Ex-NBG exec is new HB chairman

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Petros Christodoulou, a former senior executive at the National Bank of Greece (NBG) and with 38 years of international finance experience under his belt, is the new Chairman of Hellenic Bank.

The bank said on Monday that Christodoulou’s appointment, announced at the shareholders’ AGM last June, has been approved by the European Central Bank.

As independent non-executive chairman, Christodoulou, 63, replaces with immediate effect the bank’s vice Chairman, Christos Themistocleous, who was appointed Acting Chairman last summer when Dr. Evripides Polykarpou stepped down, due to supervisory restrictions.

Christodoulou’s banking and finance career started in 1985 at Credit Suisse First Boston in London, before joining Goldman Sachs in 1987 to head its money market trading team in the UK and then in Canada trading provincial government bonds. In 1989, he joined J.P. Morgan in London, holding various senior roles until he became Managing Director in 1993 in charge of European derivatives trading.

Between 1998 to 2010, he was at the National Bank of Greece (NBG) as General Manager of Group Treasury, Global Markets and Private Banking. In 2010, he became the Director General of the Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA), responsible for the voluntary restructuring of €206 bln of Greek sovereign debt held by the private sector, until 2012 when he re-joined the NBG Group as Deputy CEO until 2014, at a critical time when the bank had to restructure, shed assets, and raise capital.

Athens bourse, shipping

In the same period (2012-2014), he was a non-executive board member of the Athens bourse parent Hellenic Exchanges S.A. He then led Capital Product Partners LP (Nasdaq), an international shipping company, as CEO and CFO until 2015. Christodoulou is the Principal of Callisto Capital Advisors which advises Greek and international corporates, financial institutions and international institutional investors on business and finance.

He is a non-executive board member of Toronto-based Guardian Capital Group, Aegean Baltic Bank, containership owner and operator Danaos Corporation listed on the NYSE, and of Minetta Insurance S.A.

According to media reports, while working for the NBG, Christodoulou worked closely with his former employer Goldman Sachs and Chairman of the Bank of Greece Lucas Papademos in organising controversial financial operations which enabled Greece to join the Euro.

In 2010, Prime Minister George Papandreou appointed Christodoulou General Manager of the PDMA, while the German magazine Der Spiegel referred to him as “Greece’s Saviour”, having led the negotiations to restructure the Greek government debt, which resulted in a €106.5 bln debt reduction.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Athens School of Commerce and Economics, now known as the Athens University of Economics and Business, and an MBA from Columbia University in New York.

Christodoulou also serves as a board member of the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research and the board of AEK Athens F.C.