HB VP steps down to take over as CEO

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Mari­nos S. Yannopou­los, ap­pointed to the Hel­lenic Board in May and later as vice pres­i­dent, has ceded his post and be­came the 40-year-old bank’s new Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, after veteran banker Makis Ker­avnos re­signed last week, a year be­fore his con­tract ex­pired.

The bank an­nounced that Yannopou­los has 35 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the bank­ing sec­tor hav­ing served, in­ter alia, in var­i­ous man­age­rial po­si­tions at Chase Man­hat­tan in New York, Mi­lan and Frankfurt, as Gen­eral Man­ager of the Io­nian Bank and as Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer and board mem­ber of Al­pha Bank. More re­cently, he had joined the board of Axia Ven­tures Group, the Cyprus-based fund man­agers with in­vest­ments in Greece. He has also worked at Esso and Chipita.

He was ap­pointed to the Hel­lenic Bank board of direc­tors on May 28 after share­hold­ers, led by in­sti­tu­tion­als Wargam­ing.net, New York-based hedge fund Third Point and lo­cal in­vest­ment company Deme­tra ap­proved the ap­point­ment of a new board, in­clud­ing the first fe­male chair­man.

Irena Ge­or­giades, up un­til her ap­point­ment the Com­mis­sioner re­spon­si­ble for Pub­lic Sec­tor Re­form Com­mis­sioner, took over the chair­man­ship of the board, with the new direc­tors in­clud­ing Yiannopou­los, Va­sos Ko­mod­ro­mos, Ioan­nis Matsis, Mar­i­anna Pan­telidou, Evripi­des Poly­car­pou, Gior­gos Fereos, An­dreas Har­i­tou, Christodou­los Had­jis­tavris and David Bon­nano.

Hel­lenic Bank, as well as main lender Bank of Cyprus and now-de­funct Laiki Popular, lost all their op­er­a­tions in Greece last year when th­ese were handed on a sil­ver plate to Pi­raeus Bank but re­mained bur­dened with the risk.

The three main in­vestors pumped in some 100 mln euros ear­lier this year to help raise the bank’s cap­i­tal and pre­vent any state or other sys­temic bailout, fol­low­ing the col­lapse of the Cyprus econ­omy last year.

Ker­avnos had noted prior to his de­par­ture that the bank­ing sys­tem in Cyprus and there­fore the Hel­lenic Bank will face very se­ri­ous chal­lenges in the next pe­riod, adding that 2014 will also be a very dif­fi­cult one for the Cypriot econ­omy and bank­ing sec­tor.

He had said that con­tain­ing and re­duc­ing the non­per­form­ing loans is the big­gest chal­lenge faced by the bank, while another chal­lenge un­der­way is the new stress tests on Cypriot banks im­posed by Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank ex­pected to be con­cluded next month.

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