By George Psyllides
BANKING heavy-weight Josef Ackermann has been proposed as chairman of the Bank of Cyprus board of directors as new shareholders announced a list of candidates ahead of November’s annual general meeting.
Ackermann, former CEO at Deutsche Bank, was proposed by major BoC shareholdersWilbur Ross and Tyrus Capital on Monday ahead of the November 20 AGM.
“The new Board has been selected to add financial expertise and will better reflect the shareholder base following the recent stock issuance,” a written statement said.
Ackermann joined Deutsche Bank’s board of managing directors in 1996, where he was responsible for the investment banking division.
Prior to Deutsche Bank, Ackermann was president of Schweizerische Kreditanstalt (SKA), today’s Credit Suisse.
He held numerous board positions including sitting on the board of directors at Zurich Insurance Group, Royal Dutch Shell plc and Siemens AG, among others.
Ackermann would be joined by Arne Berggren, nominated independently by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Maksim Goldman, a director of strategic projects at Renova; John Hourican, BoC CEO; Christakis Patsalides, BoC finance director; Wilbur Ross, chairman of WL Ross & Co; Michael Spanos, a former director of the Central Bank of Cyprus; Vladimir Strzhalkovskiy, vice chairman of the BoC board; Ioannis Zographakis, chairman of the BoC audit committee; and Marios Kalochoritis, director of the Bank of Cyprus.
“This group intends to elect Ackermann as non-executive chairman of the board and Messrs. Ross and Strzhalkovskiy as vice-chairmen,” the statement added.
Only Strzhalkovsky and Zographakis remain from the old board, which had been headed by Christis Hassapis.
Strzhalkovskiy currently serves as vice chairman of the board. He held the position of deputy minister of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation for four years (July 2000-November 2004).
The Bank of Cyprus AGM in November is expected to approve the new board.
Board memberships are subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Cyprus.
The BoC board can have up to 13 members.
Ross and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development had taken part in a recent €1.0 billion capital increase that saw new shareholders control some 47 per cent of its stock.
The lender is trying to get back on its feet following the island’s messy bailout in March 2013.
The terms included closure of Laiki Bank, the island’s second biggest, and seizure of deposits to recapitalise BoC.
Last week, Moody’s ratings agency said BoC’s successful capital raise was a positive step towards the lender’s regeneration, but it continued to face acute challenges as non performing loans (NPLs) were expected to rise further.
“The strengthened capital buffers bolster the bank’s loss-absorbing capacity and are a positive step towards the bank’s regeneration,” Moody’s said. “But the extent to which these developments will lead to a sustained improvement in the bank’s financial performance remains unclear, given the acute asset quality pressures the bank faces and its low provisioning against losses from problematic exposures.”
BIOS of the nominees as they were received by the Cyprus Mail
Dr. Josef Ackermann
Non-Executive Chairman Nominee
Dr. Josef Ackermann is the former chairman of the management board and the group executive committee at Deutsche Bank. Dr. Ackermann joined Deutsche Bank’s board of managing directors in 1996, where he was responsible for the investment banking division. Under his leadership, this business unit developed into one of Deutsche Bank’s principal revenue sources and entered the top group of global investment banks.
Prior to Deutsche Bank, Dr. Ackermann was president of Schweizerische Kreditanstalt (SKA), today’s Credit Suisse. Dr. Ackermann has held numerous board positions including sitting on the Board of Directors at Zurich Insurance Group, Royal Dutch Shell plc and Siemens AG, among others. Today, he still holds numerous mandates, amongst them as a member of the Board of Directors at Investor AB, EQT Holdings AB, Renova Management AG and Belenos Clean Power Holding Ltd. Mr. Ackerman also serves as vice-chairman of the foundation board of the World Economic Forum, honorary chairman of the St. Gallen Foundation for International Studies, honorary senate member of the Foundation Lindau Nobel Prizewinners Meetings at Lake Constance, vice chair and a member of the board of trustees of The Conference Board, and advisory director at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, among other posts.
