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Staff and Partners

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Staff with a vision

Our corporate values of quality, flexibility, togetherness, decency and respect mark how staff deal with each other and with partners in Austria and abroad, as well as our overall social commitment.

A symbol of our corporate culture visible for miles around and our distinctive profile in the insurance landscape is the UNIQA Tower, the Group headquarters in Vienna. For behind this innovative structure stands not only a creative architect, but also a visionary client.

For this reason, we see the awarding of the building designed by renowned architect Heinz Neumann with the Client Prize 2006 of the Central Association of Austrian Architects, as recognition of our corporate concept of the insurance of a new generation.

Award for corporate architecture

Innovative: The lighting system on the UNIQA Tower

The jury praised the transparent and imposing appearance of the building, which matches the image of UNIQA. It also highlighted the fact that UNIQA will be making another mark on the urban landscape in the coming years with the “Praterstrasse 1” project by architect Jean Nouvel, to be constructed on the left bank of the Danube opposite the centre of Vienna.

The award of the Client Prize 2006 also acknowledged our nighttime lighting system on the tower as making an important contribution to “metropolitan life”. We adjust the exterior lighting to match current seasonal events. The illumination of the UNIQA Tower in this form is unique anywhere in Europe.

Modern workplaces created in the region

UNIQA also offers examples of sound and functional corporate architecture in other regions. Following the conversion of the regional headquarter for Carinthia and East Tyrol, we concentrated our three locations in Klagenfurt on a single space of around 3,000 square metres. Around 145 staff moved into new offices with a high level of flexibility, mobility and easy communication.

The regional headquarters in Innsbruck is also constructing a new central office building for about 250 staff. The six-storey new-build of 3,900 square metres is incorporated within a health and social insurance centre. The project should be ready to occupy this year.

New headquarters for Prague subsidiary

In Prague, around 300 staff from UNIQA Czech Republic moved into a new four-storey head office in 2006. Sixty per cent of the architecturally and technically ultra-modern headquarters, with a floor space of around 8,000 square metres, is thus utilised by our Group company. It is easy to reach by public transport and just fifteen minutes away from the airport.

The staff at UNIQA set a good example in the efforts made concerning prevention and health care. In 2006, we initiated the campaign series “UNIQA@work” in all regional headquarters, regional service centres and in the UNIQA Tower in Vienna. These campaigns should allow our staff to personally experience the activities of the VitalClub.

Fitness plan for staff

The project devotes itself regularly to another important topic. The campaign day “Success through mental fitness and brainfood” was met with great interest in all parts of Austria. The topics of “VitalAging” and tips on proper nutrition also met with a high degree of acceptance. Sport and movement are at the heart of “UNIQA@work” in the fight against monotony at the workplace in 2007.

According to international studies, staff with diverse skills are especially sought after for management positions in financial services companies. In addition to the necessary specialist knowledge, they must, above all, have overseas experience and knowledge of other languages.

Career studies abroad

The mobility programme “Go Ahead” developed by specialists of the UNIQA Human Resources-Service in 2004 for international staff was, therefore, also met by a high level of acceptance in its third year. A total of 129 staff have garnered experience through short-term appointments abroad. These assignments opened new professional and cultural horizons to them, improved their language skills and strengthened their competence within our Group.

The robust expansion of UNIQA will require many more participants in the international exchange of experience. Therefore, with “Go Ahead Light” we are offering a mobility programme reduced by 20 to 60 working days for staff who are unable to take on a longer stint abroad for personal or professional reasons.

These staff work for the agreed period of time in a host company of our Group, but continue to exercise their function in the home company. We are increasingly introducing this type of learning to all actuarial/technical areas and service functions, and expanding it to Sales.

Management helps management

With “Go Ahead Light Mentoring” we are also building on the internal cooperation of our management staff. Under this programme, experts from headquarters and the regions act as mentors for specific corporate areas in the subsidiaries and support their position holders. Thus, a team leader from our central sales organisation supports the sales organisation in Prague locally in designing processes, while retaining his function in Austria.

The tried-and-test staff appraisal used to optimise the working climate in the company was further improved in 2006. It offers an annual platform on which to define structured professional targets for the future, to estimate performance potentials together and to clear up misunderstandings at an internal discussion between management and staff.

