Business Irish

Thursday 8 December 2016

Nick Koumarianos

ROISIN BURKE

Published 31/07/2011 | 05:00

AFTER 45 years of "bloody hard work", Nick Koumarianos has been striking a more gentle work-life balance of late, with just enough business interests to keep his hand in. And he has hung up his hang glider for good.

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From his mid-20s, he was part of what would evolve into Ireland's biggest private telecommunications equipment company. It wasn't long before Cable & Wireless (C&W) snapped up Sound Systems, where Koumarianos was managing director, and he went on to run C&W Ireland from 1989.

During that time he led a £500,000 bid attempt by C&W for Telecom Eireann, but it was not to be.

In 1997, he was despatched to Grand Cayman to run C&W's biggest division -- the Caribbean and Atlantic Islands business where in those pre-Digicel days it held a choice exclusive telecoms licence.

Returning to Ireland towards the turn of the century -- and retired from C&W -- Koumarianos took up a number of non-executive board roles and shareholdings in Irish tech companies including Alphyra and Calyx.

Though partly retired, he loves still having "a bit of skin in the game". He is chairman of, and has invested in, Irish telecoms software services firms Soft-ex and Saadian. He's also on the advisory board of Bank of Scotland-owned ICC Venture Capital and he has "a modest property portfolio" mainly in London and the south of England.

He is a former Irish hang gliding champion though he modestly declares that this title was won at a time when he and a pal owned the only hang glider in the country.

His wife eventually vetoed the hang gliding, and he restricts himself these days to a couple of motorbikes and a Morgan sportscar.

He is married to Margaret, they have one daughter and live in Dalkey, Co Dublin.

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