Though Bank Austria is now merely a subsidiary of HVB Group,
Germany's second largest bank, it's still worth visiting because
it's Austria's largest bank. I'm disappointed when the address
I have for the head office brings me to a modernistic building
near the ring road that encircles Vienna's city center. Why?
I was hoping the bank's head office would be a grand historic
building in Vienna's old town.
I meet with Peter Thier, Head of International Public Relations,
and learn this building is the registered office but head honcho
Gerhard Randa has his office in a building near Stephanplatz,
the plaza anchored by the magnificent cathedral. So, the questions
asked Thier concern the dazzling seven-story Art Deco-looking
edifice (built in 1921) near the cathedral.
My question about the number of employees working in the head
office is difficult to answer because it isn't broken down. Headquarters
consists of four buildings in the city center area with a total
of 1,000 employees. Senior management get reserved parking spots,
smoking in shared offices depends on the okay of colleagues,
the company's art collection is limited to Austrian artists and
modern (from 1960's onward), it's 10-minutes to nearest freeway,
30 minutes to Vienna Airport and there's no formal dress code
though suit and tie are required Monday through Thursday. Employee
perks consists of the usual found at banks including discounts
on home loans.
My request to see CEO Gerhard Randa office is denied because
"we don't do that". I do however get Thier to call
over to the Art Deco building and have them show me the boardroom.
The banking lobby in the Art Deco building is absolutely gorgeous.
The boardroom is a real beaut with a hardwood floor and intricate
wood paneling running up to the two-story tall ceiling. The large
boardroom table seats 34.