Anton Petrov

Head, International Legal Relations Team, Fibank

I finished my secondary education at the Geo Milev English High School in Bourgas. While there, I participated in an exchange program and studied briefly in the USA. In 2014, I received my degree in Law from the University of National and World Economy. In 2018, I specialized in Corporate Financial Analysis at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, USA, and in 2019 – in Risk Management in Banking and Financial Markets at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India. In January, thanks to First Investment Bank AD, I enrolled in the Executive Master in Finance, Banking and Real Estate – a joint program of the American University in Bulgaria and the Italian Bocconi University.

Anton has been part of the Fibank team since July 2017.

  • Petrov, at the end of 2019 you received a prestigious international distinction from The Legal 500. Tell us more about it.
  • The Legal 500 is one of the most prestigious legal directories in the world. Part of its activity is gathering information about the legal community and the investment climate in different countries which its experts analyze it and, based on that analysis, produce publications serving the business. For example, if a foreign company is planning to invest in Bulgaria, some of the many experts it will inevitably need in the process are lawyers. One of the most reliable ways of finding an excellent lawyer in a particular area is precisely by The Legal 500, as it is extremely well placed between service providers on the one hand and service users on the other. The Legal 500 receives feedback from both sides.

In recent years, the structure of large corporations with respect to "in-house" lawyers has changed significantly and some of them already have legal departments comprising dozens, even hundreds, of lawyers. Legal directories are therefore increasingly focusing on legal counsel. At the end of 2019, The Legal 500 prepared and published the so-called GC Powerlist CEE, which is a list of Central and Eastern European legal advisers that in their opinion have contributed to the development of their industry and to driving the business forward. This demonstrates the high appreciation of the international community for the diligence our team puts into each project, our professional attitude, and the value of our institution as a whole. Moreover, this is not the first time our bank and our lawyers have been highly regarded. I believe it will not be the last.  


  • We also understand you are among the four nominees in one of the categories for the European Counsel Awards. When will the award ceremony take place, what are your expectations and have there been other Bulgarian nominees?
  • Yes, I am among the nominees in the Rising Star category. The winners will be announced at a gala evening in London this March. As always, I am optimistic, although it will be a difficult competition given the other candidates and their experience. Whatever happens, to me the chance to attend the ceremony and represent the bank is a success in itself. As far as I am told, no Bulgarians have been nominated so far. This is an indication of the growing confidence of the international community in Bulgarian business.


  • Due to what personal qualities and achievements were you honored with such recognition?
  • I believe this to be recognition of the efficiency and effectiveness of our entire team.


  • A few words about your education and career?
  • I enjoy studying and use every opportunity to learn something new or to develop a certain skill. I believe in lifelong learning and development - not only professionally but personally as well. My professional career started as an "in-house" lawyer in a large structure, went through the consulting business, the public administration, until I again got to work as a legal counsel. I'm glad I had the opportunity to accumulate a variety of experience that not only helped me find my place, but also get insight into the different perspectives of the parties to a transaction or project. 


  • What attracted you to Fibank?
  • Many things, some of them more significant than others. Among the significant ones I place the professional challenges of working in the largest Bulgarian-owned bank. Another important factor is that I have always perceived Fibank as an institution with a mindset and vision far exceeding the borders of our country. But there are a number of smaller reasons, as well. Even as a student I was always impressed by the beautifully decorated Christmas trees in front of the bank, as well as the invariable celebration of traditional holidays such as Baba Marta. I also appreciate the social responsibility, including the support that the bank has always provided for the development of Bulgarian sport.
  • What are the day-to-day challenges you face? And what skills and qualities does a bank legal counsel need to be successful?
  • I could name a few. Most importantly, you need to be able to work in a team. Unlike consulting firms for example, where lawyers deliver the product, in-house legal advisors rather have a supporting role. This role requires daily effective communication at various levels, with a number of other persons in the organization. Without such skills and without a good team, it would be impossible for the legal function to add value to business.


  • Tell us about the Legal Department team you work with.
  • Our team is extremely well qualified and I believe that our lawyers are in no way inferior to the most reputable law firms.


  • How do you balance between work and personal life?
  • This balance is very important for both personal satisfaction and productivity. I believe that the bank provides all that can be required, and the rest is a matter of good organization and time management.


  • Do you have a hobby?
  • I have had many and different hobbies over the years, mostly related to sports. Outside that, I like to make pictures and shoot videos. I devote my free time to open air activities: mountain hikes with my family, skiing, swimming, rock climbing, exploring new places.

Данира Доспевска-Шаренкапова

Данира е мениджър „Корпоративни комуникации”. Чрез блога на Fibank тя се грижи да получавате полезна и актуална информация от банковата сфера. Интересува се от развитието на дигиталните комуникации, информационните технологи и новите възможности, които те предоставят на потребителите.