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Greek Prime Minister praises “pioneering” Professor Costas Grammenos

Anthonis Samaras gives official address at 30th anniversary of Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance

The Greek Prime Minister has praised Cass Business School Professor Costas Grammenos for his "pioneering" teaching and research on shipping finance.

Giving an official speech in Athens, Antonis Samaras acclaimed Professor Grammenos for his "vision ahead of time" in founding the Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance.

The Prime Minister's remarks came at an event marking 30 years since Professor Grammenos launched the international Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance.


Mr Samaras said the Greek nation was "proud" of Professor Grammenos for his "pioneering work" in "preparing the future and the people that will make it happen".

"According to Aristoteles, you always have to balance between the "local" and the "global" [view], between a perfect understanding of where you are and a good sense of where you want to be," he said.

"The problem is that nowadays the "local view"…is pretty much obvious to almost everyone. Whereas the "global view", looking beyond the horizon, is something that few people attempt and even fewer usually accomplish.

"A good example of what "global view" means is in practice Costas Grammenos' contribution: Vision ahead of time and beyond the horizon, as well as practical results shaping up the future and bringing it closer for everyone to see," he said.

Earlier in his speech, Mr Samaras described being "overwhelmed with everything I heard today about your course".

"Congratulations for your 30 years," he said. "Congratulations to the Cass Business School for doing a fantastic job and we greatly appreciate as a world community of people who believe in meritocracy, so we thank you very much and I thank you on behalf of all graduates and non-graduates."

Watch 'Looking Globally from Athens'

More than 750 people travelled to Athens from around the world to join the event staged at the Onassis Cultural Centre in the Greek capital. 

Titled 'Looking globally from Athens', the daylong conference saw 35 top executives share their insights on the world economy, shipping, banking, capital markets and entrepreneurship and investment. 

The speakers were distinguished alumni of Cass's Masters in Shipping, Trade and Finance, which was the first course of its kind when it was launched by Professor Grammenos in 1984. Cass Dean, Professor Steven Haberman, and Vice-Chancellor of City University London, Professor Sir Paul Curran also gave addresses. 

Professor Grammenos is internationally recognised as the founding father of shipping finance. More than 3,400 students from 120 countries have graduated from his centre, meaning almost a whole generation of key shipping decision makers have been influenced by its courses.

Speaking at the event, Professor Grammenos said: "Over this 30 year period we have organised seven Biennials, 12 conferences, 19 Piraeus meetings, five symposia, 30 seminars, ten public lectures and well over 450 speeches and presentations where very many leading business executives and policy makers have been involved. I'm also grateful to my staff at the centre who have published more than 120 papers in leading academic journals."

Commenting on the graduates of the centre, he said: "Many of them have become bankers, ship owners, executives of shipping companies, shipbrokers, stockbrokers, traders or executives of manufacturers, oil companies and law firms. They live in London, in Athens in Oslo, Hamburg , New York, Zurich, Geneva , in Cyprus Turkey in the Emirates, Qatar in Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore and another 40 countries. For us all, our graduates are simply our students who are our high flyers, they look ahead and they look high."

The event kick started a year of 30th anniversary celebrations that will be repeated in Oslo, Hamburg, Istanbul, Cyprus, Singapore and London.

Watch 'Looking Globally from Athens' and see the full list of speakers

Read the Prime Minister's Speech

Opening Session

Professor Sir Paul Curran, Vice Chancellor, City University London

World Economy Session

Dr Anthony Papadimitriou, President of the Board, Alexander S Onassis Foundation
Mr Kristian Andersson, Chairman of the Management Board (CEO), SEB Ukraine, (MSc STF 1993)
Mr Arjun Batra, Group Managing Director, Drewry Shipping Consultants, (MSc STF 1988)
Mr Francesco Garzarelli, Co-Head, Global Macro Markets, Goldman Sachs
Mr Emad Mansour, CEO, Audacia Capital, (MSc STF 1992)
Dr Panos Pouliasis, Senior Lecturer in Energy/Commodities and Finance, Cass Business School, City University London (MSc STF 2005)
Professor Michael Tamvakis, Director, MSc Energy, Trade & Finance, Cass Business School, City University London (MSc STF 1989)

