London-based Dr Sanjeev Kanoria acquires Austrian govt bank Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank

Austrian bank Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank AG announced today the completion of its sale to Anadi Financial Holdings Pte. Ltd., owned by the London-based British-Indian entrepreneur Dr. Sanjeev Kanoria. The deal closed following regulatory approvals of the €65.5m offer, agreed in May this year.

A medical professional, Dr Sanjeev Kanoria is a specialist in liver transplant centers in the UK, holds a PhD from University College London, and an MBA from London Business School where his thesis on reinventing health care was awarded a distinction. He was involved with numerous health care projects at McKinsey & Co, in London.

Dr. Kanoria's family runs the infrastructure financiers SREI, which is reported to be uninvolved in the acquisition.

Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank AG was formerly part of the Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank group which was nationalised in 2009 following the financial crisis.

The regional retail and business banking business Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank AG was then split off, following which it showed positive annual results in 2011 and 2012. The bank has assets of €3.5 billion and services 56,000 clients from 14 branches in the southern  Austrian province off Carinthia and via two subsidiaries in Vienna and Salzburg.

Dr. Martin Czurda, former CEO at Amsterdam Trade Bank and previously at Raiffeisen Zentralbank, has been appointed CEO while Dr. Kanoria, formerly of global consultants McKinsey & Co. and with an MBA from London Business School, will become vice-chairman of the supervisory board. 

Dr. Kanoria said, ''Austria has the lowest unemployment rate in Europe and its balanced economy has outperformed the EU for more than a decade. We have been looking for a bank anchored in European culture with close relationships to clients, and which fits our investment strategy for some time. Hypo Alpe Adria has a solid client base, provides well-established, successful services and the sale process conducted by the Republic of Austria has been transparent and professional.

He continued, ''The new Hypo's future will be defined by stability and professionalism, with customer service and operational efficiency at the heart of its strategy. I have a strong personal interest in the development of the new Hypo and want it to become a jewel in the crown not only of Anadi, but across the sector, as a beacon of good banking practice. Sound ethics will frame the principles of our day-to-day relationships building a triangle of trust between management, employees and customers.''

The bank's new strategy is to focus on low-risk growth built on client satisfaction, team work and operational efficiency. While the bank will focus on existing clients, with customers continuing to receive advice provided from branch-based professionals, new high quality services and competitive products, including mobile banking, online banking and access to new markets overseas, will be launched.

The new bank's business units will expand beyond the existing Carinthia-based regional bank to include direct banking and mobile banking (Carinthia) and a Vienna-based International Trade Bank Europe-India. There are also plans to set up an office in London to support trade between the UK, Europe and emerging economies.

New CEO Dr. Czurda said, ''All Austrian and European banking regulations and guarantees remain unchanged under the new ownership. The Bank will ensure security of deposits and all deposits remain protected by the national Austrian deposit insurance. Austria's central location in the EU, stability and regulatory framework make it an excellent place to do business. As a bridgehead for the new links we intend to build in particular between the EU and India, we can provide an outstanding service.''

Current members of the management board Gerhard Salzer, Mag Friedrich Racher and Mag Peter Lazar will continue in their present roles.

Salzer said,  ''For the first time in years we can work without being burdened by the problems of Hypo Alpe Adria group and provide service to our clients. Invigorated and with a new drive and with our in-depth understanding of their wishes and needs – and certainly also with new ideas – we will offer reliable and local support to our clients for achieving their business objectives.''

In the coming months, the new Hypo will continue to be named Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank AG. Later in 2014 a new name and corporate design will be developed and launched.