Prof. Grigorii Vazov, PhD

Rector of VUZF and executive director of VUZF Lab

Prof. Grigorii Vazov has been rector of VUZF University since 2008. He is executive director of VUZF Lab and Secretary General of the Council of Rectors of the Higher Education Institutions in the Republic of Bulgaria. He served as President of VUZF University from 2005 to 2017 and as chairman of the Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2017. He has been also member of the Fiscal Council of the Republic of Bulgaria and Member of the Supervisory Board of DZI, part of KBC Group since 2015.Show More

    He served as Advisor of the Minister and Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce from 1991 to 1994. He was Chair of the Board of Directors of “Balkanbank AD” (1992-1994). He served as member of the Board of Directors of the International Investment Bank, the International Bank for Economic Cooperation and the Bank Consolidation Company from 1991 to 1994. Prof. Vazov had two terms in office as Dean of the Faculty of Finance and Accountancy of the University of National and World Economy, Sofia, (1998- 2010).

    Since 1994, he has been  manager of the consultancy company Vazov Institute Ltd, operating in EU projects.

Mariyana Nikolova      

Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Demographic Policy

Mariyana Nikolova graduated with a Master’s degree in Law from the New Bulgarian University and established herself as a jurist with considerable experience in the public sector. Mariyana Nikolova has acquired Master’s degrees in “Public Administration and Administrative Practices” and “Law of the European Union” from the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, as well as a Master’s degree in “Economic Management” from the Veliko Tarnovo University “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”.

She has participated in a number of trainings and specializations in EU member states and at the EIPA – European Institute of Public Administration, the Netherlands; Diploma in „European Union Law“, France, „HAUS“ – Finnish Institute of Public Management, the European Academy on Taxes, Economics, and Law, Germany, as well as in Austria and the United Kingdom.Show More

    She has considerable contribtion to the drafting of the currently functioning legal base in the field of administrative service of the Republic of Bulgaria. She was a lawyer with the Sofia Bar Association, as well as a jurist consult at „Toploficatsia Sofia“ SMLLC. She has served at various expert positions with the Ministry for the State Administration and Administrative Reform. She has worked in leadership positions, including as a Director of Directorate „Legal and Regulatory Affairs“ at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. She was also selected for a member of the Management Board of the State Fund „Agriculture“. She has worked at the State Agency for metrology and technical supervision at the Ministry of Economy. She served as Head of Unit „Contractual and Legal Protection“ at the „National Electrical Company“ SMLLC.

    Since May 2017 she is chief of staff of the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Demographic Policy. Lecturer at the Public Administration Institute at the Council of Ministers.


    On 21 November 2018 Mariyana Nikolova was voted in office as Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Demographic Policy by the 44th National Assembly.

Lachezar Borisov      

Deputy Minister of Economic

Lachezar Borisov took specialization studies in Sustainable Development at the Venice International University and the Regional Environmental Center in Budapest as well as in Accounting and Auditing Regulation at the World Bank. He completed a training in Entrepreneurship and Risk Capital at the American University and successfully accomplished courses in „project Management“ (WIFI, Austria), „Stimulation of Foreign Direct Investment“ (JICA, Japan), „Stock Exchange Currency Trading and Banks” (CITIGROUP and CITIBANK), etc. Currently Borisov is conducting doctoral studies at the University of Finance, Business and Entrepreneurship. He has scientific publications in the field of anti-monopoly legislation and market economy models, the country’s balance of payments and bank efficiency in mergers and acquisitions.Show More

    Lachezar Borisov established himself as a government official during the years as chief expert at the Ministry of Economy after participation in a competition for this position in 2002. From 2006 to present he has served as head of different departments, including “Restructuring and Capital Markets” and “Management and Restructuring of State Participation”. During this period he has also been head of the departments “Investment Projects, International Programmes and Marketing” and “Strategic Analysis and Forecasts”. Borisov is currently a member of the Management Board of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Sources Fund. He has acquired extensive experience in the field of corporate management including through participation in the management bodies of numerous private and state-owned companies in the fields of industry, energy and financial management.

