European Business Press voted for CEO of Raiffeisen International
The European Business Press (EBP) presented the"European Manager of theYear 2007 Award" to Herbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen International atits General Assembly in Sopot, Poland, yesterday evening. The price washanded over by the Governor of the Polish National Bank, SlawomirSkrzypek, and the President of EBP, Ralph Buchi.
The award is based on a vote amongst the editors-in-chief of the EBPmembers, among them publications such as the"Financial Times","TheWall Street Journal Europe","Handelsblatt","Les Echos" or"MilanoFinanza". EBP was founded in Como, Italy, in 1962. Today theorganisation counts 58 leading European business newspapers andmagazines in about 30 countries.
In 1991, EBP began presenting the award to top European managers,entrepreneurs or companies. Among the recipients were personalities suchas Ingvar Kamprad of Ikea, Jorma Ollila of Nokia and BerndPischetsrieder, former CEO of BMW and Volkswagen.
Herbert Stepic received this highest award granted by European businessjournalists for his outstanding work developing his company into one ofthe major players in the central and eastern European banking world. AsCEO of Raiffeisen International and Deputy Chairman of the ManagingBoard of majority shareholder Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG(RZB), both based in Vienna, Austria, he was and still is considered apioneer in Central and Eastern Europe. The first Raiffeisen jointventure started operations 20 years ago in Hungary, almost three yearsbefore the democratisation process started in Central and Eastern Europewith the fall of the Iron Curtain. Following his vision and using hiscontacts, he was responsible for forming a unique grid of subsidiariesfor RZB and Raiffeisen International far beyond the Austrian borders.Today, he steers banks and leasing companies in 16 markets of the regionwith around 2,900 offices and more than 53,000 employees. Since its IPOin April 2005 the price of Raiffeisen International shares has more thantripled.
"The European Business Press Award crowns the recognitions Raiffeisenand I were glad to receive in the recent past", Herbert Stepic referredto a series of regional"Best Bank Awards" and personal decorations,among them"Man of the year“ by the Austrian business magazine"trend“ at the end of 2005."I receive this award also on behalf of my boardcolleagues and our excellent staff", he added.
Christian Rainer, publisher of EBP-member"trend", calls Raiffeisen"theunlikely example of how a small local company in a tiny country on theformer borders of democratic Europe can become a giant in its field. AndHerbert Stepic is seen as the main driver of this process".
Herbert Stepic started his professional career after graduating fromVienna''s University for Economics and Business Administration in 1972.One year later he joined RZB, where he started to develop theinternational business of the bank. He became a Board Member in 1987 andDeputy Chairman of RZB''s Managing Board in 1995. In 2001, headditionally became CEO of Raiffeisen International. Stepic is 60 yearsold, married and father of two sons.
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Raiffeisen International operates the largest banking network in CEE. 18markets are covered by subsidiary banks, finance leasing companies andtwo representative offices. Approximately 12.5 million customers areattended to through more than 2,900 business outlets. RaiffeisenInternational is a fully consolidated subsidiary of RaiffeisenZentralbank Osterreich AG (RZB), which owns 70 per cent of the commonstock. The remaining 30 per cent is free float, the shares are traded onthe Vienna Stock Exchange. RZB is a leading corporate and investmentbank in Austria and the central institution of the Austrian RaiffeisenBanking Group, the country''s largest banking group.