The Founders

Nikolaos Porphyrogenis (1901-1984)

Nicholas Porphyrogenis was born in Agria on the 30th September 1901. nporph

He began his career with the National Bank in 1918, a career distinguished by vibrant leadership and high moral standing. He was unremittingly conscientious as much in his personal life as in the key public positions which he held, and which he distinguished with his dynamic vision and shrewd sense of purpose.

In 1939, he became the manager of the branch of the National Bank in Mitropoleos Street, where he gathered the most outstanding industrial and commercial circles of Athens.

In 1949, now holding the position of General Manager with wide-ranging powers, he was called upon to undertake the reorganization of the National Bank Head Office.

In 1953, his promotion to the position of Assistant Governor, which was to have been approved in accordance with the Bank’s own strict criteria, was nullified owing to political reasons.

From 1939 to 1964 he served as Consultant Chairman of the Association of Industrial, Hotel and Financing Companies.

From 1946 to 1964 he was Executive Consultant at the Traders Credit Bank and in 1964 he became Consultant Chairman of the Organisation of Industrial Development. In 1964 he founded the Greek Industrial Development Bank (E.T.V.A.) and was its Chairman until 1967, while from 1966 to 1967 he was Vice-Chairman of the World Bank, which has its head office in Washington. During the dictatorship of the Colonels he resigned from his position in E.T.V.A.

In 1968, after an unsuccessful period in hospital for severe bronchial asthma, he left Greece for Lausanne where he settled with his wife.

In 1971, he published his book “The Documents Speak”, in which he narrates the story of the founding of E.T.V.A. and its first years of operation.

In 1978, he and his wife founded “Nikolaos Porphyrogenis” in Agria, his birthplace. In the same period they founded in Lausanne another Foundation in their name for the promotion of Greek – Swiss cultural relations.

In 1984, on the 14th December, Nicholas Porphyrogenis died peacefully at his home in Lausanne.

Eleni Porphyrogenis (1910-2008)

eleniEleni Porphyrogenis was born in 1910 in Cairo; her mother was originary of the island of Kerkyra while her father of the island of Lefkada.

In 1920 she returned to Greece together with her parents. In 1941, as employee of the National Bank, she met Nicholas Porphyrogenis with whom she linked her life, she shared all the great events of his career and together they participated to cultural life of Athens in the 50’s and 60’s. After her husband’s death she took care to complete the construction of the Foundation’s Cultural Centre.

In 1988 she published the book “N. Porphyrogenis –career and philosophy of a banker”. As President of the Foundation’s BOD she financed directly the activities of the Agrià Cultural Centre.

On October 11th 2008, Eleni Porphyrogenis died at the age of 98, in Lausanne (Switzerland).