The CEE History Project

Authors: Norbert Bacher, Matthias Beitl, Nadia Rapp-Wimberger, Aleksandra Aleksić
Publisher: ERSTE Foundation / fourcon, Vienna
Content: 70 pages
Year: 2015

The History of Savings Banks in Central and Eastern Europe and the History of Erste Group’s Subsidiaries in the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Ukraine

ERSTE Foundation launched the CEE History Project with the aim of conducting initial research to trace the history of Erste Group’s central European subsidiaries and the development of savings banks in this region. Almost 200 years after the founding of Erste Österreichische Spar-Casse, this project returns to the roots of the savings bank idea in central Europe. Looking back is key to developing a corporate culture equipped for the future and based on core values which must be communicated both within the group and externally.

Continually updating the corporate biography, documenting and preserving company output in the form of publications, promotional materials, in-house strategy papers and staff publications, and collecting items that are important to corporate history – all this creates an “institutional memory” which also reflects the economic and social developments of the past 200 years. The operations of a company such as Erste Group, which has strong roots in society and remains dedicated to these founding ideals, will always be influenced by its past, its origins and its social context.

Its memory also reflects the experiences of the communities in which it operates and the individuals within these communities. This project is geared towards all institutions within and outside Erste Group, which were founded on the idea of providing financial services to foster their customers’ economic and social development.

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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.