Christos Christou was born in 1963 in Nicosia. He has a BSc(Eng) in Electrical Engineering with First Class Honours from Imperial College of Science & Technology obtained in 1985 with merit scholarship from the Association of Commonwealth Universities. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School obtained in 1987 with Fulbright scholarship.
He started his career in banking in 1987 with Chemical Bank first in New York and then in London as part of the management team for currency trading. In 1989 he joined Cresap Telesis, a management consulting firm specializing in advising banks, funds and insurance companies. From 1992 to 1999, he served as a Senior Banker with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) leading multidisciplinary teams in debt financing and equity investments in Russia and Baltics. He also helped manage the teams for Russia, Baltics and Property/Tourism and Shipping. From 1999 he has been involved in private equity investments in Central and Eastern Europe, firstly with an AIG-IFC sponsored private equity fund and more recently (2005 onwards) with Lithuanian investment company UAB Avestis which he co-founded and involved in buy-outs and turnarounds. In parallel, from 2002 onwards, he has been providing financial advisory services to companies in Central Europe, both in raising debt and equity financing and in balance sheet/loan restructurings in variety of sectors including property and shipping. He has also successfully turned around a manufacturing company in Croatia (2002) and a ferry company in Italy/Greece (2004). From 2012, he is also a Senior Advisor to AlixPartners, a global leading advisory firm specializing in restructurings & turnarounds and performance improvement, including through provision of senior executives on interim basis, with most recent successful restructurings being General Motors, Kodak.
Through his career thus far, he has led/managed in excess of $ 1.5 billion in financing and in restructurings. He has also served as non-executive director on behalf of EBRD on the boards of companies in Russia and in UK, on behalf of private equity funds on the boards of telecoms companies in Slovenia and Slovakia, as well as on Lithuanian investment company Avestis he co-founded. He has been a non-executive director for an FSA regulated fixed income fund in the UK (2006-2009) and a Cyprus regulated fixed income investment management company (2004-2007).
How could I contribute to the Board of Directors of Bank of Cyprus
I bring 26+ years of business experience in the finance area having worked as a banker, a management consultant, a private equity investor and turnaround general manager. I have a broad knowledge of banking products and services having worked and been involved in the management of currency trading, project financing, restructuring and work-out of problem loans.
For more than 20 yeas, I have been involved in financing and investments in Central and Eastern Europe, both as a Senior Banker with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) (1992-1999) and also in private equity (from 1999 onwards). I maintain a good working relationship with the EBRD and various private equity funds and have a wide network of contacts including in Russia where Bank of Cyprus has a subsidiary.
I believe I can contribute to the effective governance of the Bank of Cyprus and to the restoration of stakeholders’ confidence in Bank of Cyprus. I bring specific banking functional skills, a collegial approach to governance, business acumen and negotiating skills that can facilitate restructurings and improve outcomes for the Bank of Cyprus in respect of non-performing loans and foreign subsidiaries.