Professor Panikkos POUTZIOURIS

Rector of the University Of Central Lancashire Cyprus

Dr. Panikkos Poutziouris is the Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Business and Rector at UCLan Cyprus, and Chair of CEDAR- Centre for Entrepreneurial Development Alliance and Research. He is also a Fellow at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, working with the Economics and Policy Group on Circular Economics and Entrepreneurial Development Models. For two decades, he was a Senior Lecturer and later a visiting Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Business at the Alliance Manchester Business School-UK where his initiatives enjoyed support from NatWest Bank, Grant Thornton, BDO Stoy Hayward, KPMG, EY, PWC, Saggita Fund Management, Tilney Investment Management, SandAire Private Equity, UBS Wealth Management.

He  cooperated with FBN-International, FFI, IFB UK, Coutts, JP Morgan etc. Professor Poutziouris has been leading a number of teaching, training , research and consultancy initiatives  around the world with a focus on the entrepreneurial development of family business across generations. Show More

      He has served as an advisor–consultant for the Family Business Expert Group working for the European Commission, Directorate of Enterprise and Industry and for OECD on Entrepreneurship Policy. He is an active Fellow of the FFI-Family Firm Institute and former President of IFERA-International Family Enterprise Research Academy. He has been honoured by FFI–USA with the International Award for promoting family business entrepreneurship across frontiers. 


Prof. Giovanni Lagioia, PhD

Head of Department of Economics, Management and Business Law, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy

Giovanni Lagioia is full professor and Head of Department of Economics, Management and Business Law (DEMDI) of the University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy and Vice-Rector concerning business cooperation and labor market of the Catholic University of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Tirana (Albania).

He has a PhD in Commodity Science at the University of Bari (Italy) and he teaches the following courses: Commodity Science; Technology ad Environmental Certification, Resources and Waste Management.Show More

    He is academic coordinator of different Erasmus agreements and Member of the Board of the Doctoral School in „Economics and Management“. He is affiliated to International Society of Industrial Ecology, IGWT (International Society of Commodity Science and Technology) and the Circular Economy and LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) Italian Networks.

    The main interests of research are: Ecological economics; Circular Economy, Material flow analysis (MFA), LCA – life cycle analysis; Environmental management, biomass and bioenergy.

Konstantin Velev

Chairman of the Management Board of the Association of Bulgarian Insurers

Konstantin Velev is Chairman of the Management Board of the Association of Bulgarian Insurers and Executive Director of Armeec Insurance Jsc. He is a member of Management Board of the National Bureau of Bulgarian Motor Insurers.

Mr. Velev is a manager with more than 20 years of professional experience on the Bulgarian insurance market. He was a participant in the creation of the state insurance supervision in Bulgaria in the period 1997-2000. He is one of the leading specialists in Bulgaria in the field of insurance law. He has participated in the preparation of a number of legislative projects in the field of insurance – including the current Insurance Code. Show More

    He has many years of professional experience in the branch organizations of the insurance business in Bulgaria – the Association of Bulgarian Insurers, the National Bureau of Bulgarian Motor Insurers and the Association of Health Insurance Companies.

    Konstantin Velev has 15 years of professional experience as a lecturer in civil and commercial law at the Law Faculty of Sofia University „St. Kliment Ohridski“and as a guest lecturer in seminars in the field of civil, commercial and insurance law.

Lubomir Datzov

Member of the Fiscal Council of the Republic of Bulgaria

Lubomir Datzov is a former Deputy Minister of Finance, responsible for budget, structural reforms and coordination of EU funds. He was a member of the Economic and Financial Committee of the EU Council of Ministers. Initiator and coordinator of the introduction of program budgeting in Bulgaria.

He worked at the Ministry of Finance from 1992-2009. Since 2009 he has been a consultant on macroeconomic, financial and banking issues.

He was a part-time assistant in Public Finances at the Faculty of Economics at Sofia University „St. Kliment Ohridski“. He regularly publishes analyzes in various media. He graduated from UNWE-Sofia and has a number of specializations in macroeconomics and budget management.

He was elected with a 6-year term of office as a member of the Fiscal Council of Republic of Bulgaria on 25.11. 2015.

Levon Hampartzoumian

President of the Board of the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum

Levon Hampartzoumian is one of the most well-known names in the Bulgarian banking sector with the position of Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of Unicredit Bulbank. He has been leading the financial institution since its privatization in 2001 by the Italian banking group Unicredit until early May 2019, when he relinquished the bank’s operational management and assumed supervisory functions.

