Our Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board consists of three exceptional individuals who marked their respective professional careers in Retail Banking, Investment Banking, Corporate & Commercial Law with numerous achievements. We surely stand to benefit from their strategic advice.

Areti Charidemou

Mrs Areti Charidemou has been practicing corporate and commercial law for nearly 30 years. She is the Managing Partner of Areti Charidemou & Associates LLC, a successful legal practice that has grown considerably over the last 10 years and managed to become one of the leading legal firms in Cyprus in the areas of Corporate Services and Property Consulting.

Mrs Charidemou holds directorship positions in large corporations in Europe and the Russian Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). She acts an as advisor for clients in Cyprus, Europe, Russia and China in corporate restructurings, corporate finance deals, privatisations, business set-up issues and various other corporate issues.

Since 2011, she co-established a global alliance of advocates named J&S Legal Counsels and Trustees in which she holds the position of Managing Partner. In 2012, Mrs Charidemou and a team of lawyers from more than 10 jurisdictions established Levant Energey Legal Ltd, a legal consultancy firm specializing in Oil and Gas and Alternative Energy Legal Services. She is the Legal Advisor of a Canadian Petroleum Company investing mainly in Oil explorations in Africa. She also acts as the Cypriot Lawyer of a Fund investing in alternative energy projects through subsidiaries in many jurisdictions. She also acts as the Lawyer and Director in an International Collective Investment Scheme (Fund) investing in Real Estate in Moscow. Other projects she was successfully involved include: assisting and acting as consultant in Fund Raising activities of various companies in many jurisdictions; participated as the Cyprus Legal Counsel assisting an Australian Public Company of the Energy Sector drafting and publishing an offering prospectus for the issuance of shares; appointed as the Cypriot Lawyer in a complicated acquisition process of a Group of Companies and Real Estate in Montenegro.

Mrs Charidemou holds a Law degree and a Public Law & Political Science degree from University of Athens. She is a Member of the Cyprus Bar Association, the International Bar Association, the International Tax Planning Association (ITPA), the Offshore Institute, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and the International Fiscal Association (IFA).

Geert Declerck

Mr Geert Declerck has 20 years of investment banking experience covering a wide range of financial products and markets. He currently acts as a external financial advisor and he was one of the founding partners of KBR Finance Limited, an international investment banking boutique offering corporate finance and asset advisory services to large and medium sized corporations, financial institutions and public sector entities in mature and emerging markets.

Prior to KBR, he was Managing Director of the Cyprus branch of DEPFA Bank Plc.  While at DEPFA Bank he built-up and managed an illiquid Emerging Market debt desk dealing with public sector asset generation, syndication, sales and asset management for a variety of debt product groups covering public sector related credits globally.  His day-to-day ‘running’ of the DEPFA portfolio which reached up to Euro 3 billion was implemented through a ‘hands-on’ management of an integrated sales, legal and admin support team, as well as pro-active and daily interaction with the various local / international clients, other departments and overseas offices within the Bank, a wide range of commercial / investment banks and non-bank financial institutions as well as the Board of Directors of the DEPFA Group in Frankfurt and Dublin.

Before joining DEPFA, Mr Declerck was a General Manager of London Forfaiting Cyprus Ltd, an international trade finance firm headquartered in London. He joined London Forfaiting (LFC) as a junior trader to develop the sales / distribution activities in Europe, North America and the Arabian Gulf for Emerging Market loans and bonds. He successfully built up and managed a syndication / sales desk with a team of skilled professionals dealing in Emerging Market debt products thereby covering a well diversified, international bank investor base. At the same time, he became responsible for the management of an illiquid Emerging Market debt portfolio with a strong emphasis on primary as well as secondary syndicated loans, trade finance instruments and international bonds.

Mr Declerck holds an MA in International Business History from Reading University, an MA in European Studies from the University of Nancy, and a BA degree in Business Administration from UFSIA University Antwerp.

Ioannis Zografakis

Mr Ioannis Zografakis is a senior executive with a broad and diverse international experience in the banking industry. He is currently an independent non-executive Member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Cyprus and Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Bank.

He has worked with Citibank for over 20 years, in the USA, UK and Greece. His line/business positions and divisional/corporate responsibilities, have provided him with an extensive background in corporate governance, business restructuring, re-engineering, crisis management, separation of businesses, business strategy, profit & loss management, finance, product and segment management, operations & technology management, and dealing with various regulatory bodies and industry related organisations.

He started his career in 1990 with Citibank in Greece as a Management Associate for Europe, Middle-East & Africa (EMEA). He then worked as the Deputy Treasurer and Treasurer for the Consumer Bank in Greece, before moving to the USA in 1996 as the Director of Finance for CitiMortgage. In 1997 he became the Financial Controller for Citigroup’s Consumer Finance business in the US and then he was the Chief Financial Officer for the Consumer Assets Division. From 1998 until 2004 he worked in the Student Loan Corporation (SLC), a Citigroup subsidiary and a New York Stock Exchange traded company. He started as the Chief Financial Officer, became the Chief Operations Officer and in 2001 he was named the Chief Executive Officer. In his four years as CEO of SLC, he managed to almost triple the earnings and the stock price of the company, outperforming the markets. In 2005 he moved back to Europe as Citibank’s Consumer Lending Head for EMEA and UK Retail Bank Head. Deciding to move closer to home in 2006, he took the position as Citibank’s Retail Bank Head in Greece where he stayed until 2011, before moving back to Cyprus consulting 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.

Mr Zografakis holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Imperial College in London and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University in the USA.

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