Invest Cyprus Roadshow 2020 Israel - Digital Series



Melina Pyrgou, Board Member, Invest Cyprus

Melina Pyrgou is the managing director of Pyrgou Vakis Law Firm and is a practising lawyer with 28 years of experience. She studied law in the UK and was called to the Bar both in England and in Cyprus. In 2007 she joined PricewaterhouseCoopers as Director of Legal Services and in 2008 left to establish Pyrgou Law firm. In 2014 Pyrgou Law Firm was renamed to Pyrgou Vakis Law Firm, after a partnership between Melina Pyrgou, Demetris Vakis (of Christos Vakis & Co a firm that had been established for over 50 years) and Despo Andreou. Melina has been acting for more than 10 years as country expert for projects of the European Commission in relation to transposition and implementation of EU legislation in particular in the field of the environment but also others. She was listed in “Legal 500” EMEA 2016 and 2017 as “Recommended Lawyer” in the areas of Commercial, Corporate and M&A. She has served on numerous boards over the years and is currently an appointed Board member of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (November 2019), an appointed member of the Disciplinary Committee of Accountants of Cyprus (December 2016), member of the Legal Council (appointed by the Attorney-General) and an appointed member of the Board of the Health Insurance Organisation.


George Campanellas, CEO, Invest Cyprus

George Campanellas is the Chief Executive Officer of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (Invest Cyprus) and the Vice President of the Cyprus Investment Funds Association (CIFA). He has nearly twenty years of professional experience in Cyprus and abroad, working with the DG Competition in Brussels and directly with the Cypriot Ministers of Health and Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism.  George has been actively involved in the development of the oil & gas sector in the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone, dealing with licensing, exploration and exploitation activities, as well as promoting bilateral and multilateral cooperation at a regional level. Throughout his career, he also had an active role in drafting the regulatory framework and running the relevant licensing procedures for attracting Foreign Direct Investment in sectors of strategic importance and large-scale infrastructure projects, such as the LNG terminal at Vasilikos Energy Center, Cyprus Techno Park, EuroAsia Interconnector and the City of Dreams Mediterranean, Europe’s largest integrated casino resort and Cyprus’ largest FDI project. 

Michalis P. MichaelChairman of the Board of Directors, Invest Cyprus

Michalis P. Michael is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency since January 2018. He has a long professional career in business and audit services, both as a sole practitioner and as a Partner at KPMG Cyprus. Michalis has vast experience in the Ukrainian market and he is the Chairman of the Cyprus-Ukraine Business Association from 2012 until today. Michalis has been actively involved with public life since his early career. Formerly, he served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (1996-2000), Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cyprus Organisation of Land Development (2000-2003), Member of the Committee for the Supervision and Development of Cooperative Societies (2003-2013). He was also Member of the Board of Directors of The Cyprus University of Technology (2014-2016), where he currently holds the position of Vice-President (July 2016-today). Michalis is a Chartered Certified Accountant, a Fellow member of the UK Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and Member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus, of which he also served as a Member of the Board of Directors.

Constantinos Petrides, Minister of Finance, Republic of Cyprus

Constantinos Petrides assumed office as Minister of Finance of the Republic of Cyprus on 3rd of December 2019. Prior to his appointment, he served as Minister of Interior (1 May 2017 - 3 December 2019) and Deputy Minister to the President of the Republic of Cyprus since (1st March 2013 – 30 April 2017). From September 2011 to February 2013 was the Director of the Office of the President of the Democratic Rally. In 2006 he was hired at the European Commission in Brussels where he worked as an economist at the Directorate General for Agriculture and the Directorate General for Competition until September 2011. During his stay at the European Commission he served as negotiator of trade liberalization agreements between the EU and third countries and also worked on issues of public aid in the field of transportations. From 2000 until 2006 he served as Senior Officer at the Association of Cyprus Banks and as representative of the Association to the European Banking Federation and the National Euro Changeover Committee. During the negotiations for Cyprus’ accession to the EU in 2000 he worked on issues of harmonization at the Directorate for EU-Cyprus relations of the Planning Bureau. He studied Economics at the University of Nottingham and then acquired an MSc in Political Economy of Transition in Europe from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences.

Thessalia-Salina Shambos, Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the State of Israel

Ms. Thessalia Salina Shambos, presented credentials as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Cyprus to HE the President of the State of Israel Reuven Rivlin, on August 6, 2015. Ms Shambos joined the Diplomatic Service of the Republic of Cyprus in September 1998, serving for four years at the Multilateral Department of the Political Division, with competence in UN issues such as Human Rights, Women’s issues and addressing global terrorism. From 2002 to 2006 Ms. Shambos was posted at the Embassy of Cyprus in Greece, where, from 2003 onwards she served as Deputy Head of Mission, covering also Romania and Albania. In 2006 she was posted as Deputy Head of Mission/Consul General at the Embassy of Cyprus in Rome. In September 2008 Ms. Shambos returned to Cyprus and was placed at the Department of Bilateral relations with EU partners and neighbouring countries, as Deputy Head, with responsibilities for Eastern Europe, the Russian Federation and Central Asia desks. In September 2009, she was appointed as Head of the aforementioned department, which concurrently covers the EU perspective of the Western Balkans, and EU relations with Eastern Partnership countries, the Russian Federation, South Caucasus, and Central Asia, the position which she held till July 2015. Ms. Shambos has represented Cyprus in a number of expert committees and conferences at regional, EU and UN levels and was part of the Nicosia core team for the 2012 EU Council Presidency of Cyprus. 


