Founded in 1819 as the first Austrian savings bank, Erste Group went public in 1997 with a strategy to expand its retail business into Central and Eastern Europe. Since then Erste Group has grown through numerous acquisitions and organically to become one of the largest financial service providers in the Eastern part of the EU in terms of clients and total assets.
ERSTE Foundation is a private savings bank foundation under the Austrian Savings Bank Act. In accordance with foundation statutes, it has to perform two tasks in parallel: to serve the common good and to have a permanent stake in Erste Group.
In order to serve the common good, ERSTE Foundation strives to invest part of its dividend from its stake in Erste Group in philanthropic projects. Each year, the bank’s managing board submits the proposed dividend payment for approval at the general shareholders’ meeting.
ERSTE Foundation reinforced its permanent and qualified stake in Erste Group by concluding several syndicate agreements with other shareholders. Headed by ERSTE Foundation, this group of shareholders consists of the majority of Austrian savings banks, numerous savings bank foundations and share management savings banks (together the “savings banks group”), as well as CaixaBank S. A. and the main shareholder of Vienna Insurance Group, Wiener Städtische Wechselseitiger Versicherungsverein – Vermögensverwaltung. The syndicate also includes Erste Employees Private Foundation.