BOCY, Hourican win Euromoney bank awards
Bank of Cyprus CEO John Hourican, who leaves his post at the end of August after a tumultuous almost two years, has won the Euromoney Awards for Excellence as ‘Banker of the Year 2015’.
Having left RBS’ investment banking unit in February 2013, he was head-hunted by the then board of the Bank of Cyprus, facing a major liquidity crunch having already been subjected to a bail-in where depositors saw unsecured savings vanish into thin air in exchange for equity. They were then to see even that diminish to less than 1% of the bank’s new capital after EUR 1.1 bln was raised from international and new local investors, including mega-fund manager Wilbur Ross and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Restoring BOCY to health by overcoming the European Central Bank’s stringent “stress tests” last October, Hourican announced he was stepping away from the latest, and toughest, of his repair jobs.
Citi and Morgan Stanley of the U.S. took top honours as best bank and best investment bank at the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2015 held at the Natural History Museum in London on Thursday attended by 600 bankers from around the world. Jiang Jianqing, the chairman of ICBC, was recognized for his stewardship of the Chinese bank.
John Hourican was named banker of the year for his role in the remarkable turnaround of Bank of Cyprus over the past two years.
In justifying the award, Euromoney noted: “John’s task when he became CEO was to restore the bank after the wholesale collapse of the Cypriot banking system, the imposition of capital controls and the bail-in of depositors – unprecedented events at the time. He also had to absorb another bankrupt bank and had no funding sources.
“Two years on, Bank of Cyprus is a remarkable recovery story, with a new and prestigious investor base, strong capital levels, a focused business shed of its imprudent overseas operations and playing a crucial role in Cyprus’s economic recovery. It is a remarkable achievement.” BOCY was also named best bank in Cyprus. Receiving the award, Hourican said: “I am delighted to receive this prestigious award, which is recognition for the extraordinary efforts of the wider management team and all the employees of Bank of Cyprus in stabilising Cyprus’s leading financial services group.
“This work, notably the ?1 bln equity capital raising last summer, has also contributed to the restoration of Cyprus’s reputation with international investors. Leadership is about getting the best out of the people you work with. I hope I was a catalyst for change and helped to unlock the potential of my colleagues.”