Living corporate values

We gained insight into the internal corporate culture of UNIQA by carrying out an anonymous survey of 2,925 staff and partners. This revealed that our staff live the common corporate values intensively in their everyday professional life. “Decency” and “respect” were cited as being particularly important.


ManagerCircle in Vienna and Venice

Twice a year, the Management Board and managers come together to discuss current aspects of corporate strategy and to develop ways to implement them in work appraisals. This exchange lets us keep an eye on structural conditions on the market and ask critical questions about our strategy.

For more than 120 managers from eleven countries and all areas of the Group, our two ManagerCircles in Vienna and Venice were top-level meetings. They offered the opportunity to discuss the strategic objectives of our insurance Group for the future.

Key to the discussion were the new profit improvement programme, sales strategies, the importance of the preferred partnership with Raiffeisen for our internationalisation strategy and the new principles in the reinsurance business.

Mental fitness through regular training

20,000 days of training

were arranged by UNIQA in 2006, for the ongoing development of its staff, in order to meet the high requirements placed on quality and competence.

Unsurprisingly, UNIQA scores particularly well in the insurance industry in a comparison of specialist competence and the sales skills of our teams of experts. This success is thanks to the experts at the UNIQA human resources service who specialise in the promotion of human capital. In 2006, they organised around 20,000 training days that met the familiar demands for competence and quality.

Despite country-specific differences, we impose uniformly high requirements on the training of staff in the international Group companies. We have, therefore, implemented a standardised basic training course. In this way, we are able to guarantee the same conditions for working in our company – from Poland to Croatia. After basic training, the companies also offer specific further training packages.

Conveying knowledge around the clock with eLearning

To help staff prepare ideally for tests, we are increasingly offering the option to work through the training material independently, using eLearning. We consider electronically supported learning on the computer and the Internet as a modern opportunity for flexible operational training. As a pioneer of eLearning, we also operate an electronic platform that allows users to refresh their knowledge and which acts as a reference work, available round the clock.

Training with a future – to become a FinancialAdvisor

We offer additional opportunities for a job with a future through our training course to become a UNIQA FinancialAdvisor. This is because a new generation of clients is demanding high-quality solutions for insurance and pensions, as well as creative and yield-orientated solutions for financial investments and asset building.

The FinancialAdvisor training programme, which is run by experts from UNIQA and the Danube University at Krems, includes three courses. Around 120 participants have already successfully completed the programme and thus acquired a high level of consulting competence.

For us, investing in the enhancement of the independent insurance broker is obvious as the insurer with the largest broker sales in Austria. The successful cooperation with our independent business partners is a central element of our corporate strategy.

On an international information tour with the broker academy

We manage contacts with insurance brokers in the form of the broker academy (MAK), which is unique in Austria. With its diverse range of seminars, it has proven itself to be an indispensable service and first-class instrument for our broker managers to manage relationships.

Once a year, the latest module in the seminar programme “MAK international” presents interesting topics with an emphasis on finance within the scope of a trip abroad. Last year, “MAK international” led 115 business partners from Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the East Asian growth centre of India for the first time.

Other MAK seminars also attracted great interest. These were devoted to specialist sessions on unit-linked life insurance or topics such as “Golf & Management” and “Mental Power Training”. These two to three-day compact courses noticeably improve the impact of our broker sales.

Decentralisation of the BrokerService

In the further expansion of our international BrokerService, we have started on the process of decentralisation in the Czech Republic and Poland. This should reduce the concentration on the capitals of Prague and Warsaw and simultaneously build up staff capacities in the regions. In addition, business with large broker customers has been encouraged in Hungary and the Czech Republic.

The extraordinary commitment of our BrokerService was made clear in 2006, by the international participation of 250 staff during the “International team days”, which take place every two years.

TopPartner strategy refined

Our TopPartner strategy focussed on the concentration of brokers with large sales volumes exceeded the highest of expectations. The introduction of automated systems led to a greater range of cooperation. More business partners are now selling the products of various insurance sectors. This has reduced the dependency on individual brokers, some of whom are dominant in specific sectors.

The TopPartner strategy was refined in 2006, through the introduction of a third target group. Between TopPartners and DirectPartners, there now fall those partners who are also serviced by broker managers, but not to the full extent of TopPartners.


