UP&DOWN



PEOPLE UP

Gerard Ryan
Photo: Vl. Weiss
Gerard Ryan
Under the management of its general director, GE Capital Bank increased net profit by 55.3% to CZK 1.5 bn last year – just behind Komerční banka, ČSOB and Česká spořitelna. The number of clients rose by 60,000 to more than 700,000.
Tomáš Šabatka
Photo: archiv
Tomáš Šabatka
The general manager of Frantschach Pulp & Paper is leaving his post after 12 prosperous years, during which he oversaw a successful reconstruction. He was promoted to vice-president of the paper division Mondi Packaging for all of eastern Europe and south Africa.
Martin Roman
Photo: Věroslav Sixt
Martin Roman
The new general manager of ČEZ is this year’s winner of the Manager of the Year Award. He received the prize for achievements in his former position, CEO of Škoda Plzeň, where he started in 1999.

PEOPLE DOWN

Radim Kopáček
Photo: Mafa – J.Bervida
Radim Kopáček
The deputy mayor of Plzeň asked for a bribe of CZK 50,000 for allocating a municiple flat. The corrupt politician, who was convicted by evidence presented in a TV Nova film, resigned from his post and is being investigated by the police.
Milan Volf
Photo: ČTK
Milan Volf
The lord mayor of Kladno resigned from his post in relation to accusations of abusing his position as a public servant. He gave CZK 40 million of municipal money to the Kladno hockey club without consent of the city’s representatives. If found guilty, he could spend three years in prison.
Peter Kovarčík
Photo: Vojtěch Vlk
Peter Kovarčík
The owner of Teleaxis Praha, formerly one of the country’s most renowned sports agents, has cause to worry. The Municipal Court in Prague assigned a preliminary administrator, Jiří Rydvola, to find out why the firm is currently on the verge of bankruptcy.

Kamil Ziegler
Photo: Tomáš Kubeš

Kamil Ziegler: The rocking herald of a new era
FROM APRIL, Kamil Ziegler (41) is the new financial director of PPF, the largest domestic financial group. He came to the firm, which administrates properties valued at CZK 170 billion, from the position of general director of Raiffeisenbank’s Czech branch. By coming in from the outside, he was the only member of top management to crack the “founding fathers” hegemony. “PPF is a group of people who trust each other, and I am pleased they trust me as well, especially when the offer came directly from Petr Kellner, the owner of the group,” says Ziegler. He praises the atmosphere in the company and is looking forward to new projects. Among other tasks, he will be analyzing the possibility of PPF expansion into China. If favorable expectations for that market are confirmed, PPF wants to reach full operability and profitability there in five years.
This manager, who will now control cashflows in the billions, originally wanted to be a chemist, but instead graduated in economics. In 1984, he became a banker with the State Czechoslovak Bank, as the post included an apartment. Since then, his star has been rising – now he can pride himself on his twelve year history within the Czech banking sector, at such institutions as Komerční banka, Česká spořitelna and Konsolidační banka. In person, Ziegler doesn’t come across as a boring financier – he is communicative and optimistic, and he knows how to separate his work and his private life. He spends his free time with his three children, and is an enthusiastic fan of classic rock. He never misses a big concert in Prague. “Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, that’s my thing!” he says. Now this former banker is beginning a new stage in his professional career. “The five-year plan of the general directors is done, a new era has begun,” he laughs.

Vladimír Pikora
Photo: Tomáš Kubeš

Vladimír Pikora: Giving the market an accurate prognosis
WITHOUT EXERTING much effort, Vladimír Pikora (26) has become the new media superstar. During the first three months of this year, this young market analyst from the Czech branch of Volksbank has been quoted 240 times in the media. In the past, his team was awarded best economic prognosis by Hospodářské noviny and B.I.G. agency (November 2001). This representative of a new generation of analysts, which is taking up the torch from Petr Zahradník, Zdeněk Tůma and Jan Sýkora, outdid his rivals completely.
Pikora already had a clear idea of his future when he was studying at high school. “I was always attracted to the financial markets. They are dynamic, there are risks and ongoing changes,” says this professional, who comes highly valued by his parent company and the business sphere. “We mainly comment on things that make money – i.e. the exchange of the crown, interest rates, inflation development, GDP etc,” he says. In addition, Pikora has a gift for providing specialized information in a way that is even understandable to the layman. But even the most quoted Czech analyst has his nightmares. “None of us wish to publish a bad prognosis, but it can happen,” he admits, presenting the example of an imprecise estimate regarding inflation development. “If you believe the government when it says it will increase the tax on water and sewage and then it doesn’t, you can’t do much about the erroneous results,” explains this specialist with a knowing nod of the head, his obsession with work apparent from his demeanor.
He doesn’t have much time for relaxation, since his weekends are spent working on his doctoral thesis at the Institute of Economics, but he does compensate for all that predicting of the future with little trips into the past – he reads historical novels and visits Czech castles. He also likes backpacking through other countries and fooling around on his computer.


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