Greek banker Ioannis Costopoulos, the Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors of Alpha Bank, passed away in Athens on Tuesday. He was 83 yers old.
Costopoulos was instrumental in making Alpha Bank as one of the largest banks in Greece.
He has been described as a “patriarch” by other bankers, as many have sought his advice over the years.
His contemporaries say that he been one of the most important bankers in post-war Greece, contributing to the modernization of the banking system.
Costopoulos transformed Alpha bank
Costopoulos was born in Athens in 1938.
He started his career at the Commercial Credit Bank (Pisteos) in 1963. He was the Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of the Bank from 1973 and Chairman of the Board and General Manager from 1984 to 1996.
Although he had not studied Economics – he actually earned a degree in shipbuilding – Costopoulos proved that he had a vision from the first moment he took the reins.
He restructured the Bank completely, taking advantage of the nationalization of Ionian and Emporiki by the first post-war government and the inaction that gradually paralyzed the state-owned banks and managed to make Commercial Credit Bank an important player in the banking sector.
From 1996 to 2005 he was the Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Alpha Bank.
From February 2005 to May 2014 he was the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank, while in June 2014 the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders awarded him the title of Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Vision for the future
Together with Theodoros Karatzas, the governor of the National Bank, he envisioned the creation of a banking giant with the merger of Alpha with the National Bank, a plan that never went ahead in his lifetime.
However, his vision may become a reality if the Alpha – Eurobank merger will become a reality, creating the largest bank in Greece.
Alpha Bank A.E., together with its subsidiaries, provides various banking and financial products and services to individuals, professionals, and companies in Greece and internationally.
The company operates throughout the spheres of Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, Asset Management and Insurance, Investment Banking and Treasury, South Eastern Europe, and other areas.
In addition, the company also engages in the real estate management and hotel businesses.
As of December 31, 2019, it operated a total of 383 branches.
The company was formerly known as Alpha Credit Bank and changed its name to Alpha Bank A.E. in April 2000.