As part of its “TopPartner strategy”, UNIQA sets decisive standards in service quality and additional services for the best and most important business partners, the so-called TopPartners. We guarantee them personal support while observing clearly defined service standards, the use of the TopPartnerCard, with its numerous benefits, as well as the opportunity to present themselves briefly on our sales platform.

Since not only private customers, but also brokers can enjoy numerous benefits by opening a TopConto, we are preparing to introduce the SuccessPartnership for small and medium-sized companies, freelancers and farmers in the current year. Another UNIQA innovation which will place Austrian brokers ahead of the pack in future.

Interview with Benni Raich

Next Generation

Astrid Mangi, 17
Figure skater

At the 2006 Junior World Champion- ships, the 17-year-old Viennese surprised everyone with her 13th place at the end of the short programme. She is treated as one of the talents in Austrian figure skating.

Ms Mangi, were you counting on this level of success?
I’ve counted on a lot, but such a debut at my first Junior World Championship is still hard to believe. It was like a dream!

Figure skating is a solo discipline. What role does teamwork play for you?
A big role. The cooperation with my trainer Sabina Richter-Pavlasova is very important to me. She helps me to develop my own style and find my own expression.

Individual expression? Is this where the key to success lies?
I think it does. In fact, figure skating thrives on the athlete’s personal interpretation. You can train your technique, but at the top of the game, personal expression and the individuality of the course determine success or failure.

Despite his success, the 28-year-old top athlete of Alpine ski racing has kept his feet on the ground and is much admired, not only in Austria. The two-time World Champion and two-time Olympic Champion won the Overall World Cup for the first time in 2006. He was chosen Austrian Sportsman of the Year last year.  

2006 was your top year – two gold medals in the Olympics, Slalom World Cup, Overall World Cup… What is the secret to your success?
First you need a clear objective that you must follow consistently. Even when you suffer setbacks along the way. You can’t let it get to you, but have to take the experience on board and continue working consistently towards your final goal. Naturally, success also needs talent, in order to ski at such a high level for years on end. And, of course, you need to love the job. Just like you do in a company. If you don’t enjoy managing a firm, you won’t have any success either.

Experts say that you are cool in difficult situations, whether you’re in the lead after the first run in the Olympic slalom or when a race is postponed.
You have to learn to adjust body and mind quickly and flexibly to different situations. You can train for this by simulating unusual situations and also by always trying out new things during training. This not only gives rise to the correct physical reaction, but you also learn to remain relaxed – or cool, as they say. You could also call it “mental fitness”.

UNIQA’s success is primarily determined by its staff and partners: team play is our central success factor. This is why we promote cooperative activities on an international level and provide our staff with targeted support through individual training programmes.

You are known for being a solo athlete. How important is the concept of “team” to you?
I’m alone on the slope. But before and after my run I need a functioning team, a functioning environment. The team of trainers for skiing as well as conditioning and fitness, the physiotherapists, the doctors, my press agent. Very important, of course, is the service engineer from the ski company. Confidence must be 100%. In a highly developed, innovative area such as skiing, nothing works without a team and partners!

Area management increases impact in ExclusiveSales

ExclusiveSales, which is responsible for over 10,000 brokers, has acquired an impressive structure with area management to support the service and to control the seventeen regions of the Group. In coordination with the regional Management Boards, the area managers define the strategy for the current eight international Group companies and nine regions of Austria, and are responsible for the annual result.

They pay particular attention to the exchange of best-practice strategies between the regions. They develop joint measures to safeguard and expand the customer base, draw up annual sales and staff plans, as well as action plans. They define business, provisioning and salary models and develop and control quality standards.

At the beginning of 2007, the responsibilities of area management were reallocated amongst a new total of four area managers. This reallocation should increase the impact of ExclusiveSales and, at the same time, underscore its considerable significance for the yield-orientated internationalisation strategy of the Group.

ProfitCentre instead of regional management

A ProfitCentre model has also been recently implemented. Its task is to secure our top position on the Austrian market by strengthening regional autonomy, further expanding the external sales organisation and giving new impulses to the growth area of personal injury insurance.