Prior to joining the bank, Hampartzoumian had a political career – as Deputy Economy Minister in Ivan Kostov’s cabinet and Executive Director of the Privatization Agency. His experience in the financial field goes through Price Waterhouse Coopers and Earnst&Young. Until recently, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Banks in Bulgaria, and in the past he was its chairman.
He is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum, a member of the board of the Market Economy Institute, and since 2015 he is the chairman of the TELUS International Public Council, which supports local socially significant projects of non-governmental organizations.

Assoc. Prof. Manyu Moravenov

Executive Director of the Bulgarian Stock Exchange

Assoc. Prof. Manyu Moravenov, PhD, is Executive Director of the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. He is professional member of RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors). He is a long-standing lecturer at VUZF University, Sofia and is a member of VUZF Lab Research Center. He is a leading lecturer in Electronic exchanges and Alternative Investment Master’s degree courses, as well as in International Real Estates Markets Bachelor’s degree course at VUZF. He is a team member of the Laboratory for Applied Scientific Research (VUZF Lab).Show More

    Assoc. Prof. Manyu Moravenov has over 20 years of experience in the fields of finance and investment, real estate market and capital markets. He has occupied and continues to hold managerial positions, both in private companies (investment in real estate, financial intermediation and advisory services) and in the institutions and non-governmental organisations of the Bulgarian capital and investment market. In recent years, he has been actively engaged in the management of the credit portfolio and the creditworthiness of companies, as well as in the management of processes in the various sources of financing such as: IPO and equity financing, bond issuance, corporate loans and bank financing.

Mariyana Hamanova

CEO, Cleantech Bulgaria

Mariana Hamanova is co-founder and CEO of Cleantech Bulgaria. She has over 10 years of experience in the field of sustainable development and clean technologies. Her expertise consists in consulting and managing innovative projects, mentoring start-ups, and providing financial and expert support for business growth.

As a member of Cleantech Bulgaria’ team she is responsible for the management of EIT InnoEnergy Regional Energy and Climate Innovation Hub and the EIT Climaate KIC, part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

Mariana Hamanova is a part-time lecturer at the MA program in Circular Economics and Sustainable Management, which VUZF University and Cleantech Bulgaria are providing together since 2018.


Prof. Virginia Zhelyazkova

Vice Rector for Educational Activities and Quality, VUZF

Director of research unit “Finance and financial management”

prof. Virginia Zhelyazkova, PhD is vice-rector for education and quality management in VUZF University since 2013, director of research unit “Finance and Financial Management” at the Laboratory for Scientific and Applied Studies of VUZF University, lecturer in “International finance”. “Financial Risk Management” and other subjects in the area of finance in the same university.

She has teaching experience from the International Faculty of the University of Sheffield City College, and between 2013 and 2016 serves as Financial National Contact Point (NCP) for European Commission’s Horizon 2020 for Bulgaria.Show More

    To date, Virginia Zhelyazkova has combined academic expertise with 12 years banking experience. She has been working for Postbank in Bulgaria since 2006, where since 2011 is acting as Environmental Officer of the Bank in charge of the implementation of its environmental policy.

    Her research interests are primarily in the area of financial aspects of circular economy, environmental risk management, new forms of banking. She is author of two monographs – “Environmental Risk Management in the Activitis of Financial Institutions” (2013) and “Circular Economy. Financial Aspects” (2017), as well as a number of research papers. In 2017 she visited UCLAN University campus in Larnaca, Cyprus, as a guest lecturer.


Prof. Dr. Daniela Bobeva

Teacher, VUZF

Prof. Dr. Daniela Bobeva is Professor at the VUZF teaching in the field of international economy and finance. She has a strong and long experience in banking and finance as a Director of Bulgarian National Bank also as a member of the Economic and Finance Committee of the European Union as well as a Vice President of an international financial institution in the Black Sea region – Black Sea Trade and Development Bank.

She has more than a hundred publications in reputable academic journals as well as in international organisations (OECD, IOM, ILO, etc).  She was Minister of Trade and Foreign Economic Co-operation in 1997 and Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria in 2013-2014.


Assoc. Prof. Teodoro Gallucci, PhD

Department of Economics, Management and Business Law, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy

Teodoro Gallucci has a National Scientific Qualification as Associate Professor at the Department of Economics, Management and Business Law, DEMDI, Commodity Science Section, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy. He has a PhD in Commodity Science at the University of Bari, Italy and he teaches at University of Bari Aldo Moro the following courses: Resource Waste Management, Innovation Market and Sustainability, Commodity Science.