Shipping Session

Mr Thanassis Martinos, Managing Director, Eastern Mediterranean Maritime Ltd
Mr Michael Fostiropoulos, Director, Almi Tankers S.A., (MSc STF 2001)
Mr Nicolai Hansteen, Senior Shipping Analyst, Pareto Securities, (MSc STF 1996)
Dr Sadan Kaptanoglu, Owner and CEO, Kaptanoglu Holdings, (MSc STF 1997)
Mrs Hariklia Moundreas, Director, Nicholas G Moundreas Shipping, (MSc STF 1994)
Mrs Ioanna Procopiou, Director, Dynacom Tankers Management, (MSc STF 2001)
Mr Eleftherios Veniamis, Director, Golden Union Shipping, (MSc STF 2001)
Professor Nikos Nomikos, Director, MSc Shipping, Trade & Finance, Cass Business School, City University London(MSc STF 1994)

Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Costas Grammenos Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance

Professor Steven Haberman, Dean, Cass Business School, City University London
Dr Nikolas Tsakos, Chairman, Internanko, (MSc STF 1986)
Professor Costas Th. Grammenos CBE DSc, LRF Professor in Shipping, Trade and Finance, Chairman, Costas Grammenos Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance, Cass Business School, City University London

Keynote Speech 

The Prime Minister of Greece, Mr Antonis Samaras

Banking Session

Mr Alexandros Tourkolias, CEO, National Bank of Greece
Mr Michael Fostiropoulos, Director, Almi Tankers S.A., (MSc STF 2001)
Mr Loukas Lagaras, Head of Representative Office Greece, HSH Nordbank AG, (MSc STF 1992)
Mr Nicholas Pavlidis, Senior Director Ship Finance, London RBS Shipping Group, (MSc STF 1993)
Mrs Alpa Shah, Managing Director, DVB Bank SE, (MSc STF 1995)
Mr Dimitri Sofianopoulos, Partner, Head of Greece, Norton Rose Fulbright Greece, (MSc STF 1990)
Mr Alex Tebbe, Managing Director, Auerback Schiffahrt GmbH & Co. KG, (MSc STF 2006)
Dr Nikolas Tsakos, CEO and President, Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd (TEN), (MSc STF 1986)
Dr Amir Alizadeh, Reader, Shipping Economics & Finance, Cass Business School, City University London (MSc STF 1994)

Capital Markets Session

Mr Georgios Procopiou, Founder, Dynagas Ltd
Mr Michael Chalkias, Co-CEO, Prime Tanker Management/ Prime Gas Management, (MSc STF 1995)
Mr John Dragnis, CEO, Goldenport Group of Companies, (MSc STF 2000)
Mr Georgios Karageorgiou, President 7 CEO, Globus Maritime Limited, (MSc STF 1988)
Mr Kostandis Koutsomitopoulos, Director, Global Maritime Partners Inc, (MSc STF 1990)
Eri Tsironi, CFO, Navios Maritime Midstream Partners, L.P.(MSc STF 1996)
Dr Andreas Vergottis, Head of Research, Tufton Oceanic Ltd, (MSc STF 1989)
Dr Nikos Papapostolou, Senior Lecturer in Shipping Finance, Cass Business School, City University London (MSc STF 2001)

Enterpreneurship & Investments

Mr Nikos Stathopoulos, Managing Partner, BC Partners
Mr Vassilios Efthymiadis, Managing Director, K&N Efthymiadis S.A., (MSc STF 1994)
Mr Manolis Giannoulis, President and CEO, Giannoulis Hotels and Resorts, (MSc STF 1988)
Mr Nikolaos Grigoriades, Managing Director, Hellenic Tourist Groups S.A., (MSc STF 1990)
Mr Aris Kefalogiannis, CEO, GAEA Products S.A., (MSc STF 1988)
Mr Emad Mansour, CEO, Audacia Capital, (MSc STF 1992)

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