BA-CA's top management team "rejuvenated": focus on further growth in Central and Eastern Europe

  • Erich Hampel, aged 52, succeeds Karl Samstag, aged 59, as CEO.
  • Wolfgang Haller, aged 52, becomes Deputy CEO.
  • Regina Prehofer, aged 47, additionally takes over responsibility for CEE operations.
  • Johann Strobl, aged 44, becomes Chief Risk Officer.

Initiated a year ago, the "generational change" in the top management team at Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) continues. Today the bank's Supervisory Board has appointed Erich Hampel, aged 52, as Chairman of the Managing Board. He succeeds Karl Samstag, who will leave BA-CA's Managing Board on cordial terms. Erich Hampel assumes his new function with immediate effect.
Gerhard Randa, Chairman of BA-CA's Supervisory Board: "Erich Hampel is Karl Samstag's ideal successor. He proved this during his term as Chairman of the Managing Board of Creditanstalt and in his capacity as Managing Board member responsible for CEE operations. Erich Hampel will consistently continue to pursue the strategy followed by Karl Samstag in the past year." 

Karl Samstag: "Over the past few decades I have contributed to building what is by far the largest bank in Austria, and this has given me great pleasure. Of course, the IPO carried out in the past year was a special highlight for me. The share price shows that the capital markets have confidence in Bank Austria Creditanstalt. I am handing over a strong bank."

"We have made a promise to the capital market: a return on equity of 13 per cent by 2006. This target has top priority for me. We are moving in the right direction. With a return on equity of over 8 per cent for the first nine months of 2003 we have surpassed the previous year's level, which reflected substantial integration-related costs. To achieve our target for return on equity, we will continue to focus on our expansion in Central and Eastern Europe," says Erich Hampel, the new Chairman of BA-CA's Managing Board. "Over the past 10 years we have built the leading banking network in CEE. The build-up phase has been completed – we now have an extensive region-wide presence. Now it is important to achieve market share gains and strengthen the earnings power. In this context we will concentrate on further intensifying cooperation between our local banking subsidiaries and Austrian operations," he adds. 

Erich Hampel has been with the Bank Austria Creditanstalt Group for seven years. From 1997 to 2002 he was Chairman of the Managing Board of Creditanstalt and very successfully performed his function as the bank's CEO during that period. He has been a member of the Managing Board of Bank Austria Creditanstalt since 2000. As Chief Risk Officer, he is currently responsible for risk management in the banking group. Erich Hampel started his career at Citibank (Austria) and then moved to Österreichische Postsparkasse (PSK), where he held various management positions for many years and was finally appointed CEO of PSK. Mr Hampel is married and has two children. He is known in the banking industry as a highly experienced banker dedicated to his task and as a formidable tennis player.

Karl Samstag, a father of three children, worked for Bank Austria Creditanstalt and its predecessor institutions for 39 years. In 1965 he joined what was then Zentralsparkasse, a Vienna-based savings bank. In 1989 the recognised corporate banking expert was appointed to Zentralsparkasse's Managing Board. From 1991 he was a member of the Managing Board of Bank Austria, the bank created through the merger of Zentralsparkasse and Länderbank. From 1995 to 2003 he was Deputy Chairman of BA-CA's Managing Board and last year he became the bank's Chief Executive Officer. During that period Karl Samstag took major steps for the bank's reorientation. He carried out the successful IPO. Since the listing of Bank Austria Creditanstalt's shares in July 2003, the BA-CA share price has risen by more than 50 per cent, one of the reasons being the positive development of results.

In addition to the appointment of a new CEO, there are further changes in the bank's Managing Board: Johann Strobl has been appointed as a new Managing Board member taking over Erich Hampel's function as Chief Risk Officer. Mr Strobl, aged 44, joined Creditanstalt in 1989 and has been active in Bank Austria Creditanstalt's risk management division for several years. Since 2003 he has been responsible for market risk and risk controlling within Bank Austria Creditanstalt and at the first executive management level in the HVG Group. Johann Strobl is married and has three children.

Friedrich Kadrnoska leaves the bank at his own request and on cordial terms. Differing views on strategy are the reason why he has resigned from his function. As Deputy Chairman of BA-CA's Managing Board, Mr Kadrnoska was responsible for operations in Central and Eastern Europe, equity interest management and human resources. Friedrich Kadrnoska, aged 52, joined Zentralsparkasse in 1976. He became a member of BA-CA's Managing Board in 1995 and made a signficant contribution to the bank's development in the past ten years. 

Regina Prehofer will take over responsibility for operations in Central and Eastern Europe. Mrs Prehofer, aged 47, joined Creditanstalt in 1987. She will continue to be responsible for business with multinational corporates, export-related business, corporate finance and institutional real estate customers. Regina Prehofer has wide experience in international business. She will ensure that cooperation between the CEE banking subsidiaries and operations in Austria will be expanded – while local units will remain responsible for customer business, increased efforts will be made to unlock synergies on the income and cost sides.

Wolfgang Haller will succeed Friedrich Kadrnoska as Deputy Chairman of the Managing Board. Mr Haller, aged 52, will continue to perform his functions as Chief Operating Officer (IT and Organisation) in his capacity as a member of BA-CA's Managing Board and at the first executive management level within the HVB Group. Wolfgang Haller was born in Upper Austria and has been a member of BA-CA's Managing Board since 1997. He was previously a board member at Allgemeine Sparkasse Oberösterreich, a savings bank in Upper Austria. Mr Haller is married and has two children.

There are no changes in responsibilities of the other BA-CA Managing Board members:
Willi Hemetsberger, aged 45, is responsible for the International Markets business segment (treasury and capital market activities). Over the past years this business segment has made a substantial contribution to the bank's results. Mr Hemetsberger has been a member of the Managing Board since 2001. Previously he held positions at Citibank and at CA IB Investmentbank.

Willibald Cernko, aged 47, is responsible for sales in Austria and for asset management. Like Regina Prehofer he comes from Creditanstalt and has been a member of the Managing Board of Bank Austria Creditanstalt since 2003.

Stefan Ermisch, aged 37, is BA-CA's Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He has been a member of the Managing Board since the beginning of 2004. Before joining Bank Austria Creditanstalt, he held positions at HypoVereinsbank and at the investment banks Merck, Finck & Co and Trinkaus & Burkhardt.

Gerhard Randa, Chairman of BA-CA's Supervisory Board: "With these new appointments we have completed the rejuvenation process initiated a year ago. The bank has a young management team that is eager for success and has set itself ambitious objectives. I thank Karl Samstag and Friedrich Kadrnoska for their significant contributions to the bank over decades. They have helped to position Bank Austria Creditanstalt as a strong part of the HVB Group and as a top player in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe. I wish them all the best for the future."

Enquiries: Bank Austria Creditanstalt Group Public Relations
Martin Hehemann, tel. +43 (0)5 05 05 57007; e-mail: martin.hehemann@ba-ca.com