Management

Board of Directors

Rovshan Najaf
Chairman of the Board

From 2007 to 2008 Rovshan Najaf completed the master’s program in Economic Policy Management / International Energy Management and Policy at Columbia University. He holds a PhD in Economics, is the 3rd degree State Counsellor. From 2010 to 2018, he worked as the Deputy Executive Director and Executive Director of “Azerbaijan Investment Company” OJSC. He was later appointed as the Chairman of the Financial Monitoring Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Mr. Najaf continued his career as the First Deputy Minister of Economy after being appointed by the President of Azerbaijan in 2021. In 2022, he became the First Vice President and Acting President of the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan by the Order issued by the President of Azerbaijan.

Elshad Nassirov
Board member

Elshad Nassirov graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1982. He worked in various diplomatic positions for the USSR, including in the Afghanistan embassy (1981–1982), in the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1982–1985), and in the Soviet Embassy in India (1989–1992). After Azerbaijan gained its independence, he worked in the Permanent Representative Office of Azerbaijan in the UN (1992–1995) and as administration division chief in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1995 to 1997. From 1997 to 2003, he was a chief of the Foreign Economic Operations Department, and from 2003 to 2005 a chief of the Marketing and Operations Department of SOCAR. Elshad Nassirov was appointed Vice-President of SOCAR for Investments and Marketing in 2005 and awarded the Order of Glory in 2010.

Zaur Gurbanov
Board member

Zaur Gurbanov was born in the city of Mingachevir in 1982. From 2000 to 2005 he served in the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan and participated in peacekeeping missions outside the country. In 2010 he graduated from the Odlar Yurdu University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Organisation and Administration, and in 2012, he graduated from Azerbaijan State University of Economics with a Master’s Degree in finance. From 2005 to 2010 he worked in various local and foreign companies. Between 2010 and 2020, he worked as a senior specialist, senior consultant, manager, general manager and director in the international audit and consulting company Ernst&Young. During these years, he participated in several trainings. Since 2020, he has held the position of Deputy CEO of Azerbaijan Investment Holding. On the 11th of August 2021, he was appointed Vice President of SOCAR by the Order issued by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. From 2021 to 2022 he held the positions of a member of the Supervisory Board of Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping CJSC, Azerbaijan Airlines CJSC and Baku Metropolitan CJSC.

Farrukh Gasimov
Board member

Farrukh Gassimov graduated with a Law Degree from Baku State University in 1981 and received a doctorate from the Moscow Public Studies and Law Institute in 1985. He joined SOCAR HQ in 2006 as a deputy Head of Legal to provide legal support and expertise with a focus on overseas business projects and cross-border transactions. Prior to joining SOCAR Farrukh served as a Deputy Chief of the Department of Legislation and Legal Expertise at the Administration of the President of Azerbaijan (1991 -1992); head of legal at PwC (1998 – 1999) and KPMG (1999 – 2001) teams based in Baku; associate at Baku office of Baker Botts LLP, leading international law firm. Farrukh has a long experience in lecturing in high school and held a chair of legal sciences at the Institute of Political and Social Sciences in Baku, Azerbaijan. Farrukh was awarded the “Progress” medal in 2013 and a title the “Honored Lawyer of Azerbaijan” in 2017. He is admitted to legal practice in Azerbaijan. Farrukh is a member of the board of directors in a number of SOCAR subsidiaries.

Mariam Almaszade
Board member

Mariam Almaszade joined SOCAR Trading in 2018. As Chief Executive Officer and member of the board of directors, she is responsible for ensuring the efficiency of the company’s activities, the qualities of its operations and the cost-effective management of its resources.

Before joining SOCAR Trading, Mariam was the Head of Legal, Audit, and Compliance at MADDOX SA, in Geneva and then was ultimately appointed to the position of CEO. She began her career in the legal domain, working with UN organizations and NGOs in Geneva, Switzerland and Baku, Azerbaijan. Before Maddox, she was at several law firms specializing in the energy and commodity trading sectors in Geneva.

Senior Management Team

Mariam Almaszade
Chief Executive Officer

Mariam Almaszade joined SOCAR Trading in 2018. As Chief Executive Officer and member of the board of directors, she is responsible for ensuring the efficiency of the company’s activities, the qualities of its operations and the cost-effective management of its resources.

Before joining SOCAR Trading, Mariam was the Head of Legal, Audit, and Compliance at MADDOX SA, in Geneva and then was ultimately appointed to the position of CEO. She began her career in the legal domain, working with UN organizations and NGOs in Geneva, Switzerland and Baku, Azerbaijan. Before Maddox, she was at several law firms specializing in the energy and commodity trading sectors in Geneva.

Yashar Ismailov
Chief Financial Officer

Yashar Ismailov joined SOCAR Trading in 2023. As Chief Financial Officer, he is in charge of overseeing the company’s accounting and financial operations, including reporting and control as well as financial and tax planning of the company. He started his career at SOCAR’s Foreign Economic Relationships Department in Baku, gaining experience thereafter in various roles at several major firms in North America and Middle East, including Deloitte.

Yashar earned an MBA degree (with majors in Finance and Accounting) from Central Michigan University and holds a Master’s degree from Baku State University.

Taghi Taghi-Zada
Acting CTO

Taghi Taghi-Zada joined the SOCAR Group, Baku in 2009 and relocated to SOCAR Trading, Geneva in 2014. With a dynamic role at SOCAR Trading, Taghi Taghi-Zada leads global trading teams, encompassing both physical commodities and financial instruments. In his capacity as Acting Chief Trading Officer, Taghi Taghi-Zada plays a pivotal role in developing the organization’s third-party crude oil, products, gas, carbon and derivatives trading desks. He is responsible for identifying new trading opportunities around the world and collaborates with the CEO to forge a cohesive commercial and business development strategy.

As a finalist and recipient of the prestigious SOCAR-TOTAL scholarship, he graduated with Honors from the International Master’s in Management program at Audencia Nantes Business School in France. He has also successfully graduated from the University of Geneva with a Diploma in Advanced Studies (DAS) in Commodities Trading and recently received his Executive MBA degree from IMD Lausanne.

Samuel Lighting
Chief Risk Officer

Samuel Lighting joined SOCAR Trading in 2018. As Chief Risk Officer (CRO) he is responsible for the company’s Market Risk, Middle and Back Office teams and is accountable for the company’s performance and risk reporting management. Based in the UK, he also serves as the Managing Director of SOCAR Trading U.K.

Prior to joining SOCAR Trading, Sam has gained a wealth of experience leading large teams in the Oil and Gas commodity sector starting as Product Control Analyst at Citi and including Head of Global Operations & Market Risk at BP IST, in London, Chicago and Houston.

Vincent Mohy
Chief Legal and Compliance Officer

Vincent Mohy joined SOCAR Trading in 2010. As Chief Legal and Compliance Officer (CLCO) he is responsible for providing all legal support to transactional activities of the company, managing legal risk and disputes resolutions as well as ensuring that the company runs it businesses in compliance with applicable regulations.

Prior to joining SOCAR Trading, Vincent gained legal and energy trading experience at global law firm White & Case in Brussels, energy companies ENGIE in Brussels and RWE in Geneva and at Citigroup in London.