Les Nemethy is the founder and CEO of Euro-Phoenix, a financial advisory firm focused on emerging markets. In a career spanning 25 years, Les has been involved in the sale of hundreds of businesses, and has worked as a senior advisor to numerous governments and world banker.
After obtaining degrees in economics, law, international relations, and business administration from leading Canadian universities, Les worked with McMillion Binoch, one of the Canada’s leading law firms. He then worked for the Canadian investment bank, McLeod Young Weir (today ScotiaMcLeod), and in early 1992 he was named head of the Transactions Department of the Hungarian Privatization Agency.
Les work with the Hungarian Privatization Agency marked a turning point in his career: leading a team of 150, he contributed to the ramping up of the privatization program, with over 6000 companies sold during his tenure. He led the privatization of the telecom incumbent, of gas distribution companies, numerous breweries, hotels, cement companies, etc. He also led a number of IPOs on the Budapest Stock Exchange.
After his work in Hungary, Les moved to Washington DC, where he worked with the World Bank, assisting governments in 23 countries to privatize companies and attract investment. For example, he assisted the Kuwait Investment Authority devise a programme to sell approximately US$6 billion of assets on the Kuwait Stock Exchange; he advised the governments of Cote d’Ivoire, Sri Lanka, and Albania on managing their national privatization programmes; and he was part of a team assisting the Russian Privatisation Centre with a US$277 million loan.
In 1997, Nemethy became CEO of MaTel, the second-largest telecom operator in Hungary (today Invitel). In this capacity he also worked on a number of acquisitions and doubled revenues and increased EBITDA from 19% to 29% over a two year period. During this time he also evolved the corporate culture from incumbent to competitor. He moved on to founding Euro-Phoenix in 2000.
Les Nemethy is also the author of international bestseller “Business Exit Planning,” which has been translated into 9 languages.
Currently Les frequently lectures and speaks on the subject of negotiations, change management, performance, organizational change and transformation, competitiveness, and investment. He advocates competition, transparency and changing paradigms in public and private sector, so that economies and companies can successfully take advantage of the opportunities that emerge in a truly global economy.
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