After a long and undeniably highly successful career in the field of professional services, Nicos Kyriakides, Financial Advisory Services Leader, Deloitte Cyprus as well as head of the company’s Limassol office, has chosen to retire early.
Having made this decision, Kyriakides is completing a long career in one of the largest auditing firms, both in Cyprus and abroad, serving in key positions for a full 41 years.
For the last 21 years, Kyriakides held the position of Financial Advisory Services Leader Financial Advisory Services Leader and head of the Limassol office at Deloitte Cyprus, as mentioned above. Responsibilities which he assumed from the first day of joining the auditing and consulting firm.
Kyriakides has told InBusinessNews that even though he has chosen to retire early, he looks forward to continuing to play an active role in the public and business world of Cyprus.
Nicos Kyriakides has led large and important projects concerning the Cypriot economy, among which, mergers and acquisitions, reorganisations of groups of companies, the assessment of the capital adequacy of systemic Cypriot banks, and assessments of non-performing loan portfolios, while he has also prepared studies for attracting investors and financing mega projects, including ports and marinas, golf courses, hotels, large building complexes, and renewable energy parks.
At the same time, he played a notable role in the various initiatives to promote Cyprus abroad as a reliable international business centre towards the attraction of foreign investments, actions which were recognised by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as a result of which he was awarded the honorary title “KEBE Ambassador” in 2019.
Speaking to InBusinessNews, Kyriakides said that the last 15 years represent a milestone in his career, as, as he said, they were years of challenges, crises, and upheavals.
More specifically, during his professional career he was called upon to face a sequence of crises, such as the financial crisis that began in 2008, the crisis of the pandemic, as well as the most recent crisis, which has arisen due to the consequences of the war in Ukraine. A crisis that brought about chain problems such as inflationary pressures and sanctions, which are seriously affecting professional services and incoming foreign investment in Cyprus.
“It was a difficult period for the profession in Cyprus, especially from 2010 onwards. In 2013, the country’s banking system and the Cypriot economy in general went through a major economic crisis and then recovered. At the beginning of 2020 came the crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the last two years, issues have arisen from the war in Ukraine. The sanctions seriously affect the professional services sector, the development of new projects, but also the attraction of foreign investments and entrepreneurs from abroad who wish to use Cyprus as a base for their international activities,” Kyriakides pointed out.
His message to the professional services sector of Cyprus
Commenting further on the issue of sanctions, Nicos Kyriakides sent his own message to the Cyprus professional services industry, but also to the government.
“Cypriot professionals should be especially careful, to comply and not accept compromises to their professionalism and exercise of their judgment. And the government should intensify its efforts and pressures towards foreign decision-making centres regarding the issue of sanctions, so as to clarify the landscape, to make it known which businessmen and professionals are affected and which are not, and to put an end to the uncertainty. In other words, this cloud of uncertainty hanging over Cyprus, which, in addition to professional services, also affects Cypriot businessmen, who have plans for new investments, should cease to exist,” he said.
Kyriakides underlined to InBusinessNews, “At the same time, this uncertainty delays or prevents the decisions of foreign businessmen interested in using Cyprus, as well as foreign investments, which contribute significantly to the sustainability of the Cypriot economy.” He also added that, without warranting any complacency, recent announcements regarding sanctions are a positive development.
Nevertheless, Nicos Kyriakides sent a message of optimism, stressing that, with a concerted serious effort by Cypriot businessmen and professionals, the supervisory authorities, and the new government, just as Cyprus overcame the previous crises, it will overcome this one as well.
In addition, he indicated that a serious and intense effort should be continued to promote Cyprus abroad, as an international business centre and as a service centre, and that at the same time, through a collective effort of the government and the private sector, the good name and the credibility of our country shold be restored abroad, and it to be disconnected from the scandals.
New foreign investments and the areas we should focus on
Kyriakides also referred to the sectors of the economy in which there is interest, which are open to new foreign investments, and which Cyprus should focus on.
As he mentioned, incentives and impetus must be given for the development of new investments in the field of renewable energy sources, shipping, and specifically to creating infrastructure for the blue economy, medical services, high-level university education, and of course, tourism, which is one of the most resistant sectors of the Cypriot economy.
We should also, as Kyriakides underlined, attract even more companies active in the field of ICT (information technology and communication) and in matters of research and innovation.
The development of the real estate sector will be a dividend of the development of the remaining sectors, since these are expected to create increased demand and needs for office space, as well as for apartments and houses for staff accommodation.
“In order to achieve these goals, the capacity of our airports should be increased, the necessary infrastructure should be developed to accommodate larger numbers of personnel in our cities by creating affordable housing, investments in RES and in sustainable urban mobility and public transport,” Kyriakides suggested.
“Foreign investors should also be paid attention to and treated with respect. Therefore, specialised one-stop-shops should be created, not only in theory but also in practice, so that there is greater speed in the response of government services in matters of licensing and employment of personnel from abroad. Also, the issue of digitisation, both of the services of the state and the private sector, must be a high priority,” Kyriakides continued.
His contribution to the field of professional services
Nicos Kyriakides has extensive experience in providing auditing and financial consulting services, in insolvency matters as well as in international tax planning.
His professional career started with Peat Marwick in 1982 in London. Upon his return to Cyprus, in 1986, he served as a partner at KPMG from 1988 and then at Arthur Andersen in Limassol, as a partner and as head of the office.
After Arthur Andersen’s Cypriot office joined Deloitte, Kyriakides from 2002 until his recent retirement worked at Deloitte as Financial Advisory Services Leader and head of the Limassol office.
He has led a large number of projects related to valuations, acquisitions, and mergers of companies, preparation of viability studies and business plans, due diligence studies, reorganisations of groups of companies, capital and debt restructurings, evaluation of non-performing loan portfolios, judicial investigations and insolvency advisory services, as well as studies of listing shares on stock exchanges and preparation of public proposals.
He has prepared studies for finding investors and financing large development projects, in the fields of Renewable Energy Sources, Ports and Marinas, golf courses, hotels, and large Real Estate Development projects.
Nicos Kyriakides who is a licensed insolvency practitioner in Cyprus, is a chartered accountant, Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, (ICAEW), member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus (ICPAC – SELK) and holds a B.Sc. in Accounting & Finance from the London School of Economics and Political Science.