HB VP steps down to take over as CEO
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.