This year, many important subject matters regarding changes and improvements in the organisation of BGI were discussed, which highlighted the integration of a new legal company to the Balms Group International association. Once again, the opportunity arose to share pleasant moments between the members of BGI, and this is thanks to the magnificent organisation and warm welcome of the Tsirides family.
On the 26th May at 8pm, the conference was opened with cocktails offered by the hosting office to all those present on the pier of the Amathus Beach Hotel, where the large majority of the members of congress and guests were received. It was a privilege to also have the presence of the Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism in Cyprus, Mr. Antonis Paschalidis, who was the attending guest of honour.
On the 27th of May at 9am, all lecturers gathered in the Aphrodite room of the same hotel, in order to hold the first Conference session.
As usual, the Company CEO, Mr Juan Luis Balmaseda de Ahumada y Díez, opened the conference by welcoming all those present. On this occasion however, he also thanked the Costas Tsirides & Co L.L.C. office for their magnificent reception, and for their very warm welcome in opening the doors of Limassol to all of BGI´s business partners and guests during the XIII BGI Congress. At the same time, Mr Balmaseda de Ahumada y Díez also expressed his honour, on behalf of everyone, at sharing the 40th anniversary of the Costas Tsirides & L.L.C. with the Tsirides family.
Following this, Mr Balmaseda de Ahumada y Díez introduced one of the special guests from Balms Group International, Mr Diego Martínez, the Managing Director of the company MM&A Consultants in Uruguay. The CEO unanimously approved and offered the position of General Regional Director of BGI for the Americas to Mr Martínez to allow him to then present interesting proposals to those present, and to introduce the company.
Another highlight worth mentioning was the passion expressed by Mr D. Panicos Koursaris, the International Business Centre Director of Marfin Laiki Bank who was accompanied by Mr Andreas Evripidou, Director of the CRM department of the same bank both special invitees from the companies Costas Tsirides & L.L.C. and Balms Group International. Mr Koursaris presented new alternatives to the current international financial crisis, offered by the bank he represented.
The rest of the session was dedicated to debates of different subject matters regarding BGI publications, such as pending proposals to be trialled for the future interest of BGI.
After this debate, the working day came to an end.
Lunch was held with a buffet in the peaceful Kalipso restaurant in the Amathus Beach Hotel, where all lecturers and guests gathered together.
Once over, the entire group made their way to the hotel lobby to begin the programmed visit of Kourion; an important city of the ancient queen, where excavations still bring new treasures to light. All members of congress enjoyed the spectacular sea views and the fascinating Greek-Roman theatre which Kourion majestically displays. As a result, the visit turned out to be pleasant, enjoyable and interesting.
Following a rest in the hotel, the day was finished off by a meal for guests in the Pantopolio restaurant, in the centre of Limassol. The restaurant was a welcoming and cosy place with all the magic and charm of the Cypriot atmosphere, livened up with regional dances and a typical cuisine which delighted the palates of both natives and foreigners.
On Friday the 28th of May, the conference session opened with a presentation from the Swiss bank Bordier & Cie, led by their Advice Delegate, Mr Grégoire Bordier. The presentation resulted in an interesting and innovative conference for all those present, which was dedicated to 'the secret of Swiss banking'. Mr Bertrand Clavien and Ms Veronique Grossen, also from the same bank, accompanied Mr Bordier to the event.
Immediately afterwards, Mr Michalis Sarris (Ex-Finances Minister) gave us the honour of his presence as guest of honour from the company Costas Tsirides & Co L.L.C. and Balms Group International, who livened up all those present with a dissertation entitled 'Cyprus Arbitration Center'.
This paper was followed by a report by the CEO of BGI, which gave way to diverse topics of discussion, such as audit and financial policies of BGI, which were unanimously approved. Several topics of interest followed, for example the expansion of BGI.
At 1.30pm, members of congress and guests gathered in the hotel lobby to be driven to Lefkara a beautiful small village situated 750 metres above sea level, famous for silver and lace which are both declared as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. As a result of this, there are congregations of women sitting and weaving beautiful embroidery on their knees in every corner of the village.
Once in Lefkara, everyone proceeded to a beautiful restaurant with views of the village, where in a relaxing and friendly environment, they indulged in typical dishes from the area. Later, they went deep into the narrow streets of the city to visit a house-museum which was typical of the Turkish occupation era between 1571 and 1878.
