Ex-Credit Suisse banker taps lesson for Greek rebound
By Maria Petrakis
When Anastasia Sakellariou moved back to Greece in 2009 to get married, giving up international trips and pay checks that came with being a banker at Credit Suisse Group AG, Europes debt crisis had barely begun.
Five years on, the 40-year-old is at the heart of the countrys revival efforts. As head of the 50 billion-euro ($68 billion) Hellenic Financial Stability Fund, Sakellariou is among only a handful of women in high-profile jobs in Greece, and is charged with resuscitating banks hit by the biggest sovereign debt restructuring in history and the worst peacetime economic downturn.
As she works on weaning the lenders off government support and guides them into private ownership, Sakellariou is drawing on more than a decade of banking experience in London and New York, where she says she learned crisis-management lessons that have served her well.
I always wondered if I came back to Greece whether I would find something that would be challenging and interesting to do, Sakellariou said in her first interview in the job in her downtown Athens office, over the growl of traffic from the citys streets. I found it.
A measure of her success: Greeces four main banks raised 8.3 billion euros from capital markets this year, part of the drive to revive a sector that must underpin a return to growth after a six-year recession that almost tipped Greece out of the euro area.
Investors including Fidelity, BlackRock Inc. and Paulson & Co. have poured in. Eurobank SA, the third-biggest bank unable to draw private investment last year, is now majority owned by private investors.
She was able to grasp that the international investment community would be interested in the Greek...
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