CEE architects of transition: András Simor
András Simor became chief executive of Creditanstalt Securities in Budapest in 1989. He was chairman of CA-IB from 1997 to 1998 and head of Deloitte Hungary from 2003 until being appointed governor of the Hungarian central bank in 2007. Since October 2014, he has served as CFO at the EBRD. He will retire from the bank in May this year.
In the early 1990s Budapest was a good place to be for an ambitious investment banker. Hungary’s privatization programme was in full swing, and western investors were queuing up to buy into central Europe’s most developed economy. But capitalism had its downsides, as one young investment banker discovered.
“One night we were working late on a transaction and one of my junior colleagues said to me: ‘You know, when they told us about democracy and the market economy, they said we’d be able to buy the same products as in Vienna. Nobody said anything about working until two o’clock in the morning’,” recalls András Simor, who was head of Creditanstalt’s Budapest operation at the time.