After having arrived back and freshened up at the hotel, the members of conference and guests left for the Columbia Steak House restaurant situated in the centre of Limassol.
After the evening meal, the Tsirides family guided the group to the Seven Seas disco, situated on the top floor, where the live music injected an energetic atmosphere into the evening.
On Saturday the 29th of May, the CEO of BGI introduced the businesswoman Ms Yana Bugrimova business partner of the candidate company Prudens Consulting Group LLC and new member of Balms Group International. After being given the floor by Mr Juan Luis Balmaseda de Ahumada, Ms Bugrimova expressed her gratitude towards all those present for their warm welcome, as well as expressing her satisfaction towards her company, as for her, it brought the incorporation of said company to the Balms Group International family.
Furthermore, Mr Delian Grivichki, General Director of Balms Abogados Bulgaria, and founding business partners Mr Juan Luis Balmaseda de Ahumada and Mr Julio Aguado presented Sofia as a candidate to organise the XIV Annual BGI Congress during the previously approved date. Elsewhere, once Mr Nick Cruz concluded his presentation, Gibraltar was chosen as the venue for BGI's 5th Biannual Conference in October 2010.
During the rest of the working day, important subject matters were discussed concerning the alteration of the articles of association for BGI, improving significantly the future and expansion of the network.
After this intense and successful meeting, members of congress and guests met at the Artima restaurant situated in the centre of Limassol, where they were now in a more relaxing environment to enjoy once again the typical Cypriot hospitality, wine and cuisine.
Later on, and only a few metres from the restaurant, guests saw the medieval fort of Limassol, built in the 14th century. Their visit was of interest to all guests for its magnificent conservation and style. Legend has it that it was here where Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre and where she was crowned Queen of England in 1191.
As a final touch to this XIII Annual BGI Conference, the Tsirides family once again showed their magnificent hosting talents by organising a spectacular gala meal on the balcony of the Amathus Beach Hotel.
Between all those people who attended the event, it's necessary to highlight the presence of certain guests who are key business and political figureheads Mr Andreas Christou, Mayor of Limassol, and his wife; Mr Michalis Sarris, Ex-Finances Minister of Cyprus; Mr Miltos Michaelas, Director of International Business Banking of the bank Marfin Popular Bank Public Co Ltd, and his wife; Mr Andreas Evripidou, Director of the CRM department in the Marfin Popular Bank Public Co Ltd, and his wife; Mr Panicos Koursaris, Manager of the International Business Centre department for the same bank, and his wife.
The most emotional moment of the night was the brief summary by Mr Dinos Tsirides on what these past 40 years with Costas Tsirides & Co. L.L.C. have meant for him. He dedicated countless regards and praise to his wife and business partner Mrs Pavlina Tsirides, emphasising her brilliant work and consistent perseverance and determination throughout this long but successful journey.
Finally, Mr Juan Luis Balmaseda de Ahumada y Díez also gave some words of thanks to all those present and especially to the Tsirides family for all that they had organised. On behalf of the Executive Committee and all of BGI's partners, he handed over a plaque to Mr Dinos Tsirides representing Costas Tsirides & Co. L.L.C. for being the event hosts, and he proceeded to once again thank them for their collaboration and dedication to the event. In addition, he handed over a bouquet of flowers to Mrs Pavlina Tsirides to mark their professionalism, generosity, dedication and friendship that they have always shown towards BGI and its partners. Another bouquet was given to Ms Photini Tsirides for recently becoming a mother, as well as for her devotion and friendship, and another to Ms Artemis Aristidou for her excellent organisation of the event.
The CEO for BGI gave some words of recognition to Mr Alexandros Tsirides a big connection and figurehead of BGI in Cyprus for searching for new candidates and expansion opportunities within the company. What's more, both the CEO and all the business partners handed over a bouquet of flowers to Ms Nathalie Boyer, soon-to-be Mrs Lehman, wishing them happiness in light of their wedding, which would take place the following week. To finish off, Mr Juan Luis Balmaseda de Ahumada y Díez asked Ms Yana Bugrimova from the company Prudens Consulting Group LLC to come forward to receive a plaque, marking the company as an official full rights business partner of Balms Group International.
Before the start of the ball, business partners and partners all took part in the traditional family photograph in the gala meal, which appears in the first pages of this publication. Here concluded the marvellous XIII BGI Conference.