Cyprus-born Theophanis Theophanous has an international practice that focuses on strategic and family office clients in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. His ultimate ambition is to ‘be the trusted adviser who gets the first call when a client has any form of investment, lending, financing, investment banking or corporate banking requirements’

In a nutshell, Theophanous’ mantra is that client’s interests come first. This leads to a modus operandi that he describes as “the recipe of our success.”

“We operate in a boutique within a large organisation as advisers. We like to think of ourselves as clients’ personal CFOs,” Theophanous said, whose perspective earned him the title of ‘Leading Individual Banker’ at the Wealth Briefing European Awards in 2019.

Theophanis Theophanous is the Managing Director and Co-Head of Strategic Clients and Family Offices for Barclays UK International Private Banking. He oversees the supply of the bank’s full range of expertise, products, and solutions to Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) individuals, their investment entities, private wealth structures, and family offices. Together with his team, they provide global investing, lending, and wealth planning services to clients in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

In October 2011, he joined Barclays as a Managing Director in the UHNW & Family Offices team, covering Eastern Europe. He was then promoted to head up the Eastern Europe unit for the UK International Private Bank before being assigned to his current position.
Theophanous worked for Deloitte before joining Barclays. After earning an MSc in Mathematics at the University of York, he joined Deloitte in 2001 and progressed to partner within eight years. He assisted customers in Eastern Europe, and the Middle East on their wealth planning needs while working at Deloitte.


He has spoken at various wealth management conferences and written for academic journals. Outside of work, he advises a group of young professionals on how to advance in their jobs. He also helps students from low-income families with their university or job applications. He also serves on the board of ArtCity Nights, a UK charity that supports the arts.

He is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, a Chartered Wealth Manager, and a graduate of The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Theophanous is also the president and co-founder of Cypriots in the City, an association that offers unique networking opportunities to UK Cypriots across a variety of specialities and seniority levels.

Theophanis, when and why was Cypriots in the City first established?
“Cypriots in the City was founded as an association in the United Kingdom in 2020, but it had existed in a different form since 2002, initiated by me, George Rologis, and then continued by Alexis Pantazis. Today, George and Alexis are both members of the advisory board of Cypriots in the City. We were less than 50 people back then; now we are over 550 members and growing.

“I have been part of the Cypriot community in London for many years. I was born and raised in Cyprus and came to the UK to do my bachelor’s degree. When I completed my postgraduate studies, I decided to stay and work in the city. In 2005, I moved from Deloitte UK to Deloitte Cyprus. I was a partner at Deloitte in Cyprus when I took the decision in 2011 to return to London and switch from the accounting to the banking sector.

“I lived in Cyprus for a good five years on the ground, and I and some of my fellow advisory board and executive committee members have a very good feel for what is going on there.

“Although I live in London, I feel very connected to the large Cypriot community, and this contributed to the desire to create Cypriots in the City. The thinking when we started this with the other founding members was the Cypriot community was very badly served in terms of networking in our sectors. In many sectors, there is a breadth of knowledge that is not noticed by others and should be shared.

“We looked at other ethnic groups and saw that the high level of networking they achieved was needed by Cypriots in the United Kingdom. A lot of young people reached out over the years to start initiatives to connect the UK Cypriot diaspora in finance, however myself and other founding members felt that we needed to be multidisciplinary as this would enable our members to look at a bigger picture and at the same time be focused.

“Thus, the establishment of Cypriots in the City – a networking hub for Cypriots and an integral part of the wider Cypriot community.”

Where is the association based?
“Cypriots in the City is based in the United Kingdom, bringing together Cypriots living in the UK who work in (or study towards) the financial services, legal, accounting and consulting sectors.”

What are the objectives of the association?
“We aim to create a network for sharing professional knowledge and experience within our sectors. Our four verticals are financial services, consulting, law, and accounting.

“We also support students in the field of finance, accounting, legal, management, and other degrees through mentoring and enhanced career opportunities if they wish to pursue a career in the sectors of finance, banking, legal, consultancy or PE.
“Our association also provides mentorship to working professionals, providing support to achieve career goals, guidance through professional decisions, and offer unbiased advice on one’s situation, ultimately allowing one to grow their career in the right direction.

“We want to be an active part of the UK Cypriot community and thus we became a member association of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK. This makes us the de facto bridge for knowledge exchange with the wider UK Cypriot diaspora and our friends back in Cyprus.”

What are some of the initiatives the organisation has undertaken to further promote the Cypriot culture in the United Kingdom?
“Our events are largely about networking among Cypriots. We have also hosted webinars on sustainability and entrepreneurship with Cypriot founders as guests, and we helped Cyprus Seeds launch their inaugural event in London.

cyprus seeds

Cyprus Seeds

“Cyprus Seeds supports the commercialisation of academic research projects with strong IP value and global market potential, in all Cypriot universities and research institutions. The non-profit organisation provides funding and mentoring that will help the transition of research projects from the laboratory to the marketplace.”

Tell us about the mentoring scheme offered by the association.
“Our mentorship programme is now in its third phase, and it has been a huge success for us. It is worth emphasising that we have also mentored non-Cypriots. We help people advance in their professions, particularly in the financial services, banking, law, consulting, and accounting sectors. In addition, we support students who are looking for work in London. These are university graduates who wish to work in the city in fields such as law, banking, consulting, and accounting.”

supporting cypriot students with their job applications in london

Supporting Cypriot students with their job applications in London

Are there any challenges maintaining our Cypriot identity abroad?
“I have no difficulty maintaining my Cypriot identity in the United Kingdom. London is a multicultural city, so there will be no difficulty. The most challenging thing for us Cypriots, in my opinion, is to embrace the term ‘Cypriot’.”

Does your association collaborate with Cypriots on the island of Cyprus?
“At present, we do not collaborate with Cypriots in Cyprus, but we have offered our help in all circumstances where we have been asked to do so. As previously said, we assisted Cyprus Seeds with their inaugural event in the United Kingdom, as well as other organisations in Cyprus that reached out to us for assistance.”