The primary purpose of the Board of Directors is to ensure the smooth and effective operation of Praxia bank, thus contributing to the general economy. It establishes the Bank’s purpose, values and strategy and is accountable to the Shareholder, the regulatory and other authorities.
Executive Member, Chief Executive Officer
Anastasia Sakellariou is the CEO of Praxia bank. Transforming an inspiration into reality, she has been the driving force behind the creation of Greece’s first digital bank. Anastasia identified early on the lack of available funding for small and medium enterprises in the local marketplace and took the initiative to address this need in 2016. She initially served as investment advisor to Atlas Merchant Capital in their acquisition of Credicom (a full banking license in Greece) and subsequently undertook the mission to build and manage Praxia. Under Anastasia's leadership, Praxia is empowering change in the local market place through innovation to offer a seamless banking experience.
Anastasia is an accomplished international financier combining private and public sector banking expertise. She started her career in London in the mid-90s in investment banking holding positions in bulge bracket firms including Deutsche Bank, Salomon Brothers and Credit Suisse specializing in credit and credit restructuring as well as leverage finance, asset liability management, underwriting and risk management. Upon her return in Greece in 2009, she first held an executive position as senior advisor to the Chairman of Piraeus Bank and later as Chief Risk Officer of Hellenic Postbank.
In February 2013 she was appointed CEO of the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), the recapitalization vehicle for the Greek banks, with the capacity to deploy €50bn of funds, provided through the EU-IMF financial support mechanism. During her tenure at this critical public sector post, she played an instrumental role in the reshaping (resolution of 12 non-core banks and exit of foreign players), restructuring (deleveraging, divestments and cost cutting of the systemic banks) and the stabilization of the Greek banking sector. She left in late 2015 after having successfully completed two rounds of recapitalization of the Greek systemic banks and having concluded their required restructuring plans in line with EU state aid rules.
Bob Diamond is the Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Atlas Merchant Capital Fund LP, Praxia bank’s sole shareholder, and a non-executive member of the Board of Directors of Praxia bank. Until 2012, Bob was the Chief Executive Officer of Barclays, having previously held the position of President of Barclays and was responsible for Barclays Capital and Barclays Global Investors (“BGI”). He became an executive director of Barclays in 2005 and was a member of the Barclays Executive Committee since 1997.
Prior to Barclays, Bob held senior executive positions at Credit Suisse First Boston and Morgan Stanley in the United States, Europe and Asia. He worked at Credit Suisse First Boston from 1992 to 1996, where his roles included Vice Chairman and Head of Global Fixed Income and Foreign Exchange in New York, as well as Chairman, President and CEO of Credit Suisse First Boston Pacific. Bob worked at Morgan Stanley from 1979 to 1992, including as the Head of European and Asian Fixed Income Trading.
Concurrently with his non-executive membership of Praxia bank’s Board of Directors, he is also a member of the Board of Directors of South Street Securities Holdings, Inc., Banca illimity and Atlas Mara Limited. He is also a Trustee of The American Foundation of the Imperial War Museum Inc., a Life Member of The Council on Foreign Relations and is involved in several non-profit initiatives, including being a Director of the Diamond Foundation. He is also Life Trustee and former Chair of the Colby College Board of Trustees.
A native of Concord, Massachusetts, Bob holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Colby College in Maine and an MBA from the University of Connecticut. He was awarded Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Connecticut and Doctor of Laws from Colby College.
David Schamis is Founding Partner and Chief Investment Officer and is based in New York. Previously, David worked at J.C. Flowers from 2000 to January 2014, most recently as a Managing Director and member of the management committee. David joined J.C. Flowers at its inception and has had significant experience investing in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. His day-to-day responsibilities included transaction and sourcing execution, portfolio company monitoring and firm operations. Prior to J.C. Flowers, David worked in the financial institutions investment banking group at Salomon Smith Barney LLC from 1995 to 2000.
David Schamis is currently a member of the Board of Directors of South Street Securities Holdings, Inc., Praxia bank, Panmure Gordon, Kepler Cheuvreux, Talcott Resolution and Ascensus. He was previously Chairman of the Board of Directors of Fox-Pitt Kelton and Ascensus Retirement Services. He also served on the Board of Directors for Somerset Reinsurance, Affirmative Insurance Holdings, Inc., Symetra Financial Corporation and MF Global Ltd. In 2007 and 2008, Investment Dealers’ Digest magazine named Mr. Schamis to its “40 Under 40” list.
A native of Plainview, New York, David earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Yale University. He served as Co-Chairman of the Class of 1995’s Reunion Gift Committees in 2005, 2010 and 2015. David is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the board of Yale College Alumni Fund and the Yale Development Council. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Portledge School, a private school in Locust Valley, NY and the Luena Foundation, a non-profit in the developing world. David remains active in his community and has coached football and lacrosse at various levels.
