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4iG advisory board to expand with renowned international experts


Press release

4iG advisory board to expand with renowned international experts

Armin Papperger and Sunil Sabharwal to join the Group as advisors

Upon the request of Gellért Jászai, CEO-Chairman of 4iG Plc, the advisory board of the info-communications group is expanded with two new members. The professional body responsible for the development of international relations and complex consulting functions has been expanded with Armin Papperger, CEO of Rheinmetall with outstanding experience in the defence and automotive industry, and Sunil Sabharwal, an expert widely recognized in the international financial world. The board, now consisting of seven members, will support the decision-making and strategic work of 4iG board.

Last July, 4iG Plc announced the creation of an advisory board to support the Board of Directors of the Group, with the knowledge and skills of national and international experts. In addition to their personal recognition, the members of the board have been in support of the Group with decades of experience and extensive personal network. The gremium, chaired by Borbála Czakó and co-chaired by Karen Tramontano, has been working with the support of other distinguished personalities such as Nancy Goodmann Brinker, Csaba Lantos and Dr János Martonyi for the past several months.

At the honorary request of Gellért Jászai, CEO and Chairman of 4iG Plc, two more renowned members of the international business world is joining the Group’s Advisory Board: Armin Papperger, CEO of Rheinmetall, and Sunil Sabharwal, who currently is member of the board of several renowned fintech companies.

Armin Papperger will support the international market entry efforts of the joint venture IT company to be founded by the German defence and automotive corporation operating on six continents, Rheinmetall and 4iG Plc. The expert with internationally renowned experience will strengthen the strategic cooperation between the two companies – Rheinmetall holds a 25% stake in 4iG Plc –, and promote knowledge transfer of the two companies, which could provide 4iG with new market entry opportunities in the technology and info-communications segments of the global defence industry. Armin Papperger started his career 32 years ago at the defence group of Rheinmetall. Graduated in Engineering, and he has gathered considerable experience in quality assurance and manufacturing processes, as well as in allocating internal resources and increasing the efficiency of cooperation within the Group. He was appointed CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of the Rheinmetall Group in 2013, after having served as Managing Director of several subsidiaries in the Rheinmetall Group’s defence segment. In addition to his positions on the executive and supervisory boards of Rheinmetall subsidiaries, Armin Papperger is a member of the advisory boards of the German defence and automotive development company Supashock Advanced Technologies, Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality and Deutsche Bank AG. Armin Papperger is Chairman of BDSV (Bundesverband der Deutschen Sicherheits- und Verteidigungsindustrie, Federal Association of German Security and Defence Industry), the association of 221 German companies in the defence industry, headquartered in Berlin. BDSV is also a member of the German Industry Association, the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe(ASD) and the NATO Industrial Advisory Group (NIAG). Armin Papperger is also a board member of the Federal Association of German Industry (BDI) and a board member of Förderkreis Heer, an association-based lobby organisation in support of the armed forces of Germany.

Sunil Sabharwal is an independent investor who has served on the boards of several leading fintech companies and has extensive experience in international corporate finance, venture capital, telecommunications and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). He is currently on the boards of Thunes based in Singapore and Finexio headquartered in Florida and is an advisor to the Blackstone Growth Equity Fund. In 2014, US President Barack Obama nominated him to be the US Board member at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a position to which he was confirmed by the US Senate. During his tenure, Mr Sabharwal was the only confirmed US board member at the IMF. Upon the completion of his term, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award, one of the highest honours bestowed by the U.S. Treasury Department. During his distinguished career, Mr. Sabharwal has worked for remarkable companies such as GE Capital / GE Equity, First Data Corporation/Western Union, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Coopers and Lybrand.

The Advisory Board, which supports 4iG’s Board of Directors, strengthens the regional growth strategy of the company, with the main objective of enhancing the international integration of the firm. In Hungary and the Western Balkans region, the info-communications Group has built strategic positions in the telecommunications industry in addition to IT. Recent acquisitions have made 4iG Group the second largest telecoms operator in Hungary and the leading telco provider in Albania and Montenegro. The Group employs 6,900 colleagues, the shares of the company are traded in the premium section of the Budapest Stock Exchange.

Budapest, 22nd April 2022

Background information:

A brief overview of the members of the Advisory Board:

Borbála Czakó, Chair of the Advisory Board
Founding President IoD Hungary, Chartered DirectorFinancial strategist and diplomat.
She is former Hungarian Ambassador to the UK and Honorary President of the Hungarian Business Leaders Forum, established by the Prince of Wales. During her professional career, she has served in various top-level management positions, including Chief of Mission for the World Bank, CEO of EY Hungary, Regional Managing Partner for CEE EY at Mergers & Acquisition Services. She has worked in New York, Washington D.C., Africa, and several European countries, including as a member of EY’s global management team in London. Borbála Czakó has a strong international stakeholder network in business, diplomacy, governmental, international organisations, academia, and regulatory and public policy. She has earned significant board experience and has recognised credibility in public and private circles. Borbála Czakó earned her MBA degree at Tulane University in the USA. She earned a degree in Technical Sciences before graduating from University of Economics in Budapest. She received her Chartered Director Degree from the Royal Institute of Directors (IoD) in London.
· She retains a fixed place on Forbes Magazine’s the 50 most influential Hungarian women;
· Honorary citizen of the City of London, 2008;
· Manager of the Year for Society, 2020.