Dr. Ackermann studied economics and social sciences at the University of St. Gallen, where he earned his doctorate, and holds an honorary doctorate from the Democritus University of Thrace in Greece. Dr. Ackermann is also an honorary fellow of the London Business School, was visiting professor in finance at the London School of Economics, and was appointed honorary professor at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt.
Wilbur L. Ross, Jr.
Vice Chairman Nominee
Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. is Chairman of WL Ross & Co. LLC, one of the world’s best known corporate revitalizing firms. Over the past 40 years, Mr. Ross has personally helped turn around banks and other businesses, including the Bank of Ireland, Virgin Money (which last week announced its IPO), Kansai Sawayaka Bank in Japan, Bank United in Florida (which ranks as the largest ever US bank IPO), as well as banks in New Jersey, the US Midwest and the US Pacific Northwest. Most recently, his firm invested in Eurobank in Greece and organized an €500+ million investment in the Bank of Cyprus. Previously, Mr. Ross sold his steel company to ArcelorMittal, of which he remains a director.
Mr. Ross holds degrees from both Yale and Harvard Business School (with Distinction) and serves on the advisory boards of both institutions. Mr. Ross is the only person ever elected to both the Turnaround Management Hall of Fame and the Private Equity Hall of Fame.
Vice Chairman Nominee
Vladimir Strzhalkovskiy currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Bank of Cyprus. Mr. Strzhalkovskiy has held the position of Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation for four years (July 2000 – November 2004), Chairman of the Executive Board of the World Tourism Organisation (2003 – 2004), Head of the Federal Agency Tourism Organisation (November 2004 – August 2008), member of the Board of Director of the company INTER RAO Ues ( June 2011 – June 2013) and he also served as Chairman of the Board (August 2008 – December 2012), member of the Board (December 2008 – December 2012) and Vice President (December 2012 – June 2013) of the JSC Mining and Metallurgical Company Norilsk Nickel.
Mr. Strzhalkovskiy holds a PhD degree in Economics, specialty “Applied Mathematics”, from Leningrad Institute of Electronic Engineering of V.I. Lenin.
Arne Berggren has significant experience in the financial sector previously working in senior roles at Swedbank AB, Carnegie Investment Bank AB, Swedcarrier AB and Nordic American Banking Corp. In addition, Mr. Berggren has served as a senior advisor for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as a member of the IMF Troika team in Spain, the Swedish Ministry of Industry and the Swedish Ministry of Finance and the Bank Support Authority.
Mr. Berggren has held numerous board positions and currently serves on the Board of Directors at LBT Varlik Yönetim AS and DUTB Ldt.
Mr. Berggren holds an M.B.A. from New York University, Graduate School of Business.
Maksim Goldman current serves as Director of Strategic Projects at Renova where he is responsible for coordinating the business development of the most significant assets under management of the Group. Previously, Mr. Goldman served as Deputy Director for Investments of Renova Group, responsible for implementing the investment policy and support of key M&A transactions. During 2005-2007 he worked as Vice President of international legal projects of Sual-Holding, which provided legal support for the international activities of the company, and also took a significant part in the creation of UC Rusal through combination of assets of Sual-Holding, Rusal and Glencore. From 1999 to 2005 Mr. Goldman worked as an associate at Chadbourne&Parke LLP in New York and Moscow.
Mr. Goldman holds a J.D. from the School of Law, University of California (Los Angeles). He also holds a Master of History at the University of California (Los Angeles).
John Hourican currently serves as CEO of Bank of Cyprus and executive member on the Board of Directors of the Bank. Previously, Mr. Hourican served as CEO of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s (“RBS”) Investment Bank (Markets & International Banking) from October 2008 until February 2013. Between 2007 and 2008, he served on behalf of a consortium of banks (RBS, Fortis and Santander) as Chief Financial Officer of ABN AMRO Group and as a Member of its Managing Board. Mr. Hourican joined RBS in 1997 as a Leveraged Finance banker. He held a variety of senior positions within RBS’s wholesale banking division, notably on the division’s board as Finance Director and Chief Operating Officer. He also ran the bank’s Leverage Finance business in Europe and Asia.
