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Ari Epstein Steps Down as CEO of Antwerp’s AWDC

April 11, 2024  |  Joshua Freedman
Ari Epstein AWDC credit AWDC

Ari Epstein has resigned as CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) after 13 years in the position, the trade body announced Thursday.

His last day will be next Tuesday, the AWDC said. It declined to comment on why he’s stepping down or when it would appoint a successor.

“This marks the end of an era of visionary leadership and significant contributions to not only our company but the industry at large,” AWDC president Isidore Mörsel said in a statement. “Under Ari Epstein’s leadership, AWDC has seen unparalleled growth, innovation and expansion, strengthening our position as a global leader in the diamond industry.”

The organization has been in the spotlight in recent months amid the introduction of Group of Seven (G7) sanctions on Russian diamonds. The implementation of a European Union import ban on polished originating from Russian rough has led to severe delays at Antwerp’s Diamond Office, the city’s customs center, with 146 Belgian companies writing to the AWDC to complain.

Industry groups have also expressed concern about plans to require all rough diamonds to go through Antwerp in order for the polished to be sold within the G7.

The AWDC, which represents the Belgian city’s diamond trade, has seen several leadership changes in the last two years. Mörsel took over as its president from David Gotlib in October, a little more than a year after Gotlib had succeeded Chaim Pluczenik.

Main image: Ari Epstein. (AWDC)

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Ari Epstein AWDC credit AWDC Ari Epstein Steps Down as CEO of Antwerp’s AWDC

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