Executive Member, Deputy CEO
George Koutsos brings significant international experience in financial services having worked in various capacities spanning action investment banking, strategy consulting, private equity and general management. He was one of the first executives to join Praxia in early 2018, with a vision to build Greece’s first digital bank. His original role was Chief Financial & Operating Officer and was later promoted to Deputy CEO. He is also an Executive Member of the Board of Directors.
He is a graduate in Chemical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and he holds an MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering and an MBA from Imperial College, London. He started his career as a Strategy Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. He then moved to National Bank of Greece, where he spent 8 years within the Investment Banking and Private Equity/Venture Capital business units, originally in London (NBG International) and since 2009 in Athens, ultimately heading Mergers, Acquisitions, Restructurings and Equity Capital Markets.
George was subsequently appointed Deputy CEO of the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), the recapitalization vehicle for the Greek banks, with a firepower of c. €50bn, provided through the EU-IMF financial support mechanism to Greece. During his tenure, George was deeply involved in the reshaping, restructuring and stabilization of the Greek banking sector (3 rounds of recapitalization, resolution of 12 non-core banks, deleveraging / divestments of the pillar banks in line with their approved restructuring plans, facilitation of NPL resolution, development of an active NPL market etc.). On the corporate governance front, he was actively providing guidance to the HFSF’s representatives at the BoDs and respective committees of the 4 systemic banks. His last role prior to Praxia bank was Partner in Deloitte Central Mediterranean, advising banks and corporates on strategy, finance and operations while being a key member of the Financial Services team that secured key mandates ranging from audit and IFRS 9 advisory to divestment strategy and NPL portfolio transactions.
Timothy Kacani is a Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer, Member of Investment Committee of Atlas Merchant Capital having joined in June 2014 and is based in New York. Timothy oversees the Atlas' finance, legal and operations functions. Previously, Timothy was the CFO of Lightyear Capital, having joined in April 2001.
Prior to joining Lightyear, Timothy worked at JP Morgan Partners as a Vice President of Investment Partnerships, Tax and Distributions from 1997 to 2001. Prior to JP Morgan, Timothy worked at Brother International Corporation as a Manager for financial reporting from 1996 to 1997.
Timothy began his career at KPMG, where he worked from 1987 to 1996. While at KPMG, he spent six years in a variety of audit positions and an additional three years in the executive office overseeing the financial reporting for the consolidated U.S. division of KPMG. Timothy is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Praxia bank and Panmure Gordon. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees at the University of Scranton. A native of Metuchen, New Jersey, Timothy is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Scranton.
Sally Bott is an Operating Partner at Atlas and is based in both New York and London. She is an experienced Human Resources professional with more than 30 years of HR experience. Prior to joining Atlas, Sally was the Group HR Director for Barclays from 2011 to 2012. From 2005 to 2011, she served as the Global HR Director at BP Plc. From 2000 to 2005 Sally was a Managing Director at Marsh & McLennan Companies, a global professional services firm that provides advice and solutions in strategy, risk and human capital, and Head of Global HR for Marsh Inc. Prior to that, she worked at Barclays from 1994 to 2000; first as the HR Director for Barclays de Zoete Wedd and then Group HR Director for Barclays.
Sally began her career in 1970 at Citibank in their Economics Department and also held positions in the Finance function and Leveraged Finance business. While at Citi, Sally had HR experience across a range of markets, including the United States, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and other emerging markets. Sally began working in HR in 1978 and worked as an HR Director in most of the Wholesale Bank and Investment Banking business during the next 15 years.
From 2008 to 2011, Sally served on the Board of Directors of UBS AG and chaired the Human Resources and Compensation Committee.
Sally holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Manhattanville College and is currently a Board Member for the Carter Burden Center for the Aging in New York City.
Independent Non-executive Member
Robert Willoughby, a dual US/UK citizen, is an Independent Non-executive Director of Praxia bank and sits on the Audit, Compensation, Nomination, and Risk Committees of the Board of Directors and chairs the Risk, Compensation and Nomination Committees. Previously, Robert was a Managing Director of Credit Suisse and Chairman of the Leveraged Finance Origination and Restructuring Advisory Group in London, after having served as the senior risk approver in Europe, Middle East & Africa for Credit Suisse as Head of Credit Underwriting and Capital Commitments in London.
Prior to joining Credit Suisse in 1999, Robert served as Managing Director in Bankers Trust Company in London, holding senior Credit and Underwriting roles in the Risk Management Division as well as working in the Global Structured Finance Division, after having transferred to London in 1994 from Bankers Trust’s Chicago Office, and having worked in the High Yield / Leveraged Finance Division in Chicago.
Robert holds a Masters in Management degree (MBA) from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.