Terry Serepisos

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Terry Serepisos
Born Eleftherios Serepisos [1]
1963 (age 53–54)
Nationality New Zealander
Known for Property development
Wellington Phoenix
The Apprentice New Zealand

Terry Serepisos (born 1963) is a Wellington-based property developer and former owner of A-League association football club Wellington Phoenix. In 2010, he was the host in the New Zealand incarnation of the hit TV series The Apprentice. His commercial property empire was hit hard in the global financial crisis and he was declared bankrupt in 2011, owing more than $200 million. He has been discharged of bankruptcy as of October 24, 2014.[2]


Born in the village of Paleros Akarnania, Greece, Terry Serepisos and his family emigrated to New Zealand when he was two years old. Serepisos attended Rongotai College with All Whites legend Wynton Rufer.[3]


Serepisos made his name in property development, having previously been involved in the Italian menswear and Nightclub business'.[4] His Century City group managed a portfolio of properties in the greater Wellington area including commercial buildings, high-end inner city apartments, retail spaces and residential homes.

He has invested in, and developed, a number of Wellington landmark sites. These include the former Bank of New Zealand (Manners Street), Maison Cabriole (Tory Street), National Bank Building (Courtenay Place), Prudential Building (Lambton Quay), Century City Tower (former World Trade Centre, Victoria Street), Lone Star Building (Tory Street), Century City Carpark Building (Tory Street), and IBM Building (The Esplanade, Petone).


Wellington Phoenix[edit]

On 19 March 2007 it was announced that New Zealand Football would be entering a new Wellington-based team into the Hyundai A-League and that Serepisos would be providing the one million dollars (NZD) start-up capital and be the club's sole owner. [1] In the first season of the club, Serepisos played a key role in getting English footballer David Beckham and his Los Angeles Galaxy team to play an exhibition game against the Wellington club. In 2007 Serepisos was the recipient of the Mercure Wellington Sports Personality of the Year award for his contribution to sport in Wellington in the year that had passed.[5]

Many New Zealand football fans believe that it was Serepisos' actions that helped get the New Zealand national football team into the 2010 World Cup. Serepisos has been open to agree with the argument "They say I'm the saviour of football in this country. Well, they're right."[3]

On 23 September 2011, it was announced that Serepisos had relinquished ownership of the club after ongoing personal financial difficulties. Subsequently a new consortium of 7 Wellington businessman headed by Rob Morrison took control of the club.[6] Serepisos was declared bankrupt the following Monday.[7]

The Apprentice New Zealand[edit]

In 2010 Serepisos featured in the 13-week first series of The Apprentice New Zealand as the master to the would-be apprentices. The show aired in New Zealand on TV One. Thomas Ben won and was awarded a $200,000 employment deal working with Serepisos.[8][9]


After revelations that unpaid ACC debts could lead to the liquidation of his football club,[10][11] it was revealed that Serepisos also owed $1.4 million in unpaid rates and ground leases to the Wellington City Council.[12] On 26 September 2011 he was declared bankrupt at the Wellington High Court,[7] and later discharged on 24 October 2014.[13]


  1. ^ The Dominion Post, Saturday, 20 February 2010 pp D1,D2
  2. ^ "Terry Serepisos not bankrupt, will give evidence". Stuff.co.nz. Oct 24, 2014. Retrieved 2015-06-14. 
  3. ^ a b "Phoenix boss 'our saviour'". stuff.co.nz. 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 'They say I'm the saviour of football in this country. Well, they're right.' 
  4. ^ Terry Serepisos - The Apprentice's boss, Businessday.co.nz, 20 February 2010
  5. ^ "Terry Serepisos Phoenix Timeline". stuff.co.nz. 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. Serepisos was the recipient of the Mercure Wellington Sports Personality of the Year award for his contribution to sport in Wellington. 
  6. ^ http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/2009InsideFFA/default.aspx?s=insideffa_newsfeatures_newsitem_new&id=41074 Phoenix secure new owners
  7. ^ a b "Terry Serepisos declared bankrupt". nzherald.co.nz. 26 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. Wellington businessman and former Phoenix football owner Terry Serepisos has been declared bankrupt in the High Court at Wellington after his last-minute bid for more time to pay debts was rejected. 
  8. ^ "The Apprentice NZ | Television New Zealand". tvnz.co.nz. 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  9. ^ "Apprentice winner praises boss". stuff.co.nz. 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "Phoenix ACC debt paid". The Dominion Post. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  11. ^ Kitchin, Phil (28 September 2010). "ACC threatens to shut down Phoenix". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  12. ^ Dave Burgess and Phil Kitchin (29 September 2010). "Serepisos now owes council $1.4m". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  13. ^ John Weekes (2014-10-24). "Serepisos no longer bankrupt". New Zealand Herald. 

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