We travel to Cyprus – Aphrodite’s isle in the eastern Mediterranean – for this Sovereign Story. George Ayiomamitis has been head of Sovereign’s Cyprus office for almost five years. An experienced business developer, he has lofty ambitions for the operation by building on the considerable success seen so far under his mandate. We were keen to learn more about this “late thirty something” family man who is fiercely proud of his Greek Cypriot heritage.
George has recently been named 2022 International Corporate & Trust Expert in Cyprus by Corporate INTL. George’s immediate reaction though is to praise his staff instead, pointing out that the office itself received awards in 2020 and 2021 (Best Independent Corporate & Trust Services Provider from Worldwide Finance Awards and International Corporate & Trust Provider of the Year by Corporate INTL respectively). He says, modestly, that he “is merely following the trend”.
The team comprises six people locally. There is extensive cooperation with other Sovereign offices, particularly in the Middle East and Mauritius. Growing organically, the Cyprus office has gone from strength to strength in recent years, including relocating to prestigious new premises on Limassol’s famous beachfront.
A Greek and English speaking graduate, George undertook roles in the insurance and real estate sectors prior to joining Sovereign in April 2012. Appointed a director just three years later, he became Managing Director in November 2017. He recognises that Sovereign’s culture must evolve with the times but, he says, the “human touch” is still very evident – and it goes all the way to the top. This approach is replicated in all Sovereign offices.
George is a fully qualified member of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP), and sits on the board of the Cyprus Fiduciary Association (CYFA), the country’s principal industry body. No surprise then that he is so well-known in local business circles.
We talked about Cyprus becoming an increasingly popular jurisdiction in these “post-everything” days. It has confronted several challenges head-on and improved its international reputation as a result. Cyprus has become an important base for high tech companies from all over the world. It is also a leading jurisdiction for Intellectual Property (IP) structuring for companies wishing to base their head offices in the island. The country boasts an educated, diverse and multinational workforce – and has space to expand. It is the EU’s easternmost country and is just 45 minutes’ flying time from Tel Aviv.
This key strategic location makes Cyprus an ideal base for attracting business from the wider region. George’s office handles enquiries from local sources and neighbouring countries whilst Greek and Israeli business is directed to it from Sovereign’s network worldwide. He points out that in return, the Limassol office acts as a “one stop shop”, able to provide links to Sovereign’s extensive, growing, global services offering.
Married to Maria since 2014, George is a devoted family man doting on his 5 year old son Alexandros, whom he calls his “mini Alexander the Great”. An avid reader of biographies, in his earlier days George was an accomplished solo singer even playing the lead role in his high school band. Sadly, his singing days are mostly behind him, and as he approaches forty he also really admits that the same is true of his basketball playing. However, he is quick to point out that that he “does his best” to keep fit and works out at the gym several times a week.
We left George as he went on to tackle another busy day. The award winning Cyprus office is clearly in great hands and we look forward to following its progress with George at the helm. Efcharistó to him for his time – and best wishes for continued success in the future.