Karen Tramontano, Co-chair of the 4iG Advisory Board. She is the Co-Founder and CEO at Blue Star Strategies LLC, that provides corporate, institutional, and public sector clients with result-oriented strategies. From 1997 to 2001, Ms Tramontano served in the White House as Deputy Chief of Staff to President William Jefferson Clinton and counsellor to Erskine Bowles and John Podesta. Her portfolio encompassed a wide range of issues, including international trade and transatlantic relations as well as economic and financial issues concerning the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. Ms Tramontano is the Founder and President of the Global Fairness Initiative, a non-profit organization working to promote a more equitable and sustainable approach to globalization.

Sunil Sabharwal graduated from London Business School and the Ohio State University. He is the founder and former head of the Budapest office of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He currently serves on the advisory boards of several leading fintech companies, including Thunes, headquartered in Singapore, and Finexio, based in Florida. He is also an adviser to the Blackstone Growth Equity Fund. Most recently he served as Chairman of Earthport Plc, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM Market, prior to its acquisition by Visa. He was a member of the IMF’s U.S. Executive Board from 2014 to 2018. At the end of his tenure at the IMF, Steve Mnuchin, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, awarded him with one of the highest honours of his career, the Distinguished Service Award. Sunil Sabharwal is a distinguished athlete, fencer and member of the Executive Committee of World Athletics. In the past, he has been involved with numerous sports- related organisations, including the IOC’s Sustainability and Legacy Committee and the International Fair Play Committee. In 2008, he was the Head of Mission for the US Olympic fencing team in Beijing. He has also served on the Boards of Directors of both the U.S. and International Fencing Federations, and on the Board of Directors of the LA2028 Olympic Bid.

Armin Papperger has been working for the Düsseldorf-based Rheinmetall AG since 1990. He has been CEO and Chairman of the Group Executive Board since 2013 and is also responsible for the company’s defence industry sector. After graduating in Engineering, he began his career in quality control in Rheinmetall’s defence division, and from 2001 he was appointed Managing Director of several defence subsidiaries. In July 2007, he was appointed Head of the Weapons and Ammunition Division, and from the beginning of 2010 he was also responsible for the Automotive and Weapons and Ammunition divisions. The renowned German expert is a member of the advisory boards of Supashock, Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality and Deutsche Bank AG, Chairman of the BDSV (Bundesverband der Deutschen Sicherheits- und Verteidigungsindustrie, Federal Association of German Security and Defence Industry), board member of the Federal Association of German Industry (BDI, Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie) and a board member of Förderkreis Heer, the organization supporting the armed forces of Germany.

Nancy Goodman Brinker is one of America’s most influential people (named one of the 100 most influential people by TIME magazine in 2008). She is included in 21 Women to Watch in 2021, compiled by Brown Brothers Harriman, one of the oldest and largest private and investment banks in the USA. She is an iconic leader of the anti-breast cancer movement and director of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which she founded, and named after her sister who died of breast cancer. To date, the Foundation has invested more than USD 3.2 billion in cancer research and related activities. Nancy Brinker also co-founded The Promise Fund of Florida, a community-centric and innovative non-profit organisation that addresses health inequities and disparities to fight the unnecessary progression of breast and cervical cancer. She was awarded the highest civilian decoration, the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2009, and was appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador of the World Health Organization (WHO). Between 2001-2003, she served as US Ambassador to Hungary, and she was White House Chief of Protocol between 2007-2009.

Csaba Lantos, economist and businessman. He headed securities trading and investment fund management at Creditanstalt Group between 1989-2000. From 1997, he was CEO of CA IB Értékpapír Co., the investment bank controlling the entire Creditanstalt Group. Between 2000-2007, he was Deputy CEO and Member of the Board of Directors at OTP Bank Co. He was Member of the Stock Exchange Council which founded the Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE), and Chairman of the BSE Supervisory Board between 1990-2011. Between 1993-2015, he was Chairman of the KELER Board of Directors. Former Chairman and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Széll Kálmán Foundation. Since 2007, he has been managing his own investment portfolio and has been an active investor in health sector and life sciences. Since 2009, he has been Chairman of MET Holding AG, and Member of the Board of Directors of Richter Gedeon Plc since 2010.

JánosMartonyi, Professor Emeritus of the University of Szeged, former lecturer at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, the College of Europe, Bruges and Natolin, and the Central European University in Budapest. Former managing partner of the Budapest office of Baker & McKenzie, and Member of the European Board of the law firm. He was State Secretary in 1990-1994 and Minister for Foreign Affairs in 1998-2002 and 2010-2014. Currently, he is a visiting professor at the University of Public Service, member of the Panel of Arbitrators of ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes), Member of the Board of Directors of MOL (Hungarian Oil Company), and Chairman of the Centre for Democracy Public Foundation. He is the author of numerous books, essays and articles in the field of international trade law, competition policy and law, cooperation in Central-Europe, global regulations and international relations.

More information:

Péter Elkán
communications and marketing director
peter.elkan (@)