Allgemeine Versicherung AG
The ring road encircling Vienna's city center serves a dual purpose.
Besides transporting vehicles it also serves as a building buffer.
Huh? The height of anything built inside the ring road is severely
restricted. Starting on the outer edge of the ring road restrictions
taper off. I mention this because the tallest building INSIDE
the ring road belongs to Wiener Stadtische, one of Austria's
oldest (est. 1824) and largest insurers with revenues of 2.6
billion Euro and over 10,000 employees.
When this 20-story edifice was built in 1955 it was the first
multi-story office building in Vienna. That piece of history
has given this not-so-old building historical status-meaning
it's now a protected building and can't be torn down.
It's a fun visit thanks to the delightful Barbara Hagen-Groetschnig
who's in charge of Public Relations. Between 600-700 employees
work in the building, smoking is allowed in offices, it's a 20-minute
drive to Vienna Airport and the company's art collection is primarily
modern and limited to Austrian artists. Wiener Stadtische was
the first company in Austria to provide childcare for employees
and is the first company I've come across with a tulip as a corporate
General Director (CEO) Guenter Geyer's sixth floor middle office
contains several real plants, a family picture and a not very
exciting view of buildings across the street. I kid Geyer about
his view. Why? This was just after having come down from the
20th floor. The top floor is used for receptions, press conferences
and such and the views afforded from all four sides are spectacular!
It's very competitive between insurers Wiener Stadtische and
Uniqua. How so? Each told me they were the biggest in Austria
but what's funniest is the one upsmanship going on. Uniqua is
building a new headquarters just on the other side of the ring
road from here---the OUTER side of the ring road where the restrictions
on height are less restrictive. Guess how many floors the new
building will have? 21-stories---as in one more than Wiener Stadtische's.