Pieris Markou, Tax & Legal Services Leader, Deloitte Cyprus

Pieris Markou is the Tax & Legal Practice Leader of Deloitte in Cyprus. Pieris holds a BA in Accounting from a UK university, is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.   He is an active member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus since 1992, having served as member, vice chairman and chairman of the Tax and VAT Committees of the Institute and is currently the vice president of the Institute’s Council.  He participates in a number of meetings with the Minister of Finance, the House of Representatives and the Tax Commissioners for the formulation of the Government’s policies on taxation and is a member of an advisory committee to the Government on treaty negotiations.  Pieris specializes in local and international taxation, is a speaker at many conferences and an author of many articles both in the local financial press as well as international tax journals.

Symeon Symeou, Banker, Representative from the Cyprus Banking Sector

Christos Charalambides, Tax Advisory Partner, PwC Cyprus

Christos Charalambides is a Partner in Tax Advisory Services of PwC Cyprus with professional experience of more than 18 years in dealing with the tax affairs of an extensive client portfolio of international and local clients, including large MNCs focusing on the Cypriot, US and European markets. Christos is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is a graduate of University of California, US (BA (honors) Business Economics). His industry specialization includes Communications and Technology, Financial Services, Real Estate/ Construction, Funds, Oil and Gas, Commodities and Retail. Christos’ experience covers a wide range of taxation services including advisory work on local and international transactions, group restructurings, tax planning, M&A work as well as direct tax compliance work. He also has a role in the PwC tax technical team providing support to the government on the introduction of new legislation provisions as well as the PwC tax policy panel. Christos is a member of the Cyprus-Canada and Cyprus-South Africa business associations which are under the auspices of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Pangratios Vanezis, Board Member, Enterprise & Startups Leader , KPMG

Pangratios Vanezis is a Board Member, Fintech Partner and leader of Enterprise & Startups at KPMG in Cyprus. He joined the Firm in 2003 and became a Board Member in 2016. He has extensive experience in auditing clients from diverse industries, including banking, insurance, technology sector and capital markets. He is KPMG Cyprus IFRS 9 and IFRS 17 leader and country implementation leader of the KPMG new audit tool Clara. Pangratios is mentoring startup teams whilst he is also involved in developing their business model, got-to-market approach and fundraising process. He is very influential in the growing entrepreneurship and startup ecosystem in Cyprus and he is a speaker, host and moderator in many local events.

Andreas Yiasemides, President, Cyprus Investment Funds Association

Andreas Yiasemides is the President of the Cyprus Investment Funds Association (CIFA) and a Partner at PwC Cyprus, in charge of the Fund Services of the organisation. On his graduation from the University of Manchester with a first class degree in Economics, he joined PwC in 1999 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant (FCA). He continued his career with the Bank of Cyprus, holding various positions including heading the Custody and Trusts Unit. He then moved on to an organisation of professional services where he set up and led the Fund Services Unit. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Cyprus and of the Central Bank of Cyprus as well as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cyprus Investment Funds Association (CIFA). He is also Vice Chairman  of the Cyprus National Advisory Council of Charter Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI). Andreas Yiasemides has also been elected as the President of the Cyprus India Business Association.

Andria Koukounis, Advocate, Director, Financial Services, Funds and Capital Markets, Prountzos & Prountzos LLC – EY Law

Andria Koukounis is a Director in the Financial Services, Funds and Capital Markets. She is an experienced banking and finance law practitioner with a particular focus on commercial transactions, project financing and restructuring deals. She regularly advises financial institutions on legal and regulatory issues and represents them in contentious proceedings. She has also been appointed as legal advisor of an international private equity and real estate fund manager with a multi-million Euro portfolio across Europe. Andria has extensive experience in establishing Alternative Investment Funds and representing regulated entities during the licensing stage and throughout their operations. She is also frequently engaged in providing legal advisory support to Alternative Investment Fund Managers who are active in a number of jurisdictions through the passporting regime.

Andri Michael, Partner - Financial Services and Funds Department, Kinanis LLC

Andri Michael is a Partner at Kinanis LLC. She has joined the firm in 2005 and her main areas of practice, for over 10 years, included corporate law, banking and finance, funds and capital markets. For the past few years, Andri has been leading the Financial Services and Funds department of Kinanis LLC focusing mainly on legal advisory, formation and regulatory compliance for collective investment structures and other licensed entities. She also specialises on legal advice and support for international clients for listings on capital markets as well as on legal consulting for blockchain matters. Andri holds an Undergraduate (L.L.B) and Postgraduate Degree in Law (LL.M) from the University of Southampton, UK and was admitted to the Cyprus Bar Association in 2004. She is a member of the CIFA and a holder of the Advanced Certificate of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission.