Last night at the Ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London’s Knightsbridge, the HBUK – the Hellenic Bankers Association in the UK* – had its summer flagship event, the Annual Gala. John Faraclas and Anny Zade were there with their cameras and notebook:
A sold-out event attracted nearly 180 bankers and friends from all over Planet Ocean. The …Londoners, the …Athenians and …New Yorkers were there in full force as well as many of their international guests, supporting also the charities which are doing splendidly – among them The Hellenic Hope and Reload Greece. Great support included the presence of the Greek Ambassador and Mrs D. Tziras with other diplomats and counsellors from the Greek embassy; the Cypriot Ambassador Mr Euripedes Evriavades; and members of the Hellenic Engineers Society of Great Britain headed by its president Dimitris Monioudis with their friends.
The English weather greatly contributed to a warm atmosphere, and the adjacent Loggia room and balcony to the Ballroom overlooking the tranquil Hyde Park were packed; the garden too during the pre-gala drinks reception! After an excellent networking featuring much discussion about the latest news on the British elections which took place virtually a day before, as well as speculation on the impact on the global financial markets, Brexit and Greece, we were ushered into the Ballroom for dinner.
A brief welcome speech** by HBA chairman Antonis Ntatzopoulos thanking all for participating and special mention of the sponsors, was followed by an excellent speech delivered by Effie Kyrtata on the success story of Reload Greece – which this medium has supported since its inception during the London Olympics in 2012! Ms Kyrtata is the current CEO and co-founder of Reload Greece.
Congratulations to the HBA secretariat for the fine menu and drinks – great to see Greek wines too – a move that all Greek events should emulate.
Bravo to the sponsors and supporters: critical publics, Piraeus Bank, Shearman & Sterling, The Bodosakis Foundation, Delta Executive, Dynotech, Hellenic Hope, Loizou & Co, Maltby & Greek, Morgan Stanley, HESGB, HSBC and nannuka.
The raffle produced three winners and we wait to hear details of the outcome…
DJ Sergio supplemented the congenial post-dinner atmosphere and all went on stage dancing; selected Greek songs were more than welcomed.
Good to see many old friends from the HBA and others from …past times… and to make new ones…
*The Hellenic Bankers Association-UK was formed in 1994 to promote closer co-operation among bankers and financial professionals of Hellenic origin, based in the United Kingdom. www.hellenicbankers.org.uk
** Chairman’s Speech
Your Excellencies, esteemed guests that flew over from the United States and Greece, our past Chairmen Christo Megalou and Strato Chatzigiannis for honouring us again today, ladies and gentlemen
- Led and participated over 20 events
- Added over a hundred new members to our HBA network
- Reached out to more than 12,000 followers globally via our internet interaction
- Established a regular dialogue and found ways to work together with all associations of hellenic interest in the U.K.
- A Very successful Ambassadors scheme – people who wish to contribute more and equally to Executive members of board
What are the two pillars of the future
- Mentoring and Networking
- Content and being platform of communication between the UK, Europe, Greece and Cyprus
Our task is simple
- We do the right thing for our members, giving real value for their time spent – it is a luxury and we thank them for that
- We aim to give value back to our homeland, with our first event in Athens in H2 2017, a close cooperation with Lovegreece and the British Hellenic Chamber of Commerce – Looking to establish more ways to work in Cyprus
- Aspire to be a home for excellence and a platform for communication of what’s Best of Greece and Cyprus
It requires focus and commitment, and for this I can only but thank the HBA Executive Committee
Stratos Chatzigiannis, Louis Loizou, Viki Fotopoulou, Emmanuel Androulakis, Thanos Karagiannidis , George Ercan
and more importantly our ‘new’ mothers who we miss today, Georgia Galouzidi and Maria Irene Alexandraki.
Special thanks to Piraeus Bank for their long term support, Shearman & Stirling, Critical Publics, Loizou & Co, Filos Dynotech RS , Delta Executive Search, The Hellenic American Bankers Association, The Hellenic Hope, Reload Greece, GPWN, The Hellenic Engineers and the Hellenic teams from HSBC and Morgan Stanley as well as our committed HBA Ambassadors: Kelly, Korina, Margarita, Marina, Vassilis, Panos and Konstantinos.
Thanks to Maltby&Greek for the fantastic wine selection and Nannuka for tonight’s nanny service.
A great thank you to all, of you for coming here today.