“Liberty Investments will pursue investment opportunities in financial services in countries with low taxes, low corruption and open economy – Georgia, some countries in the Eastern Europe, Africa and maybe Caribbean. Geography is of no concern and we will make only five or six investments eventually. This is our business model and this is only the first acquisition by Liberty Investments”, said Gurgenidze referring to the acquisition of Georgia’s Narodny Bank.

The Georgian economist was the prime minister of the former Soviet state between 2007 and 2008, and spearheaded the restructuring efforts of Bank of Georgia that he took over in 2004 with a $160bln balance of payments and market share of 18%. Within three years, the bank had a balance of payments of $2bln and a market share of 34%.

“I can’t say it’s a reiteration of my performance, it cannot be repeated, as there is already a market leader. But indeed, to a certain extent, I will compete with an institution that I’ve got off the ground”, said Gurgenidze, current CEO of Narodny Bank.

Being asked on what determined him to enter into a partnership with Romanian businessman Dinu Patriciu, the former PM replied: “We just happen to have similar views and principles. It takes some courage but you also have to know everything related to a bank restructuring, especially in that market”, he added.