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Ilya Filatov: Biography of a Banking Executive

A financier and a champion of groundbreaking technologies in finance. Top manager in the nation’s several largest credit institutions. Valued by his colleagues, he has won various industry awards.


Ilya Filatov · Ilya Valentinovich Filatov · Ilya V Filatov · Filatov Ilya · Filatov I.V. · Filatov Ilya Valentinovich · Илья Филатов · Илья Валентинович Филатов · Филатов Илья · Филатов Илья Валентинович · Филатов И.В. · Ilja Valentinovitsj Filatov · Ilja Filatov · Filatov Ilja · Filatov Ilja Valentinovitsj · ايليا فالنتينوفيتش فيلاتوف · イリヤ・ヴァレンティノヴィッチ・フィラトフ · 伊利亚·瓦连廷诺维奇·菲拉托夫 · איליה פילטוב

Ilya Filatov

Ilya Filatov

Ilya Filatov: an economist by education

Born in summer 1976 in Moscow Region, Filatov Ilya Valentinovich received his first degree in Moscow State Academy of Water Transport, qualifying him to oversee industry enterprises.

Subsequently, he went on to improve his skills. In 2009, having completed his training in the state-affiliated Higher School of International Business with a focus on managing the enterprise’s financial structures, he got an MBA.

Ilya Filatov: early career

Ilya Filatov, whose entire professional life has been closely tied to banking, started his career in Elbim bank, where he oversaw currency transactions. Ilya Filatov worked for Elbim bank for more than two years, proceeding to hone his skills in banking sphere. Later, he got employed by AKB Moscow Center bank, where he was also overseeing foreign currency transactions.

The early career for Ilya Valentinovich Filatov were marked by rapid professional growth. Six months later, in 1999, he left Moscow Center for Platina commercial bank. He worked there for five years as the head of the card products department. This institution is known as a pioneer of online banking in Russia. In 2004, Ilya Filatov briefly worked for Moscow Credit Bank, once again taking a position of the head of the credit card department. Later, he got an offer to take a similar position in a major commercial credit institution.

Manager’s evolution in lockstep with bank development

Filatov Ilya Valentinovich moved to a major Moscow finance institution called Autobank-Nikoil, which initially focused on investment business and banking services. In 2004, Nikoil embarked on a merger with regional Ural-Siberian Bank, which was completed by late 2005. As a result, united financial corporation Bank Uralsib became one of the country’s largest credit institutions.

Initially, Filatov Ilya served as the bank’s executive director while supervising the credit card product line. 2008 marked a major career breakthrough for the manager as he was promoted to Deputy Board Chairman in Uralsib Corporation. As a deputy chair, he now had a chance to embark on improving various operational aspects within this major commercial institution.

Groundbreaking ideas for the financial structure

Among other things, Filatov Ilya Valentinovich was improving lending framework for small- and mid-sized business. Despite vigorous competition, the bank succeeded in increasing its credit portfolio. The top manager was able to offer the bank’s corporate clients not just a credit line, but also a whole range of banking services and comprehensive financial products. Another unique idea was the decision to establish a one-of-a-kind club for managers and owners of small- and mid-sized enterprises, where business people could look for new partners, brush up on economy and finance, and find various forms of business support.

Ilya Filatov, whose banking career mostly revolved around development of plastic card services, emerged as one of staunch proponents of integration of NFC payment tech, as he believed this area to be instrumental to expanding the Bank’s card product portfolio.  To put Uralsib at the forefront of technological advance, as early as in 2012, Filatov Ilya Valentinovich ensured certification of contactless plastic cards with leading global payment systems. The innovations also included pilot payroll card programs.

Ilya Filatov: acquiring development

As one of Russia’s largest banking institutions, Uralsib prioritized the development of acquiring services, or facilitating of non-cash payments to trade and other organizations using plastic cards. In 2013, Uralsib accounted for 25% of Russia’s entire acquiring market for banks, while this figure was at about 10% for the trade sphere. Filatov strongly believes that the acquiring bank managed to achieve such spectacular results due to cooperation with international payment systems. At the time, MasterCard was the bank’s main partner.

Ilya Filatov

Ilya Filatov

In addition to this, Ilya Valentinovich Filatov contributed to improving Uralsib’s plastic card credit products. With his input, in 2011, the bank’s business profile in this sector grew by a third, and a year later it increased by another 90%. Filatov Ilya believed that clients should be incentivized to use cards more often when shopping. To achieve this goal, integrated products were created, including, for example, those involving cash back programs which were made possible by cooperation with mobile operators or airlines. 

