The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) has appointed Sophia Kassidova as vice-president, finance. Kassidova replaces Plamen Petrov, whose term has ended.

Kassidova started her banking career in 1995 with positions at the Ionian Bank of Greece (Sofia) and Hex Capital (Czech Republic). In 1997 she joined the Bulgarian National Bank as a chief expert in the international and multilateral financing department.

In 1999, she moved to the State Savings Bank of Bulgaria as a Project Manager. From 2000 to 2001, she was in charge of the Bulgarian and the Balkans coverage at the Credit Suisse First Boston Bank in Czech Republic.

In 2001, Kassidova was appointed deputy minister of economy of Bulgaria in charge of EU accession negotiations and relations with the World Bank and the IMF on trade and macroeconomic policy issues.

In 2003, she assumed the duties of deputy minister of transport and communications responsible for EU accession negotiations and management of large-scale projects financed by the EIB and EU.

She has also served as chair of the managing board of Sofia Airport and chair of the supervisory board of Biochim Bank (Bulgaria).

From March 2002 to April 2003 Kassidova served as co-chair of Working Table 2 (Economic Reconstruction, Development and Cooperation) of the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe. From 2002-05 she represented Bulgaria on the board of directors of the BSTDB.