Dr. Claus J. Raidl


Dr. Claus J. Raidl,
President of the Austrian Central Bank
and spokesperson for 21st Austria.

Dr. Raidl has been president of Oesterreichische Nationalbank since 2008. He holds a doctoral degree in economics from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.

Dr. Raidl is regularly published in various economic journals and publications where he writes about financial issues and current economic affairs. He also holds several supervisory board positions including Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Science and Technology (I.S.T.) Austria, Member of the Supervisory Board of the Vienna International Airport, Vice-President and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Technisches Museum Wien.

The Austrian Central Bank is the central bank of the Republic of Austria and, as such, an integral part of both the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the Eurosystem. In the public interest, the Austrian Central Bank contributes to monetary and economic policy decision making in Austria and in the Euro area.

Dr. Christian Kesberg


Dr. Christian Kesberg,
Trade Commissioner for Austria in New York.

Christian Kesberg is in charge of the US operations of ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA, Austria’s foreign commercial service, and oversees the activities of trade service centers in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, and Atlanta. Prior to his appointment in September 2006 Christian Kesberg was ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA’s Deputy Director General and Chief Operating Officer. In this capacity, Mr. Kesberg was heavily involved in the design and implementation of trade and investment promotion schemes and played a pivotal role in expanding the agencies focus from export promotion to international business support.

He frequently speaks on a wide variety of subjects mostly related to international trade, internationalization as well as SME policy and Austria’s export driven economic dynamism.

Dr. Claus J. Raidl


Mag. Günter Leonhartsberger,
Participation Manager of Austrian Industries (ÖIAG)

Günter Leonhartsberger, is the director and head of the Department of Participation Management and Privatization at Austrian Industries, Vienna since 2004.
He is Chairman of the Advisory Board at GKB-Bergbau GmbH, Deputy Chairman of the Advisory Board of Schoeller-Bleckmann GmbH, Member of the Supervisory Board and the Audit Committee of Österreichische Post AG, and Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of APK Pensionskasse AG.

Austrian Industries
 is the investment and privatization agency of the Republic of Austria. Austrian Industries works to stimulate increases in the value of the investments for which it is responsible and, where a privatization mandate exists, it completes partial or full company privatization. The company endeavors to act in a way that stays close to economic developments and far away from daily politics. Austrian Industries’ portfolio includes important leading Austrian companies that have central economic and domestic political importance. The portfolio currently includes the Österreichische Post AG, OMV AG and Telekom Austria AG, as well as APK Pensionskasse AG, GKB-Bergbau GmbH and FIMBAG Finanzmarktbeteiligung Aktiengesellschaft des Bundes.

Dr. Christian Kesberg


Herbert Stepic,
Former CEO and Senior Advisor to the Board of Raiffeisen Bank International AG

Dr. Herbert Stepic is Senior Advisor to the Board of Management of Raiffeisen Bank International AG, one of the leading banking groups in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). He looks back at more than 30 years of experience in international banking business and trade finance and is a renowned expert for CEE. He is the master mind and motor behind the rapid expansion of Raiffeisen International’s network. Its cornerstone was set in Hungary in 1986. Today, the network comprises banks and leasing units in 16 markets of the region.

Raiffeisen Bank International is one of the leading corporate and investment banks in Austria and Central Eastern Europe. RBI operates an extensive network of subsidiary banks, leasing companies and a range of other specialized financial service providers in 17 markets. RBI has a presence not only in Central Eastern Europe but also in the world’s financial hubs.

Dr. Claus J. Raidl


Andreas Gerstenmayer,

Andreas Gerstenmayer holds a graduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim. After 13 years working in various management positions in the Siemens Group, in 2003 he was appointed Managing Director of Siemens Transportation Systems GmbH Austria and CEO of the Drive Technology business unit in Graz (world headquarters). He was partner at FOCUSON Business Consulting GmbH from 1 January 2009, but left the operational consulting business after becoming Chairman of the Management Board at AT&S. On 26 January 2012, the Provincial Government of Styria passed a resolution appointing Mr. Gerstenmayer to the Forschungsrat Steiermark advisory committee.

Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik AG (AT&S) is the technology leader in the printed circuit board industry. Advances in smartphones, the spread of tablet PCs, the introduction of new mobile telephony standards such as Long Term Evolution (LTE) as well as the increased use of electronics in all segments will change the world and increase the need for more complex printed circuit boards. In the past two years AT&S has invested heavily in expanding capacity and in new technologies to keep pace with these trends. Thanks to its high-end printed circuit boards and innovation strategy, the AT&S Group has become a major international competitive force in this area. AT&S’s products now set the standards for miniaturization and the design of electronic devices.

