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Vienna to become international centre of competence for leadership development within UniCredit Group

  • After Turin, the Austrian capital is to become the second international centre of competence for leadership development within UniCredit Group
  • Every year around 4,000 staff from Austria and Central and Eastern Europe will be able to benefit from this training programme
  • EUR 11.5 million to be invested in Kaiserwasser centre by 2012
  • Innovative concept combines training, sport and leisure activities

At Eiswerkstrasse 20, Kaiserwasser in Vienna's 22nd district, Bank Austria is to erect one of the most innovative, private training and further education facilities in Austria. Following in the footsteps of Turin, this means the Austrian capital will have the second largest centre of competence for leadership development within UniCredit Group. Facing competition from other countries, what put Vienna forward as the optimal location after a 12-month evaluation period was its central position and easy accessibility from all round Europe, as well as the high quality of existing infrastructure. This new centre by Kaiserwasser will obviously still function as a sports and leisure facility for staff, and can still be used for events.

"With nine universities, five universities of applied sciences and more than 900 non-university research institutions, Vienna has cemented itself in recent years as a top academic and scientific location. Yet our goal is to become a knowledge centre for the whole of Central and Eastern Europe. This is why I am extremely delighted about the commitment of Bank Austria since this step provides further evidence of the international appeal of Vienna", said Vienna Mayor Michael Häupl.
"As part of one of the largest and most successful European banking groups we know that the motivation and competencies of our staff are key factors in remaining competitive, while they are also what distinguish us from our competitors. This is why we attach great value to training and further education, investing more than EUR 2.5 million a year in this domain in Austria alone", reveals Willibald Cernko, CEO of Bank Austria. "The new Kaiserwasser centre of competence with its innovative design will enable staff not only to continue enjoying the wide range of sport and leisure activities on offer, but also and above all to focus on "life-long learning". The decision in favour of Vienna also expresses the high value that we represent in the Group as the UniCredit sub-holding responsible for Central and Eastern Europe."

Kaiserwasser Training, Sport and Leisure Centre: "Art of Learning"
The Kaiserwasser Training and Leisure Centre was designed by Austrian architect Gert Demarle, and in addition to the innovative rooms for learning it also has plenty of space for sports and relaxation. The 10,000 square metre centre comprises 1,400 square metres earmarked for the training centre and a further 2,300 square metres for the sports facilities.

The design thus continues the training approach adopted at the UniManagement Centre in Turin, which opened in 2007 and is already bursting at the seams. In line with this, the flexible interior design coupled with modern techniques should enable training participants to think freely and without barriers. "Learning Labs" on the first floor – including "conversation, energy and relaxation rooms" – will enable an optimal learning experience for each type of learning. The basement accommodates a multi-functional hall for customer and staff events for up to 600 people.

The total investment for the Kaiserwasser training and leisure centre amounts to EUR 11.5 million. The start of construction is pencilled in for early 2011, and the project should be completed and put in operation by the end of 2012.

Vienna tourism industry to benefit from 13,000 additional overnight stays a year
"One of our major concerns as an international banking group is to ensure that our staff can work and interact across borders too. The simplest and most effective method of achieving this – aside from specific working meetings – are joint training courses and workshops that will be taking place in the Kaiserwasser centre in the near future", said Cernko, emphasising the character of the new training facility bringing cultures together. In the future there should be around 4,000 participants attending national and international courses here every year. Vienna's tourism industry will benefit from this to the tune of roughly 13,000 additional overnight stays per year.

For 2010 Bank Austria has set more than 12,000 training days, which means staff can choose from more than 100 different seminars in professional and product courses, talent promotion programmes and management training.

Pictures free of charge can be downloaded  here.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Press Office Austria
Wolfgang Steinmann, Tel. +43 (0) 50505 - 52803
E-Mail: wolfgang.steinmann@unicreditgroup.at

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