The newly established Hellenic Association of Treasurers (HAT) aims to support a vibrant community of Greek treasurers, both at home and abroad. Here, Alexandros Bellos, board member and Co-Founder of HAT, who is also Senior Treasury Manager at PVH Corporation, is joined by another HAT board member, Marianna Polykrati, Group Treasurer, Chipita S.A., to explain the association’s key areas of focus for the year ahead.
National treasury associations play an important role in both professional development and expanding the network of peers that treasurers can engage with. Whatever challenges or projects you might be facing within your organisation, there is usually someone who has been through something similar and can offer advice or support. But what do you do if your country doesn’t have such an association in place? That was the challenge facing Greek treasurers until the Hellenic Association of Treasurers (HAT) was officially founded on 8 December 2020.
The concept for what would become HAT began around four years ago, explains Bellos, when President and Co-founder of HAT, Alexandros Koliavras, during his role at Group Treasury at Philips, collaborated with the Chairman of the Dutch Association of Corporate Treasurers (DACT). This exposure, coupled with the continuous ‘brain drain’ that Greece was facing in the years following the financial crisis where many young, bright minds left Greece, spurred Koliavras into thinking about forming a similar association. A national association that could leverage the international knowledge and experience of the Greek Treasury professionals around the world, establish a ‘brain gain’ for the country and put Greece on the treasury map. The seeds of the idea for HAT had been planted, but it would take a while before the green shoots of the new association would emerge.
“Koliavras later advanced his career as a Global Business Advisor for the Group Treasury of ING, where he partnered with Dimitrios Chasapopoulos and Chariton Papatriantafyllou at the bank,” explains Polykrati. “The three of them built the fundamentals of the association, and together with Bellos and Aris Nafpaktitis they founded the association and then I also joined the initiative. We formed the Board and started working together during the pandemic.”