In addition, it deals with the direct and indirect control of productivity and quality, the ongoing decentralisation of sales-related decisions and the relocation of customer service functions locally. Finally, the ProfitCentre is intended to reduce the processing stages of standardised business cases, to optimise staff functions and to create clear communication channels between central ExclusiveSales, regional sales management and regional administration. The simultaneous expansion of independent agency partners secures long-term stability in coordination with the ProfitCentre structure.

Raiffeisen Versicherung expands Management Board

The Group’s own Raiffeisen Versicherung strengthened its upper echelon in 2006: It made former manager of Raiffeisen Bausparkasse, Martin Sardelic, the third member of the Management Board of Austria’s leading bank insurer on 1 October 2006.

The Raiffeisen manager should secure the high significance of pension provision as a key element of the product range, and above all more strongly thematise the covering of risks in daily life, such as occupational disability, accidents during leisure time or the loss of household goods and valuables. And he should further improve the high quality of service provided by Raiffeisen Versicherung to the sales partners.

The cooperation of our Raiffeisen Versicherung with the Raiffeisen banks in Austria has developed into an ongoing success story. Important chapters of this story have been written by Chairman of the Board, Dr Christian Sedlnitzky. In 2006, he looked back at the twentieth anniversary of extremely successful work for Raiffeisen Versicherung.

Bank advisors as qualified insurance partners

Half of all life insurance in Austria is taken out through a bank advisor. Motivated and committed Raiffeisen bankers are more than an interface; they are the fixed link to the customer and therefore qualified partners of a sales channel that is strategically important to the UNIQA Group.

Bank assurance is a decisive driver of growth, especially for expansion on international markets. Transferring the success of bank sales in Austria to the emerging markets in Eastern Europe remains the greatest challenge for Raiffeisen Versicherung as a competence centre for bank sales within the Group.

In eleven countries in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, UNIQA has already gained access to more than 10 million customers through the cooperation with the Raiffeisen Bank group. These customers are offered our Group’s insurance and pension products over the bank counter.

Special training for Raiffeisen bank advisors

The success of bank sales is based mostly on the quality of the special training courses based by Raiffeisen Versicherung on the characteristics and requirements of the respective bank staff. Bank advisors have to pass a comprehensive basic training course on insurance matters. To prepare for the compact introduction, socalled “eLearning courses”, which teach basic sector knowledge, have recently be added.

Around 680 participant days are currently covered by the training and development seminars in the professional and behavioural area. More than 1,180 days are allocated to teaching bank staff the basic insurance training, which will become increasingly important in the future.

Pensions symposium in London

10th international pensions symposium in London with high-level EU representation.

For the property insurance business, comprehensive old-age pensions remain the focus of activities of Raiffeisen Versicherung, even after the successful opening up of the insurance business. Therefore, the company extended an invitation to the 10th international pensions symposium in London in May 2006, attended by highlevel experts.

Given all the differences in the pension systems of the European Union, the experts are decidedly of the opinion that the pension systems must be thoroughly modernised and adjusted to shifts in demographics.

Raiffeisen Versicherung is sharpening awareness of security in everyday life and loss prevention with a national campaign run in newspaper advertisements, radio spots, display window posters and campaign folders. It documents its competence by offering tailored products such as insurance for owned homes or rented accommodation, as well as accident and motor vehicle insurance solutions to counter the financial risks of life.

Successful women’s programme: “Womanlife”


The product and advice programme “Womanlife”, created by Raiffeisen Versicherung for women, has exceeded all expectations. Under this special programme, women also receive additional benefits in accident insurance: By being placed in a cheaper risk class, premiums for women young and old fall by up to 40%.

The “Circle Womanlife” initiative launched for the exchange of information amongst female Raiffeisen bankers has developed with great promise. The first national meet took place in the Wachau in October. The number of Raiffeisen bankers belonging to the circle has already passed the 1,000 mark. The Internet platform, with tips and suggestions on special WomanLife events, arguments for consultancy and expert tips, is also well used.


  • For three years, the international mobility programme “Go Ahead“ has been an essential part of the training and development programme at the UNIQA Group.

  • With the TopPartner strategy in BrokerService and the new area management in ExclusiveSales, we set new standards in these sales channels in 2006.

  • Raiffeisen Versicherung’s 10th international pensions symposium was held in London in 2006.
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