Mr. Hourican started his career at Price Waterhouse and he is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. He is a graduate of the National University of Ireland and Dublin City University.
Marios Kalochoritis currently serves as a director of the Bank of Cyprus. Mr. Kalochoritis is a financial executive with experience in investment banking, hedge fund management, private equity and wealth management. Mr. Kalochoritis currently serves as Head of Investments for a family office in Dubai. Previously, Mr. Kalochoritis spent five and half years in Cyprus where, as the Managing Director, he had set up and ran the operations and risk management of a global macro hedge fund. Mr. Kalochoritis has also served as Senior Vice President at Credit Suisse Bank in Zurich where he was head of business development for Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey. Between 2003 and 2006 he was the Chief Financial Officer for Amana Group in Dubai, a major regional construction group. Mr. Kalochoritis started his career at Enron in Houston where as a financial analyst and later an associate in the finance department he analysed and made investments in oil & gas, energy and other infrastructure opportunities around the world.
Mr. Kalochoritis holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSc in Finance from Louisiana State University.
Christakis Patsalides currently serves as the Finance Director at the Bank of Cyprus. From 1989 to 1996, Mr. Patsalides previously worked for the Central Bank of Cyprus, Management of Government External Debt & Foreign Exchange Reserves. In 1996, Mr. Patsalides joined the Bank of Cyprus where he held a number of positions in corporate banking, treasury and private banking, among others. In Mr. Patsalides’s current capacity as Finance Director, he is responsible for Finance, Treasury, Investor Relations, Economics Research and Procurement.
Mr. Patsalides holds a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics.
Michael Spanos, a former director of the Central Bank of Cyprus, is a Managing Director of M.S. Business Power Ltd, providing consultancy services on Strategic and Business Development (since 2008); non-executive Chairman of Lanitis Bros Ltd (since 2008); founding Chairman of Green Dot (Cyprus) Public Co Ltd (since 2004); and member of the Board of Directors of CCI, Coca-Cola Eurasia (since 2012). Mr. Spanos worked at Lanitis Bros Ltd from 1981 to 2008 as Marketing Manager, General Manager and Managing Director. Between 2005 and 2009, Mr. Spanos served as Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Cyprus International Institute (Republic of Cyprus and Harvard School of Public Health). Mr. Spanos also served on other Boards, such as Heineken-Lanitis Cyprus Ltd (2005-2007), Lumiere TV Public Ltd (2000-2012), A. Petsas & Sons Public Ltd (2000-2007) and CypriaLife Insurance Ltd (1995-2000). Mr. Spanos was appointed to the Central Bank of Cyprus Board in May 2013, of which he is a former director.
Mr. Spanos holds a Master’s degree in economics from North Carolina State University.
Ioannis Zographakis currently serves as Chairman of the Bank of Cyprus Audit Committee. Mr. Zographakis is a senior executive with a broad and diverse international experience in the banking industry. He has worked for Citibank for over 20 years, in the USA, UK and Greece in numerous capacities. Mr. Zographakis previously served as CEO of Student Loan Corporation, a Citigroup subsidiary and a New York Stock Exchange traded company. Currently, Mr. Zographakis resides in Cyprus where he consults on financial services when requested.
He has been a Director for the Student Loan Corporation in the US, a Director for Tiresias (Greek Credit Bureau) and the secretary of the Audit Committee, a Director and member of the Audit Committee for Diners Club Greece, the Vice-Chairman of the Citi Insurance Brokerage Board in Greece and the Chairman of the Investments and Insurance Supervisory Committee in Citibank Greece.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Imperial College in London and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University in the USA.