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21 July, 2024
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Countdown begins for next Cyprus Central Bank Governor

Patsalides eyed for CBC Governor after nearly 3 decades

Panayiotis Rougalas

Panayiotis Rougalas

As the clock ticks towards the end of Mr. Konstantinos Herodotou's tenure on April 11, all eyes are on the impending announcement of his successor by President Nikos Christodoulides. Rumor has it that the President has already made up his mind, with anticipation mounting over who will step into the role after Mr. Herodotou.

The buzz around town suggests that Mr. Christodoulides is leaning towards appointing Mr. Christodoulos Patsalides, former deputy CEO of the Bank of Cyprus and a trusted ally. Despite Mr. Herodotou's commendable track record and their fruitful collaboration, it seems his time at the helm will not be extended. Mr. Patsalides has been a constant presence by President Christodoulides' side since his presidential bid in 2023, subsequently becoming his go-to advisor on economic affairs post-election.

The past few months have been rife with speculation and intrigue, with various political factions throwing their weight behind or against the contenders, adding to the drama.

Before President Christodoulides makes his announcement, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde will be duly informed, adhering to protocol for the appointment or reappointment of a central bank governor. Should Mr. Patsalides get the nod, it would mark his triumphant return to the Central Bank after almost three decades.

Prior to 1996, he held pivotal roles, including overseeing external debt and reserves. From 1996 to 2020, Mr. Patsalides held key positions at the Bank of Cyprus, eventually rising to the rank of deputy CEO. Since then, he has been involved in boardroom discussions of various companies and collaborated with major financial institutions. However, recent months have seen some of these collaborations expire without renewal.

Both candidates have received glowing endorsements from local banking circles, highlighting their respective credentials and contributions to the island's financial landscape. Whether it's Mr. Patsalides assuming the reins or Mr. Christodoulides opting to extend Mr. Herodotou's tenure, one thing remains certain—the positive impact on the Cypriot economy and financial stability is set to continue.

Awaiting decision on two key executives

In addition to the governor's position, President Christodoulides must also decide the fate of two executives on the Central Bank's Board—Mr. Stavros Agrotis and Ms. Maria Heraclides—whose terms are set to expire. While Mr. Agrotis is expected to be replaced, the situation regarding Ms. Heraclides remains uncertain. As a former IMF representative in Cyprus, her potential retention at the Central Bank adds another layer of intrigue.

New horizons for Mr. Patsalides

Should Mr. Patsalides assume the governorship, he will inherit a Central Bank with a revamped organizational structure. A modernization and restructuring initiative in 2022 aimed to create a unified career progression model with ten grades. The goal was to enhance roles, responsibilities, and decision-making across all levels. This overhaul, according to the Central Bank, aims to streamline governance and operations, replacing the previous complex hierarchy of 27 grades and disparate career paths.

These changes were informed by studies conducted by international experts from RolandBerger and Promontory. While the agreement did not involve salary hikes or benefit revisions, it provided a clearer path for employee advancement and development.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  banks  |  economy

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