Bert Pijls has stepped down as CEO of Hellenic Bank and has already been replaced by board member and international banker Ioannis Matsis.
The bank said in a statement that Matsis’ appointment is subject to approval from the regulatory authorities, until which time the duties of the Chief Executive Officer will be handled by Group General Manager for Business and Insurance, Phivos Stasopoulos.
The Cyprus News Agency reported that the surprise announcement, with Pijls citing serious family reasons, was followed by the bank taking rapid action to ensure succession as there were internal projects underway.
As a board member, Matsis chairs the Risk Management Committee. He is also a partner and co-founder of Point Nine Ltd a company offering middle and back office outsourcing and financial software services. From 1994 to 2008 he worked in the Investment Banking Sector of ING Barings, Chase Manhattan and Mizuho International in London. He is a graduate of the University of Cambridge.
“Matsis is best placed to assume the position of Chief Executive Officer and drive the implementation of the core strategies of the bank, as he has long-standing international experience in the financial sector and in-depth knowledge of the bank as well as the Cypriot economic and business environment”, the bank announcement said.
The board thanked Pijls for his services in the past two years. As it notes, Pijls took up his duties at a time when challenges laid ahead both for the bank and banking sector, as well as the Cypriot economy at large.
“His hard work and perseverance has put the Bank back on a stable track, building solid pillars for the Bank to further develop and achieve its goals”, the press release pointed out.
Pijls will continue his cooperation with the bank as an advisor on specific strategic issues, but will return to London to be with his family.
In a message to staff Pijls says that there are exciting times ahead for the bank.
“I am sure that under the leadership of Ioannis Matsis and the support of the board of directors, you will continue to build on the progress made so far, enabling Hellenic Bank to remain the most reliable banking partner in Cyprus”, he noted.