What is ERSTE Foundation’s relationship with Erste Group?

"In the firm belief that everyone must be treated with dignity and respect, our founders established a financial institution more than 200 years ago to give everyone – without distinction of status, nationality, faith, gender, age etc. – access to prosperity. Disseminating and securing prosperity for all will continue, also in the future, to be the purpose of our Group."

Statement of Purpose of Erste Group

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 - core shareholder of Erste Group

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.

Shareholders of Erste Group

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 the main shareholder of Vienna Insurance Group, Wiener Städtische Wechselseitiger Versicherungsverein – Vermögensverwaltung. The syndicate also includes Erste Employees Private Foundation.

Florian Bauer

Director Social Finance, Sustainability and Innovation
Since 2023, Florian Bauer has been responsible for social finance, sustainability and social innovation at ERSTE Foundation. Prior to this role, Florian worked in the NGO & Social Entrepreneurship sector for more than 13 years. He led the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral NGO that works to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient systems in developing countries, and was Managing Director & COO of the Impact Hub Vienna. From 2020-2023, Florian established strategic alliances with key partners and helped to create innovative semantic technology solutions at Semantic Web Company (SWC), a leading IT company in semantic AI solutions.