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The Warsaw Voice » Chair of the Year » March 31, 2011
Chair of the Year
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Grad Gets Chair of the Year
March 31, 2011   
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Treasury Minister Aleksander Grad picked up The Warsaw Voice’s 2010 Chair of the Year award in a ceremony at the Warsaw Stock Exchange March 7.

Voice Editor-in-Chief Andrzej Jonas said during the ceremony that Grad had been singled out for the award because of his track record in privatization. Grad has not only overseen the sale of state assets, but has also made every effort to persuade the public that this is the right policy, Jonas said.

During his first three years as Treasury minister, Grad carried out 400 privatizations and plans a further 150 this year. Last year, privatization contributed zl.25 billion to the government coffers, and this year privatization revenue is expected to reach zl.15 billion.

On collecting the Chair of the Year statuette—which, like every year, has been designed by Piotr Gawron, a sculptor and professor at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts—Grad said his ministry was working to strengthen Poland’s capital market and the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

“Privatization must help build the power of capital markets and contribute to turning Warsaw into the financial hub of Central and Eastern Europe,” Grad said, adding that 2010 was the most important year for Poland since the fall of the communism more than two decades ago. In 2010, “Poland became a serious player internationally,” Grad said.

Olgierd Dziekoński, a senior official at the President’s Office, read a letter from President Bronisław Komorowski, who said that the Chair of the Year 2010 award for the treasury minister was the result of a successful privatization policy and Grad’s ability to settle a dispute with the Eureko company in a way that benefited the Treasury.

As every year, the award ceremony drew a crowd of politicians, diplomats, academics and figures from the arts. There was also a large group of prominent economists, including Warsaw Stock Exchange CEO Ludwik Sobolewski, who co-hosted the event. Also on hand was his predecessor from 1991-2006, Wiesław Rozłucki, currently an adviser to investment bank Rothschild Polska. Other big names included former Treasury minister Jacek Socha, who is now vice-president of the Polish subsidiary of international consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers; and Henryka Bochniarz, president of the Lewiatan Polish Confederation of Private Employers.
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