenko devoted 11 years of his life to this bank.

Counselor and adviser

In 2006, after he left the Finance and Credit bank, Kyrylo Shevchenko became the head of the State Mortgage Institution (SMI). It was created two years before the arrival of Kyrylo, and its primary objective was to compensate the interest rates on loans that were obtained at the banks. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine created the SMI with the aim to reduce the cost of mortgage loans and thereby to activate this market and give an incentive for the general population to acquire their own property.

Even today not every bank in the country chooses to cooperate with the SMI, and then there were even fewer such banks; however, thanks to this institution, a lot of citizens of this country were able to benefit from using mortgage lending programs.

It was at the time of Kyrylo’s service at the SMI and on his initiative that this organization issued the government-guaranteed bonds. This was the first such event in the history of the Ukrainian stock market. The innovation was met with great interest, it turned out to be very successful, and the issuance of bonds has continued. Thanks to these bonds, many investors obtained the additional investment tools. By the late 2007, the nominal value of the issued bonds reached the amount of 1 billion UAH which led to similar guarantees being included in the state budget for the coming year.

Subsequently, the SMI was working on issuing bonds that were not guaranteed by the government with the objective to increase the market liquidity and eliminate the dependence on government guarantees.

Even today, the SMI successfully carries out its activities rather successfully, despite the tough economic situation in the country. The institution carries on with the issuance of bonds, sets rates, pays interest income and provides mortgage loans, and recently began attracting external borrowings on a competitive basis in order to continue implementing housing programs.

In 2009, Kyrylo Shevchenko leaves his post at the SMI and becomes a full-time adviser to the Prime Minister of Ukraine. Over the course of the same year, he became a member of the supervisory board at Ukrgasbank right after its nationalization. Later, he became the first deputy chairman of the board.

It should be specially noted that among all nationalized banks, there are almost no such banks that continue their operations afterward. Why does this happen if the minimum criterion in the process of selection of banks for nationalization is the minimum costs of restoring its functionality; in other words, the problems should not be overly neglected, isn’t it? It is a rather delicate question but I have to say that, in many ways, the outcome depends on the actions of the new management team. The efficiency and the coherence of their action are of great importance; these actions will be aimed at the restoration of bank’s solvency.

In any case, when the bank goes through the process of nationalization, it means that it has some really serious issues, and it is not always possible to save the institution, which is going downhill, even by taking ultra-professional and prompt measures.   Many processes may initiate a chain reaction while the time for solving the problem is severely limited.

In other words, there are almost no banks among the ones which were nationalized that remained “operational” at the end of all works. However, there are some exceptions. Yes, there are some exceptions and Ukrgasbank is one of them.

In 2010, Kyrylo Shevchenko together with his business partners bought a small and unknown bank called Terra, and Kyrylo Shevchenko became the chairman of the board at this bank. In two years, at the time when the bank was being transferred to new owners, Terra was among TOP 45 banks of the country and in the TOP 6 banks that shown the biggest growth; the bank’s IBI-Rating was raised to BBB+ with a favorable prognosis. The Bank was one of the winners of the Ukrainian banker awards 2012 in the “The most dynamic banks” nomination. According to the results of the very same 2012, the year when Terra was sold, it joined the ranks of the banks that showed the most impressive results over the course of the year in terms of profitability, assets and equity growth.

In the following years after its sale, Terra dropped down a few positions, but still existed for several more years, had more than forty branches in the country and survived a series of crises that “drowned” the larger financial institutions.

Until the fall of 2014, Kyrylo Shevchenko worked as an adviser to the chairman of the board of Oschadbank, the country’s second-largest bank in terms of the volume of assets and leader with regard to the number of branches. In the same year, Oschadbank became one of the 10 largest banks of Western and Central Europe and ranked 367th in the global banks rating. This data was provided by The Banker, the British professional magazine for specialists in the field of finance and banking, in print since 1926.

Later, Kyrylo Shevchenko to Ukrgasbank, which he and his team managed to rescue, as the first deputy of the management board.

In 2015, he acquired the post of the chairman of the board at this bank; it was the first time in the history of Ukraine when the head of the bank was appointed on a competitive basis. The competition to fill the vacancy was open after the Ministry of Finance sacked the person who held the previous position of the chairman of the board. The applicants had to meet a number of demands that concerned their previous work experience and the actual result of this work. The requirements were as follows: the absence of violations of the law during the period of work at the previous bank, no less than 3 years of managing experience in the field of banking, the proper fulfillment of obligations under loans etc. The selection was carried out in two stages; each candidate was reviewed by the specially selected commission.    

Today Kyrylo Shevchenko holds this post and continues to work on the development of Ukrgasbank that provides an extensive list of services to corporate clients as well as the general population, elaborates new credit programs, implements electronic banking systems, expands the network of branches and ATMs, conducts different campaigns for its clients, takes active part in social programs, and finds perspective investment objects. In particular, the bank gives much prominence to the development of alternative energy and environmental programs and also continues to promote the development of mortgage lending.

You can find more information about the current activities of the bank of Kyrylo Shevchenko’s official Facebook page.

Diplomas, certificates, social activities

Kyrylo Shevchenko holds plenty of certificates and diplomas. There are few among them that worth a special mention: professional certificates from the National Commission for Regulation in the Field of Financial Services Markets and the certificate from the State Commission for Securities.

In 1998, he became a professional participant in the stock market.

The member of the board of the Independent Association of Bank of Ukraine (IABU).

Ties off

Mr.Shevchenko is a family man who stays faithful to his choice; he’s been married for twenty years. He brought up his daughter, who is the only child in the family, to be a responsible and independent person.

He is fluent in three languages: Ukrainian, Russian, and English.

The active social life and highly-responsible tireless work leave not much time for leisure, though he still finds time for such hobbies as mountaineering and kiteboarding.  

These are very serious sports that do not tolerate the superficial approach and negligence. Both sorts are associated with dangers and difficulties; absolute control, knowledge of safety and discipline, ability to coolly think and take instant decisions in critical situations are crucial when it comes to these sports.

There are several things that are of the utmost importance in kiteboarding: control, calculation, and ability to simultaneously monitor the behavior of two elements: water and air, in order to predict their “behavior.” Speaking of mountaineering, the most important aspects of this sport are persistence, the will to pursue a goal, and the ability to work as a team.   Elbrus, Kazbek, Kilimanjaro, and Ararat are among the ascents made by Mr.Shevchenko; he also has the tracks in Himalayan under his belt, around Annapurna, one of the most notorious mountains in the world.

It can be said the Kyrylo Shevchenko’s hobbies are yet another facet of his character that always tries to reach the peak in everything.