Successful Business talked to Andria Andreou, partner of Athos Group, a multidisciplinary family office headquartered in Switzerland and operating from key locations in Anguilla, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malta, Monaco, and the Netherlands. The company specialises in setting up and management of multi-jurisdictional asset protection; succession and estate planning structures; exit structures, and investment funds.
Andria, could you tell us if you were always interested in law, or if this interest developed over the years?
From an early age, I cannot recall ever thinking of entering any other profession except the law. That is primarily due to parental influence and guidance, for which I will be forever grateful. The opportunities and challenges offered in the profession for personal growth and business development are endless.
Do you think that women have certain qualities that can be useful in the legal profession? What qualities helped you to succeed? Are they natural, or have you had to develop them?
Strong, intelligent, dynamic, and driven women can be a powerful force in any profession. Our ability to multifunction, analyse, empathise, as well as thoroughly manage time and nurture relationships are some of the attributes required in the legal profession. The supposed ‘sixth sense’ most women have can also be very useful!
Speaking from my personal experience, I can say that strength of character, determination, persistence, willpower, and consistent hard work are some of the qualities that helped me succeed. I have always been this way, and whilst there is no doubt professional and self-development is ongoing throughout our lives, many of these character traits stemmed from a combination of nature as well as parental nurture.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome in your professional life? What helped you succeed?
Several years ago, I had to deal with former partners who attempted, without any warning or prior discussion, to sell the organisation’s client base to a third party. On discovering this by chance, I was forced to protect and preserve my reputation and livelihood. Fortunately, the client relationships were intact and deeply entrenched, therefore at least 98% of them followed me to my next enterprise, without any questions or hesitation. This, combined with sheer tenacity and hard work, allowed me to successfully overcome that crisis, with most of those relationships continuing to this day. Other than that, I have not encountered any major obstacles that I was not capable of overcoming with the right attitude.
How many clients can a lawyer and an energetic businesswoman like yourself handle, and how many hours do you need to work for that?
It’s never about one person when running any business. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded and supported by an excellent team of strong, solid, and efficient professionals who care about their own self-development, which in turn benefits the business. We focus on providing high-quality corporate structuring and legal consultancy services to high-net-worth individuals who understand completely the need to be compliant and transparent in their dealings.
It is their total satisfaction that leads to either repeat or referral business of other similarly high-calibre clients. We are not therefore running a high-volume business, choosing instead to be meticulous in our personalised approach, and build long-term relationships of substance, both internally as a team and with our clients.
As for the hours of work, I do not have a fixed schedule – it is 24/7. Getting the job done promptly, efficiently, and professionally is always essential whatever time of day or night it is.
What are the most common questions your clients come to you with? What are you top 3 services?
Each of our clients has a unique set of requirements and objectives so there are no ‘common questions’ as such. Bespoke services offered by Athos Group include:
• Corporate and commercial legal consultancy
• Establishing and supporting tax planning and wealth management structures
• Proactive, solution-driven, value-added directorship services aimed at achieving the necessary levels of substance
• Management and corporate trust services for all types of cross-border corporate vehicles, structured finance vehicles, and corporate holding structures on behalf of institutional as well as private clients.
Some time ago, we formed a subsidiary of Athos Group called ‘Global Go Cannabis Consulting’ which is part of the Global Go network, an international network of experts and facilitators who assist clients to expand the value of cannabis business across state and sovereign borders.
Global Go service offering includes:
• Advisory and consultancy services in the hemp and medicinal cannabis industry covering licensing, regulatory and business opportunities
• Cannabis and hemp compliance assessments
• Mergers and acquisitions advisory
• International expansion.
What is your motivation/inspiration in life?
I get excited about new experiences that expand the mind and stimulate imagination. I am inspired by new ideas and ways of thinking and by sharing those ideas with others. Hence, my deep and passionate involvement in forming the Cyprus Cannabis Association (CYCA), whose registration I instigated under the auspices of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry in September 2019 and whose first elected President I became.
Another major motivation is to be the best role model I can possibly be for my teenage daughter who is adopting a similar approach towards her own self-development and growth plans.
Do you have any important goal or plan to reach this year? What is your general plan for the nearest future?
One personal goal for this year is to keep working hard towards achieving the main purposes of CYCA, namely to lead the collective individuals and companies that will build the cannabis ecosystem in Cyprus and advance the interests of a responsible, compliant, transparent and high-quality cannabis industry through (inter alia) education, connection, and lobbying. This invigorating and challenging new market sector has unlimited potential and will no doubt reactivate the local agricultural sector, create new jobs across a broad range of industries, generate new revenues for the country, and most importantly improve the lives and well-being of its people.
In general, my plan for the nearest future is to ensure the continuance of value-added, focused, and high-quality directorship services to the Boards of significant corporate structures that I am privileged and honoured to participate in.
Athos HQ – Group Business Services (Cyprus) Ltd
Telephone +357 22 422 232