MOSCOW Aug 30 The chairman of Morgan Stanley's Russian office, a former Rosneft executive whose team led the top Russian oil producer's 2007 initial public offer, and its president are stepping down, a spokesman for the bank said on Thursday.
Rair Simonyan, who served as president of the bank for around a decade before becoming chairman, and Yelena Titova, the bank's current president, will leave the bank, spokesman Vladimir Tumarkin said, without specifying their future plans.
Simonyan, who is seen by analysts as close to Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin, is an academic who spent his early career at Moscow's prestigious Institute of the World Economy and International Relations.
He then moved to Rosneft in the late 1990s, before the acquisition of bankrupted oil company Yukos turned the mid-sized state oil company into a top producer, and joined Morgan Stanley in 1998.
Russian media have reported Titova, who spent around 12 years at Goldman Sachs before joining Morgan Stanley in Moscow, is a candidate to head the All-Russian Regional Development Bank, a mid-sized bank owned by Rosneft.
A Rosneft spokeswoman declined to comment on the prospect of either Titova or Simonyan joining the oil company or its affiliates.
Since the IPO, Rosneft has tapped Morgan Stanley for a succession of executives to run its finances. The current vice president for finance, Dmitry Avdeyev, served as co-head of investment banking at Morgan Stanley after a spell as chief financial officer of oil services company Integra.
His predecessor Pavel Fedorov was appointed deputy energy minister by current President Vladimir Putin earlier this year in the last months of his premiership.
The current managing director of the bank's investment banking division in Moscow, Gergely Voros, will stand in for Simonyan, while Titova's duties will pass to Mikhail Solovyov, head of capital markets in Moscow, Tumarkin said.