As recently as four years ago, there were no commercial bankers in Russia. At least not the breed of private-sector banker represented by Andrei E. Lovjagin.

Mr. Lovjagin, in fact, is a living, breathing break from his country's past. He is chairman of Baltijskiy Bank in St. Petersburg, one of 1,800 banks in Russia -- and some 3,000 throughout the former Soviet Union -- created since the perestroika reforms of 1988.

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