He also teaches at the Catholic University Our Lady of Good Counsel of Tirana, Albania. He is a member of the working group SUA RD (University Departmental Research Unit) and a member of the working group of the CVR (Research Evaluation Committee) for the qualification of the scientific research in the university. He participated in different national and international project: Since 2018, he is a member of the national platform Italian Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform (ICESP).

Nikola Zikatanov

Vice-chairman of the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association

Nikola Zikatanov is a mechanical engineer, specialized Business Management at UNWE – Sofia and completed MBA degree in the United States.

He is active participant at the mass privatization process and in the development of the Bulgarian capital market. Representative of the US investment group „New Century Holding“ where he worked for more than 10 years. The group is one of the main founders of the privatization fund „Zlaten Lev“ and Mr. Zikatanov is a member of the Directors Board of „Zlaten Lev Holding“ Plc.

He is vice-chairman of the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association.

Founder of a boutique family wine estate.

Ilia Lingorski

Chief Economist, Bulgarian Development Bank

Ilia Lingorski is the Chief Economist of the Bulgarian Development Bank. Over the last 25 years his career straddled both private and public sectors in investment banking, project finance, tourism, energy, public finance and international financial institutions. He has served as Deputy Minister of Finance and Head of the State Treasury, Alternate Governor for Bulgaria of the IMF and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Bulgarian Development Bank. He also served as a Trustee (2014-2017) and a Member of the University Council (since 2017) of the American University in Bulgaria. Iliya Lingorski was a co-founder and first president of the Bulgarian Section of the European Ligue for Economic Cooperation (Ligue Européenne de Coopération Économique) and in 2018 was elected by the Council held in Sofia as Chairman of the Energy, Infrastructure and PPP Commission of the organization. His post-graduate research at Oxford was in the field of applications of AI to  modeling complex and composite structures and his current doctoral research at the VUZF University in Sofia is focused on modeling eurozone macroeconomic and structural convergence.

Vladimir Karolev

Founder and CEO of SEE Capital Advisory LTD

Vladimir Karolev is founder and CEO of SEE Capital Advisory LTD. Vladimir has 25 years of experience in investment banking advisory services in Southeastern and Central Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union. He has worked on privatization advisory deals (in Bulgaria, Serbia & Montenegro, Greece, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Kazahstan, and Northern Macedonia), on cross-border mergers & acquisitions (in Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia & Montenegro, and Czech Republic), on project finance (Bulgaria) and on ECM and DCM transaction (Bulgaria and Serbia).Show More

    During his career, Vladimir Karolev has also co-managed the first private equity fund (1997-2000) in Bulgaria and the largest Bulgarian REIT (2005-2009) and has made personal equity and mezzanine investments in several Bulgarian companies.

    Vladimir’s extensive advisory experience includes various industries, such as banking, TMT, hospitality, real estate, energy and utilities, manufacturing (machinery, pharmaceuticals, soft drinks, brewing, confectionery, food processing, cement industry).

    Vladimir Karolev was educated in Canada, UK and Italy. He obtained MBA from University of Alberta, MSc (Real Estate) from University of Reading and is DBA 2020 Candidate from SDA Bocconi. Vladimir is CFA charterholder

Borislav Georgiev

Foreign Trade Expert

Borislav Georgiev is a foreign trade expert with more than 40 years of experience.

He was also consulted Minister of Trade and Foreign Economic Production of Bulgaria in the period 1995 – 1997, working on foreign trade regime, European integration and integration of its employees in the World Trade Organization, membership in the Government of the countries, interested specialists in free trade CEFTA compliant and more.

He was chairman of the Bulgarian National Authority of the Year BULPRO at BTPP and UN rapporteur/ EDIFACT, who also served as chairman of the CEEC EDIFACT board (1993-1997) and a member of the CEFACT (CSG) Steering Group 1997-1999.Show More

    Borislav Georgiev was Director of the Directorate for Foreign Economic Cooperation at the Bulgarian Industrial Association (2000-2005), as well as Chief Expert and Advisor at the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Along this line, he has participated in the work of the South East Europe Trade Cooperation Initiative, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, the Association of Balkan Chambers and others. He participated in the development of Bulgaria’s national export strategy.