Helmut Wieser


Helmut Wieser,

Since April 2014 Helmut Wieser has been President and CEO of AMAG Austria Metall AG. He was already acting as a member of AMAG’s Executive Board.

From 2006 until 2012 Helmut Wieser was Group President of Alcoa, responsible for Alcoa’s Global Rolled Products. Helmut joined Alcoa in 2000 as vice president, operations for Alcoa’s flat-rolled products in Europe based in Madrid and a year later was named president of the group.  He was elected a vice president of the corporation in 2004, when he was named president of the North American and European Mill Products organization, and was elected an executive vice president in 2005. From 1990 to 2000 Helmut, who is a native of Austria, worked for Austria Metall Aktiengesellschaft, a legal predecessor of Austria Metall AG, holding a series of management positions in its rolled products unit, culminating in 1997 as executive member of the board and chief operating officer.  As chief operating officer, he was accountable for AMAG’s share in the Alouette aluminum smelter in Canada and for its participation in the HAW aluminum smelter in Hamburg, Germany. He was also responsible for AMAG’s metal management and hard alloy extrusion businesses. Earlier, he held several senior management positions with voestalpine in Austria and Venezuela, including president of voestalpine Venezuela.

Helmut was born in Steyr, Austria on October 11, 1953, and received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and economics in 1981 from the Technical University of Graz. In 2006 he completed the Executive Training “Sustainable Competitive Advantage” at Harvard Business School, USA.

AMAG Austria Metall AG is the biggest company in the Austrian Aluminium industry sector.

Birgit Noggler


Birgit Noggler,

Birgit Noggler has been CFO of IMMOFINANZ Group since October 2011. She is in charge of Finance & Accounting, Real Estate Finance, Internal Audit, Procurement, Controlling and IT. Birgit joined IMMOFINANZ Group in 2007 as Head of Consolidation and Accounting Austria and became Head of Finance in November 2008. After graduating from WU Vienna specializing in Accounting and Tax Law, Birgit joined a startup as their one-woman finance function. She moved on to PwC as an auditor and later joined the consolidation team at Raiffeisen Leasing. Birgit is a certified Austrian Tax Consultant.

IMMOFINANZ Group is one of the leading listed property companies in Europe. The company is included in the leading ATX index of the Vienna Stock Exchange and also trades on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Since its founding in 1990, the company has compiled a high-quality property portfolio with a carrying amount of approx. EUR 7.4 billion. As a “real estate machine” the company concentrates on linking its three core business areas: the development of sustainable, specially designed prime properties in premium locations, the professional management of these properties and cycle-optimized sales. After the BUWOG spin-off, IMMOFINANZ has a sharper profile as a specialist for office, retail and logistics properties in Central and Eastern Europe, including Russia.



Andreas Tschas,
Co-founder and CEO of Pioneers

Andreas is the co-founder and CEO of Pioneers. His mission is to empower and inspire people to start their own business, and to help them gain the knowledge and connections necessary to become successful. In 2007, Andreas co-founded the junior consulting company icons. From 2008 to 2009 he worked as an assistant for a member of the Austrian Parliament. Since 2013 he has been a member of the Global Shapers Community of the World economic forum.

Andreas studied Business Administration at Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.

Pioneers is an international platform positioned at the intersection of entrepreneurship and innovative future technologies. The company inspires, empowers, and connects entrepreneurs and supports them in solving the world’s biggest challenges through technology. Pioneers brings together its community online and at over 70 international events all over the globe including Pioneers Festival and Pioneers Unplugged. The company acts as one of the key architects within the startup community and as an interface between startups, corporations and investors.

Michael Landesmann


Michael Landesmann,
Scientific Director of the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies

Michael Landesmann is Scientific Director of the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw; www.wiiw.ac.at) and Professor of Economics at the Johannes Kepler University (www.econ.jku.at) where he is also a department head of economic theory and quantitative economic research. His research focuses on European economic integration, structural change, economic growth, topics in international economic relations, globalization and labor markets and migration. He was a member of the Group of Economic Policy Advisors under the chairmanship of former EU Commission President Romano Prodi and participated in and coordinated a wide range of EU projects on different aspects of European integration. He has a D.Phil. from Oxford University, was a Lecturer, Fellow and Senior Research Officer at Cambridge University and held visiting Professorships at Harvard University (where he was J. Schumpeter Professor 1988/89 and Pierre Keller Visiting Professor 2008/09) and a wide range of other universities (Brandeis, Basel, Osaka, Padova, Jerusalem, Central European University, CERGE-EI Prague, Mumbai, etc.).

