There's a ring road that encircles Vienna's city center and from
what I'm told this is where the city's former wall fortifications
began. If you go inside the ring road there're building height
restrictions. Outside the ring roads it's a different story.
Uniqa with 3.2 billion Euros in revenues and 6,700 employees,
is one of Austria's largest insurance companies. With that said,
I'm surprised to find the company's Website is only in German.
Head offices are in an eight-story, tired-looking early 1970's
office building on the OUTER side of the ring road. This location
is important to note because a new 22-story Uniqa headquarters
is going up next door. This building couldn't be built (due to
height restrictions) if it was on the INNER side of the ring
road. This new building, due to be completed in 2004, is all
Ernst Morgenbesser wants to talk about. Why? Two reasons (1).
Morgenbesser's a company director and is in charge of the building's
construction (2). Morgenbesser says the two current headquarters
buildings are old and dated.
What's he talking about two headquarters? In 1999 two insurers
merged to form Uniqa and headquarters for both stand within a
few buildings of each other (the other headquarters building
is also way past its prime).
So, to me this visit is a bust. It's now 2002, why is Morgenbesser
answering my questions about what will be in two years? My request
to see the CEO's office and boardroom is denied.