Awarding the prize for extraordinary achievements in Austrian economic journalism, Robert Zadrazil, CEO of Bank Austria said: "With his extensive knowledge of the main players and interrelationships in the Austrian business community and in the field of economic policy, Eric Frey has built up an excellent reputation as an economic journalist over many years."
"This year's prize winner Eric Frey not only has a wealth of experience in the field of economics but is well-versed in political affairs too. He is a distinguished journalist, author of several books on specialist topics and has been publishing his blog on economics, 'Krisenfrey', for many years. In the spirit of Horst Knapp, Frey knows how to explain complex economic issues in a way which is both informative and comprehensible", underlined Ewald Nowotny, Governor of the Austrian Central Bank, praising the winner.
In the keynote speech that followed, Gerhard Fehr, behavioural economist and CEO of the Swiss consultancy business FehrAdvice & Partners AG, shared his thoughts with the guests on the topic of 'irrational leadership', while also examining the question 'What do good management, good policy and good economic journalism have in common?'. In so doing, the high-profile business consultant illustrated 'from the perspective of behavioural economics' how assumptions regarding rational behaviour impact markets, organisations and the media.
Eric Frey (52), winner of the 20th edition of the Horst Knapp Prize, grew up in Vienna. Upon completing his school leaving examinations, he studied International Relations at Princeton University in the USA. Following four years spent working as a reporter and bureau chief for AP-Dow Jones News Service in Frankfurt, he returned to Vienna and joined the daily newspaper 'Der Standard' in 1991 as an editor. Having subsequently held the posts of Foreign Editor and Business Editor, in 2002 Frey finally advanced to the position of Managing Editor. In 2003, he completed his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Vienna. Since 2009, he has been writing a well-known economics blog, 'Krisenfrey', for derStandard.at. Frey also works on a freelance basis for the London-based news magazine 'The Economist' and as a lecturer at Webster University and the Institute for Journalism & Media Management at the FH Wien University of Applied Sciences of WKW. The publicist and political scientist is the author of six books. His most recent work, 'Mit der Krise leben lernen: Finanzpolitik und Geldanlage in stürmischen Zeiten' ('Learning to live with the crisis: financial policy and investment during turbulent times'), was published in 2009. Frey is married and has two children.
The Horst Knapp Prize has been sponsored annually by Bank Austria since 1996 The Horst Knapp Prize recognises outstanding Austrian economic journalistic achievements that present complex economic and social policy issues in a particularly clear and comprehensible manner. The prize, which is sponsored by Bank Austria, is awarded to journalists by an independent jury in memory of the doyen of Austrian economic journalism, Professor Horst Knapp, who passed away in 1996. The prize is awarded along with EUR 6,000.
The jury is headed up by Ewald Nowotny, Governor of the Austrian Central Bank. Alongside the chairman, the jury comprises the following members: Karl Aiginger, Head of the Austrian Institute for Economic Research; Margarete Freisinger, freelance journalist; Martin Halama, Corporate Spokesman for Bank Austria; Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger, Rector at the Vienna University of Economics and Business; Andrea Helige, PR consultant; Veit Sorger, former President of the Federation of Austrian Industries; Josef Zechner, professor at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and – as the winner of last year's prize – Christoph Varga, Head of the Economic Department of the ORF newscast 'Zeit im Bild'.
The following journalists have previously been awarded the Horst Knapp Prize:
1996 - Reinhard Göweil and Waltraud Langer
1997 - Georg Wailand and Regina Forster (sponsorship award)
1998 - Michael Hann
1999 - Liselotte Palme
2000 - Andreas Schnauder
2001 - Walter Sonnleitner
2002 - Margarete Freisinger
2003 - Richard Wiens
2004 - Christine Domforth
2005 - Michael Csoklich and Eva Pfisterer
2006 - Renate Graber
2007 - Helmut Gansterer
2008 - Michael Nikbakhsh
2009 - Luise Ungerboeck and Franz Schellhorn
2010 - Michael Bachner
2011 - Dietmar Mascher
2012 - Volker Obermayr
2013 - Hanna Kordik
2014 - Christoph Varga