Yana Gref — Wife Of The Head Of Sberbank Of Russia, German Gref: Biography, Personal Life

Published on: April 4, 2023

Last Updated on: May 9, 2024

German Gref wife

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The personal life of Sberbank CEO German Gref has always been of interest to the public. However, in the last few years, the press has stopped covering this topic. Gref’s wife Yana is the ideal wife for an executive.

She does not attend social parties, is engaged in the upbringing of children, and is completely immersed in the business of the “Khoroshkola” private school. How was the relationship of this exemplary couple developing and what does Yana Gref do these days?

Discrepancies invisible to the naked eye

The Gref couple has been together for about twenty years. Yana accompanies her husband at receptions and appears at theatrical premieres. It is easy to notice that the wife of the head of Sberbank does not like flashy jewelry and prefers stylish but rather modest clothing, especially considering Moscow’s standards.

She rarely ever gives interviews and is focused on her family’s educational project. There is indeed plenty to do — in September 2022, the new building of the “Khoroshkola” progymnasium for the youngest pupils was opened.

At first glance, it would seem that Gref’s personal life is an open book. However, those who want to find out more details about the family of the top manager are often disappointed. One can find a lot of information about every step that German Gref took during his career on the Internet.

On the other hand, the biography of his wife is simply absent from the net. Yana’s name appeared in the press only after a high-profile wedding in Peterhof. The registration of marriage was held in the main building of the palace ensemble, which was perceived ambiguously. That is part of the reason why journalists were eager to find out the history of the couple, but their efforts were in vain.

However, there is nothing surprising about such privacy. The wedding took place in 2004, and it had been long before social networking and blogging became popular. The “VKontakte” platform did not exist at that time, and those who liked to communicate via the Internet preferred forums.

Apparently, Yana had no interest in the Internet before her marriage and did not post information about herself publicly. The desire to hide the Gref family’s life from prying eyes in later years seems quite reasonable.

Brief biography

Meta-tag ALT for this picture: German Gref’s wife

Yana Gref (maiden name Golovina) was born on 5 August 1975. The information about her birthplace is contradictory.

A number of sources indicate that the wife of the head of Sberbank was born in Estonia, but Gelendzhik, where her parents lived and worked for a long time, should rather be considered her hometown.

After school, Yana entered a university and obtained a degree in economics. At first, she worked in accounting but soon realized that she had chosen the wrong way. Her first marriage to Aleksey Glumov was unsuccessful, and after the divorce, the young woman had to bring up her young son on her own.

During that period, Yana became interested in design and even completed several projects for her friends and acquaintances. However, the competition and lack of regular orders prevented her from moving on in that sphere.

The big wedding

The future spouses met in Moscow but decided to get married in St. Petersburg, the city where German Gref’s career began. The news of the wedding became a sensation even among the ever-present journalists.

All tabloid representatives were eager to attend the wedding. The reason for the excitement was Gref’s position — at the time, the top manager was the head of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and was a very high-profile figure.

For the general public, the wedding turned into a real detective story. The minister’s inner circle had spread information that the wedding would take place at the Palace on the English Embankment, where journalists began to gather in the early hours of April 30, 2004.

The information turned out to be misleading — at that time, the arriving guests were going straight to Peterhof, where the wedding of the MEDT head was actually taking place.

There was much speculation about the venue chosen for the wedding ceremony. The ceremony took place in the Throne Room of the Great Peterhof Palace, as per an agreement with the museum’s management.

The newlyweds and a small number of guests stayed there for no more than 15 minutes and then went to the government residence “K-2”, where a banquet took place. The reception was attended by friends and colleagues of the minister from his days at the St. Petersburg mayor’s office: Dmitry Kozak, Alexei Kudrin, and the head of “Lenenergo” Andrey Likhachev.

After the wedding at the Peterhof Palace, German Gref had to explain himself in the State Duma, although there was actually nothing special about the ceremony. At the time, it was common practice for museums and government residences to earn money by renting out venues.

Short meetings and business conferences were held in the halls of the Palace-Museum in Peterhof, and it was only due to the activity of journalists that an ordinary presentation of marriage certificates grew into an entire story.

Head of Sberbank of Russia

At the end of 2007, there was a regular government dissolution. At the same time, it became publicly known that the head of the MEDT was leaving and that his new post would be at Sberbank.

Gref later noted that his move to the business sector allowed him to take a break from his hard work in the ministry. It was the first time in many years that the executive managed to take a long vacation and go to the sea.

In an interview, Gref mentioned that an equally important reason for the shift was the need to provide for his wife and children. The couple had their first daughter in 2006, and at the time of the job transfer, the family was preparing for the birth of their second child.

However, family concerns did not prevent the new head of Sberbank from becoming deeply committed to his work. For six months German Gref has been completely immersed in his new area of work and has been developing a reform plan.

Today Gref is called the most outstanding leader of the Russian banking industry. The top manager managed to bring technology to an unreachable level in a short period of time, completely rebuild the lending system and significantly increase the asset portfolio.

Nowadays, Sber has transformed from a credit institution into a large-scale fintech company combining several dozens of financial and consumer services. At the end of 2022, the bank was recognized as the country’s technological leader.

Yana Gref’s school

German Gref has repeatedly voiced his views on Russian education. According to the top manager, the entire system needs radical reform — from the first steps in the nursery to education in higher education institutions.

The head of Sberbank is sure that today it is necessary to abandon the unified educational model in favor of a personalized system when each student can focus on the areas, in which they are interested. As for other subjects, it is sufficient to receive only a set of basic knowledge necessary for life.

The top manager’s ideas formed the basis of an educational project, and Yana Gref became the driving force behind it. The idea of opening her own grammar school came to her while she was searching for a nursery for her daughters.

“Khoroshkola” announced its first enrolment in 2013. Four years after the first selection, a gymnasium for high school students was opened on Narodnoye Opolcheniya Street in the Khoroshevo-Mnevniki district.

The funding came from personal funds of the Gref family, their friends, and business partners. The school building was designed according to the best models of educational institution architecture in the world.

The gymnasium building has everything for developing a child’s talents: classrooms and a library, labs with modern equipment, a theatre hall, sports grounds, a swimming pool, and even a recording studio.

The gymnasium has a tuition fee, but talented children receive scholarships and benefits from the Board of Trustees.

Winners of All-Russian academic competitions and contests, as well as members of national teams competing in international events, are entitled to a 100% discount. In 2022 a new progymnasium building was opened for pupils attending years 1–4 along with a nursery for preschool children.

The work of Yana Gref

Yana Gref is the co-founder and head of the ANO Khoroshevskaya School. All of the younger generations of the family attend the gymnasium, including Gref’s children and the top manager’s granddaughter, the daughter of his eldest son Oleg.

The wife of the head of Sberbank considers her husband’s constant busyness to be the main hurdle to proper family communication. The problem is solved by traditions that are strictly followed by the whole family: joint breakfasts and Sunday lunches, Christmas celebrations with handmade gifts, and joint vacations.

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Arnab Dey

Arnab is a passionate blogger. He shares sentient blogs on topics like current affairs, business, lifestyle, health, etc. To get more of his contributions, follow Smart Business Daily.

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