"The Art of Investing": top-class event of Bank Austria and Pioneer Investments on current geopolitical challenges

  • Historian and best-selling author Professor Christopher Clark ("The Sleepwalkers") and Russia expert Peter Bodis of Pioneer Investments spoke about current geopolitical challenges and their impact on the markets

Bank Austria and Pioneer Investments organised the event "The art of investing" on Monday evening in the Ferstel Palace and invited renowned Cambridge Professor and best-selling author Sir Christopher Clark to be the keynote speaker. Werner Kretschmer, CEO of Pioneer Investments Austria, hosted the evening, which was dedicated to exciting upcoming changes and similar events that they mirror in contemporary history.

Christian Noisternig, Head of Private Customers at Bank Austria, also spoke of radical changes in his opening statement. He spoke about the challenges and opportunities Bank Austria is faced with. Personal support and quality advice provided to customers are particularly important in this environment: "With our major investments of over EUR 100 million in the new branch design and the expansion of the 'virtual branch' we are offering high-quality advice in all modern channels of communication. For this reason, our customers can decide when, how and where they want to make contact with us and benefit from personal advice," explained Noisternig.

What can we learn from the past?
The keynote speaker of the evening was Sir Christopher Clark, Professor of Modern European History at the University of Cambridge and best-selling author (“The Sleepwalkers”). He spoke about the potential lessons we can learn from recent history. In the style of Mark Twain, who said, “History does not repeat itself, but sometimes it rhymes.” Many similarities between our historic situation today and the time before the First World War are becoming increasingly obvious. “The bipolar stability of the Cold War gave way to a new multi-polar power structure,” says Clark. This means less transparency, simultaneous unpredictability of the system and the emergence of new and increasingly independent regional power structures. Clark also points out that although we consider 1990 to be the end of an era, we overlook the fact that it also marks the start of a new era, the character of which remains largely hidden from us.

"The political prisoner"
The presentation of Peter Bodis, CIO Pioneer Pekao Investment Management (Poland) and Russia expert, dealt with the effects of the geopolitical crises on the financial markets featuring Russia as an example. Bodis compares the Russian capital market to a “political prisoner”. He stated that the long-term growth potential of the Russian economy has declined massively in recent years. The decrease in population which Russia is faced with, declining investments and lack of productivity are structural problems which demand structural solutions. Nevertheless, reforms are unlikely with the current political relations, which is why decoupling economic growth from the price of oil will not work. As a consequence, oil price and politics continue to be decisive factors for the capital market.

"Love in times of revolution"
Ingried Brugger, Director of Bank Austria Kunstforum, led the discussion on the artistic component of the evening. “Love in times of revolution. Artist couples of the Russian avant-garde” is the title of the new exhibition in the Kunstforum, for which there was also an exclusive preview following the presentations. A process of renewal and upheaval began in all areas of art with the Russian avant-garde in the early 20th century. The exhibition approached the Russian avant-garde from a new perspective, that of artist couples. Not only was the historical interdependence of present and past highlighted with this final point, but also that of art and life.

UniCredit Bank Austria Media Relations
Matthias Raftl, Tel. +43 (0) 50505-52809
E-Mail: matthias.raftl@unicreditgroup.at

Pioneer Investments Austria
Andreas Nurscher; Tel. +43 (0)1 33173-2202
E-Mail: andreas.nurscher@pioneerinvestments.com