Uralsib leaders believe that Ilya Valentinovich Filatov drew up and implemented an efficient strategy to develop the corporation’s retail business and successfully modernized the bank’s outlet network. 

Ilya Filatov: new challenges for a veteran executive

In late 2014, Ilya Filatov moved up the career ladder once more, taking a position with a banking department in a major IT system. Over the course of the year, he was serving as the financial structure’s first vice president, later becoming board chairman. Ilya Filatov, who has always strived for innovation during his professional career, decided to bet on business development that would be based on the retail market. For that reason, the client service had to be upgraded, with cutting-edge tech solutions being put in place.

Ilya Filatov deemed his main challenge on this post to be the synergy between the financial structure and the telecom company. Capabilities provided by a major mobile operator enabled the bank to quickly and efficiently introduce and embrace new technologies.

In the first year of his work alone, Filatov Ilya managed to triple consumer lending, combined with a threefold decrease in losses. The existing integrated business infrastructure enabled the development of other financial services, such as payments and wire transfers.

High-tech solutions in the bank’s service

Ilya Valentinovich Filatov decided to refine the institution’s customer-oriented approach by leveraging fintech projects.  The executive thought that users now gradually started to have more confidence in digital technologies. To boost the appeal of the bank’s financial products, the top-manager opted for cutting out third parties when it came to monetary operations (wire transfers and payments). To achieve that, under Filatov Ilya’s leadership, the credit institution launched its own acquiring system.

Meanwhile, retail lending growth was fueled by dynamic digitalization of business. Arguably, one of the aspects of such work, which is not obvious for consumers, is the integration of software meant to ensure information security. Under Ilya Filatov’s leadership, the bank successfully rolled out R-Vision cybersecurity system, an achievement that was honored by Information Security of Russian Banks award in 2017.

Meanwhile, in 2018 the credit institution received an IT Leader Award for introducing groundbreaking digital services and completing integration with the digital app of state services portal ‘Gosuslugi.’ Another brand-new concept was the registration of private clients with the Integrated Biometric System using the corporation’s retail network.

Ilya Filatov as Russia’s fintech pioneer

Managed by Filatov, in late 2018, the banking entity became the nation’s first to have the capacity to provide full range of services linked to virtual credit cards. The familiar card number was replaced by a unique 16-digit code binded to a specific smartphone. All operations can be carried out via either a mobile app, or NFC terminals. The card itself, which does not physically exist, could be added to apps of popular payment systems.

In 2019, Ilya Filatov was recognized as the best manager in retail banking sector. Meanwhile, in 2021, state-of-the-art fintech services, which were developed under his leadership, won the acclaim of the jury of the Innovation and Achievement Award in the financial industry. The blockchain platform for trade finance and smartbank also turned out to be breakthrough. Filatov spearheaded the transformation of an ordinary mobile app into a service which allowed the customer to manage finances in various banks. As a result, an entire digital office emerged, enabling the client to rely on both traditional online banking as well as financial and insurance products, and view account balance and transactions history when it comes to cards issued by other banks. 

Forward-looking venture investments

Filatov is also among those economists who never miss out on projects that can potentially spell out success. In this vein, in 2020, the financial structure under his purview invested more than 120 million rubles ($1.5 million) into a Russian app that helped its users to control their expenses. This was one of the organization’s largest deals of the year. As a result of this investment, the structure gained a share in this project. At the time, several hundred thousand people used the service. By purchasing an online card and using it for shopping, one could not only control expenses, but also place spending limits in several categories. The system can also advise its user to stop the spending spree.

Filatov Ilya described this investment as highly promising as he believed that this product could attract even more clients. Startuppers also touted the deal as successful, claiming that their investments would help them to fine-tune the service and expand customer base, including that outside of the country. The high performance of Filatov’s team was further underpinned by a financial statement, which showed that digital technologies accounted for almost half of the corporation’s growth.

Family values and leisure activities

While Ilya Filatov’s biography mostly showcases his major banking and management achievements, he is a rather non-public person, with no information about his family to be found in open sources. He is known to take interest in sports. The financier mostly does jogging and plays football.  He is also Candidate Master of Sports in swimming. Moreover, for many years Filatov has been regularly taking part in summer sports and athletic contests as part of a mini-football team. Apart from this, the top manager participates in public run events such as Russia’s largest ‘Moscow Marathon’ and ‘Running Hearts’ charity race. 

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