Kanoria: "Ich habe mich in das Land beim Skifahren verliebt"

Kanoria: "Ich habe mich in das Land beim Skifahren verliebt"

Warum kostet die Hypo Alpe-Adria die Steuerzahler demnächst weitere Milliarden? Weil jeder gegen jeden kämpft, Chaos herrscht und die Politik kolossal versagt hat.

FORMAT: Wie kamen Sie auf die Idee die Hypo Alpe-Adria Bank zu kaufen?

Sanjeev Kanoria: Ich interessiere mich leidenschaftlich für den Finanzsektor, seit ich an der Londoner Business School studierte. Zudem ist meine Familie in diesem Bereich tätig, und meine Arbeit bei McKinsey gab mir Einblicke in die europäische Finanzbranche. Als JP Morgan die Hypo in einem offenen Bieterprozess präsentierte, habe ich gefühlt, dass die Hypo stark war und einen historisch guten Ruf hatte, der durch die Krise in Europa getrübt wurde. Ich wusste aber über die Bank nicht mehr, als das, was fallweise in Finanzzeitungen veröffentlicht wurde.

War Ihnen Österreich überhaupt bekannt?

Kanoria: Ja, als gut regiertes Land mit einer starken und transparenten Regulierung. Ich habe Österreich früher vor allem zum Skifahren besucht und mich in die Landschaft, die freundlichen Menschen, die lange Geschichte und Kultur des Landes verliebt. Während meiner McKinsey-Zeit habe ich einige österreichische Kollegen kennengelernt und sie für ihre Offenheit, Intelligenz und harte Arbeit geschätzt. Daher war für mich die Möglichkeit, eine österreichische Bank zu kaufen, eine, die ich nicht ungenutzt lassen wollte.

Dass die Hypo fortwährend als Skandalbank beschrieben wird, schreckte Sie nicht?

Kanoria: Jedes Investment ist ein Problem, wenn es nicht gemanagt wird, wenn es keine starke Strategie gibt oder die Regierung Entscheidungen verzögert. Banker brauchen hohe ethische Standards, damit die Kunden ihnen das Geld anvertrauen. Unser Gesundheitsunternehmen Advinia, bei dem es auch um Vertrauen geht, ist in Großbritannien für seine Qualität bekannt.

Was sind Ihre Pläne für die Bank? Wer wird der neue CEO sein?

Kanoria: Ich hatte Gespräche mit dem derzeitigen Management-Team und das Gefühl, dass es gut ist. Die Leute sind hochmotiviert. Wir wollen wachsen, eine Kooperation mit der indischen Finanzgruppe Srei eingehen, sodass die Arbeitsplätze sicher sind.

Wollen Sie auch noch andere Banken in Europa kaufen?

Kanoria: Nein. Unser Ziel ist es, die Hypo stark zu machen.

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Hier lesen Sie das Interview im englischen Original:

How did you get the idea of buying an Austrian bank and why did you like the idea?

Kanoria: I am passionate about the financial services sector, given the fact I did Strategy and finance at London Business School, our family is in the financial services sector and my work with McKinsey & Co gave me experience in the sector in Europe. I witnessed the turbulence in the banking sector in the last few years and felt that a difference could have been made with stronger systems, governance and strategy.
When JP Morgan presented the bank through an open bid process, on initial investigation I felt that the bank was fundamentally solid with a historic good reputation and has been affected by the malaise that afflicted banking in Europe.
Austria is part of Europe with a stable government and an astute financial regulator. Having worked and managed businesses in heavily regulated sectors in UK and Europe, I felt I could make a difference and had the confidence to manage the various issues this would present going forward.

What did you know about the Hypo Alpe Adria?

Kanoria: A. I knew of the existence of the bank and that it was a bank established for many years with strong roots and history. I did not know much more than what was released in the financial times occasionally.

What did you know about Austria?

Kanoria: Austria is a country which is well governed, having strong and transparent regulatory environment. Moreover, I have visited Austria in the past mainly on skiing holidays and fell in love with the country for its simple beauty, the friendly people, the deep history and culture. During my Mckinsey days and in my business travels to Switzerland in particular, I had an opportunity to work with some Austrian colleagues and I liked their dedication, frankness, intelligence and hard work. Hence for me an opportunity to work with a historic bank in Austria was something not to be missed.

Did you have any contact/direct negotiations with the political leadership of Carinthia, which government is one of the most important customers of the bank?

Kanoria: I am aware Carainthian Government is a very important customer of the bank and very supportive of it. I would like to in due course build stronger relations with them and ensure that the bank continues to provide a high quality service to them along with all its other customers.

Banks generally are not amongst the most asked for investments at the moment. What did attract you to a bank that most people would describe as a problem case?

Kanoria: Any investment is a problem if not managed, if the strategy is not thought through and then implemented well and If operational systems and governance is weak with delayed decisions.
Banking is a people's business, requires high ethics and trust to maintain customer confidence for people trust their hard earned money to a bank. With my background in health care, where people trust their health and well being, I am naturally inclined to businesses with a people focus, where uncompromising trust and ethics is required. For me these are not buzz words for I have lived them in my life, my family and at work. Our healthcare business is well known for its quality of care in the UK. Hence this bank has presented an opportunity for me to apply myself to ensure that the focus remains on the customer and maintaining their trust.

What are your plans for the acquired bank? Will the future name be "Hypo Alpe-India"? Are the jobs safe? Who will be the ceo of the bank?

Kanoria: I have had a discussion with the current management team. And feel that the team is good. From what I have understood the current people are well motivated and enthused and rather than reducing jobs, it would be our responsibility to increase and maximize opportunities and growth, so that all people can remain gainfully employed.
Our plan will be to stabilize and grow the depositor base, ensure ongoing confidence in the banks management and supervisory board, ensure good principles of governance, risk management and improve profitability through gradual well thought through growth plans, focusing on key and basic core banking. To achieve some of these goals, the bank will draw on the international financial expertise of the SREI Group, through a co-operation agreement. It may be important to add a new name to the current bank to differentiate it from its original parent, however, these plans are not yet finalized but strategically It would make sense going forward.

Are you're interested in buying other banks in Europe?

Kanoria: No we are not considering buying any other banks. our focus will be to strengthen the current bank even further and ensure that people are employed gainfully and motivated.

Wolfgang Kulterer steht im Fokus der Hypo-Ermittlungen. Bei anderen prominenten Beschuldigten legt die Justiz nicht so ein Tempo an den Tag.
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