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HBUK- Banking on charity’s success

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Another sector besides shipping that Greeks admire worldwide, both as a vital activity and for its charitable offerings, is that of banking.

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:

from the champagne reception

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 chairman of HBUK Antonis Ntatzopoulos introducing the event

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.

the top table with The greek Ambasador and Mrs. D. Tziras, The Cypriot Ambassador, Chistos Megalou and his wife, Stratos Chatzigiannis and his wife, George Kountouris and his wife, Dr. Dimitris Paraskevas, Costas Kellas, Antonis Ntatzopoulos, Kira Charakidou, Ms Nikolaidou and Anny Zade

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.

Reload’s Greece Effie Kyrtata delivering her speech and Antonis Ntatzopoulos

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.

table no. 5 with Dimitris and Camilla Monioudis, Andreas Eliades and his wife Maria Dikomitou-Eliadou, Dr. Kiki Sonidou, Millie Argyriadou and their  guests

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


table no. 3 with A. Antoniades, the Makryniotis’, the Sklavounis’, the Theofanopoulos’, the Karadimitris’ and other guests

** 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 

Today we celebrate what we have achieved in these last 18 months
  • 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.

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