AWDC CEO Freddy J. Hanard retiring after four years in office
Antwerp, December 27, 2010 – Freddy J. Hanard, CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, will be retiring as the head executive at the Antwerp diamond sector’s umbrella organisation at the end of 2010. He will officially leave office on December 31, after four years in the position.
Mr. Hanard joined the organisation in May 2006, when he accepted the offer to become CEO of the newly restructured public foundation, the AWDC.
Mr. Hanard was widely praised for his calm but decisive management of the Antwerp diamond sector following the onset of the global financial crisis in September 2008. As a former banker, his keen appreciation of financial prudence helped the sector weather the storm and move towards a quick recovery.
A key element of his term in office was Antwerp’s eastward expansion, during which Mr. Hanard chose not only to create a presence in the growing Asian markets but to become actively involved. He also reinforced relations with the major diamond producers.
In order to enhance Antwerp’s competitive advantage by building upon its economies of scale, Mr. Hanard initiated Project 2020, a strategic programme that will lead the centre’s diamond sector into the next decade.
“Freddy has left his indelible mark on AWDC, the men and women who work for it, and on the Antwerp diamond community. We are all better for it, and we owe him a debt of gratitude,” said AWDC President Nishit Parikh.
Mr. Hanard will be succeeded as AWDC CEO by Ari Epstein, who currently serves as Deputy CEO of AWDC and head of the Antwerp Diamond Office.