Theodoros BirmpoutsoukisManaging Director in Brussels
I studied law in Greece, and after qualifying to practice in the European Union, I practiced in the private sector, working in the courts of appeal in Greece. Given my interest in European law, I moved to Brussels, where the EU is headquartered, to pursue my postgraduate studies in European competition law.
But once I started diving into how the European decision-making process works, and the importance of political decisions in shaping mandates in different sectors, I found my focus shifting away from the legal technicalities and process and towards the nexus of where every decision with legal implications has its roots – in political judgments, agendas, and priorities.
Initially, I was driven by curiosity – lawyers tend to focus on their careers. But for someone who is exploring working in politics, Brussels offers a great platform because of how the environment is structured. Having a legal background gives you a broader overview on policy and lends you a different perspective on how decisions are made. You understand the legal implications of political shifts. I worked for another international communications consultancy in Brussels for almost six years, and then about a year ago an opportunity opened up to move to Kekst CNC.
If I had one piece of advice for my younger self, it would be to stay up to date, as soon as possible: read as much as you can about the industry you’re planning to enter, read about new market trends, and develop a broad view of the main global and regional trends in terms of public affairs, politics, and communications. But what separates a communications advisor from someone who is just well informed is the ability to synthesize different streams of information and apply the knowledge they glean to the needs and challenges facing clients. That will serve as an excellent basis when you have discussions with clients – you’ll be bringing examples to the table and have something meaningful to say.
At Kekst CNC, there is a real connection between the Brussels office and the rest of the group. Due to the city’s strategic position not only as a European but also global political center, the work we do in Brussels doesn’t occur in a vacuum. I’m able to share knowledge and work with colleagues in other offices to make sure we achieve the best results for our clients.
Brussels also has easy access to the rest of the continent if you enjoy travel – something I try to take full advantage of. It’s unique in that in a few hours, you can be in Paris, London, Amsterdam – I was recently in both Berlin and Madrid for work and holiday.
And despite Kekst CNC not having a footprint in Athens, I was extremely happy to have had the opportunity to welcome colleagues to my country for our first Summit since the pandemic. It’s unique for a company like Kekst CNC to invest in its employees and make sure all of its team members have the opportunity to meet – not only to brainstorm and strategize the future of the company, but also to allow them to have fun and connect with each other. I was able to meet and see colleagues from cities like Dubai and Tokyo. And the kinds of organic conversations that occur in a more relaxed environment are a springboard for more productive ideas and a broader scope of thinking. To me, our gathering in Athens felt like a gift.
Insights by Theo
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European M&A Control
Regulators, politicians, and the media are becoming increasingly skeptical regarding the merits of cross-border mergers and acquisition (M&A).