The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies – wiiw – is one of the principle centers for research on Central, East and Southeast Europe with 40 years of experience. Over the years, the company has broadened its expertise, increasing its regional coverage – to European integration, the countries of Wider Europe and selected issues of the global economy – and expanding the research areas it works on. At present, wiiw’s thematic work is focused on macroeconomic developments and structural change, international economics, labor markets and social issues, as well as on selected issues related to sectoral and regional economic developments. wiiw is an independent, non-profit institution. Their staff serves the public and clients alike, delivering economic analyses and research, forecasts, statistical data and policy advice. A package of their services is available for subscription (membership service).

Peter Havlik


Peter Havlik,
Senior Economist at The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies

Peter Havlik was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He studied economics, economic statistics, computer sciences and sociology in Prague, Moscow and Vienna. He worked first as a researcher at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. After moving to Austria in 1980 he completed post-graduate studies at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna and started to work as a researcher at The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw). He held the position of Deputy director at wiiw for more than 20 years. His current position is senior economist at wiiw and guest research scholar at IIASA in Laxenburg, Austria. His current research is focusing on issues related to European and Euroasian integration, competitiveness, economic developments in the CESEE countries.

Peter Havlik also worked as a consultant to the OECD, The World Bank, European Commission, the Czech and Slovak governments and a number of private companies. He was visiting professor at the Hitotsubashi University Tokyo and the chief economist at the Russian-European Center for Economic Policy (RECEP, TACIS) in Moscow. Among his recent publications are “Economic Restructuring and Integration in Eastern Europe” (Nomos, Baden Baden, 2008, together with R. Grinberg and O. Havrylyshyn), “EU and BRICs: Challenges and opportunities for European competitiveness and cooperation” (2009, Brussels, EU DG Enterprise, together with W. Urban), “European energy security in view of Russian economic and integration prospects” (2010, Vienna), “European Neighbourhood – Challenges and Opportunities for EU Competitiveness” (with Vasily Astrov, Mario Holzner, Gabor Hunya, Isilda Mara, Sándor Richter, Roman Stöllinger and Hermine Vidovic), 2012, Vienna, “Economic Transitions in Central and Eastern Europe: Any Lessons for the Arab Spring?” 2013, Tokyo. “Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit: Milestone in EU-Russia Relations – Not just for Ukraine”, 2014, Brno.



Hans Peter Manz


Hans Peter Manz,
Austrian Ambassador to the United States


Ambassador Manz has represented Austria in the United States since December 2011. He arrived in Washington D.C. having served as Austrian ambassador to Switzerland for more than four years. Ambassador Manz is a career diplomat who joined the Austrian foreign service in 1979. Between 1981 and 1987 he served at the Austrian Embassies in Berne and Tehran. After four years on the Eastern European desk in Vienna and another tour in Berne, he became Deputy Chief of Mission at the Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations in New York in 1994. In 1999, Hans Peter Manz moved back to the Foreign Ministry in Vienna. From 2000 to 2007, he acted as the Diplomatic Advisor to the Austrian Federal Chancellor.Hans Peter Manz was born in Canberra in 1955. After high school in Vienna, he received his doctorate of law at the University of Vienna in 1977.




Peter F. Kollmann


Peter F. Kollmann ,
CFO and Member of the Executive Board at Verbund AG


Mr. Peter F. Kollmann holds the position of Chief Financial Officer and Member of the Executive Board at Austria’s biggest energy supplier, VERBUND AG since January, 2014. Mr. Kollmann is a known financial expert, he has worked for several years in the field of investment banking at Lehman Brothers and Solomon Brothers in New York and London.  Between 1995 and 2013 Mr. Kollmann held various positions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Frankfurt and London and served as Merrill Lynch’s Vice-Chairman Investment Banking Europe. Mr. Kollmann has significant transaction experience with financial institutions, governments, and public companies as well as domestic and cross border equity transactions. He is a Member of Investment Committee at ETV Holding AG and also published a book on Financial Innovation in 1988. He is an Austrian and graduated with a Masters degree in Engineering and Economics and completed his Ph.D. at the London School of Economics.

VERBUND AG is Austria’s leading electricity company and one of the largest producers of electricity from hydropower in Europe. VERBUND AG, headquartered in Vienna, was founded in 1947 and is active in the areas of electricity generation, trade, transmission and sales. VERBUND has been listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since 1988 with 51% of the share capital being owned by the Republic of Austria.