The Grand Decoration of Honor was awarded on 8 June by Federal Minister Dr. Margarete Schramböck


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Sonja Sarközi is honored with the Grand Decoration of Honor for Services to the Republic of Austria

A remarkable career reached a new peak with the award of the Grand Medal of Honor for Services to the Republic of Austria on June 8, 2020.

From the account manager of a branch of a large Austrian bank to the CEO of Sberbank Europe with responsibility for 8 markets in CEE and Germany - this is Sonja Sarközi's extraordinary career, which above all paved the way for the successful development of direct banking in Austria.

Sonja Sarközi had strategically developed easybank before it acquired its first customer and then had been leading it to over 500,000 highly satisfied clients for 20 years. From 2011, every consecutive year easybank was honoured with the Recommender Award as the best direct bank with the absolute highest net promoter score of all Austrian banks. With its tireless commitment to exceptional service and simple, transparent digital products, it paved the way for innovative digital banking.

In 2017, this was the reason for Sberbank - one of the world's largest banks – to invite Sonja Sarközi to the Management Board of Sberbank Europe, with 8 markets in CEE and Germany, to lead its retail banking into the digital future. On her best way to achieve this, she was appointed CEO of Sberbank Europe just one year later.

Sigi Wolf, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Sberbank Europe, sees his decision as confirmed by the very positive development in all markets: “Due to her particular experience in direct banking, Sonja Sarközi had long been our preferred candidate. She has confirmed her appointment sustainably. Sonja more than deserves this award."

Sonja Sarközi is pleased that her achievements are recognized and attributes her success to two main things: “Direct banking was a challenge in 1996 with an uncertain outcome regarding acceptance on the market. For me it was the right step into a fascinating future. And you are only as good as your team. We responded quickly to people's needs and developed products and services that were unique. A basic attitude that also guides me in my current role as CEO of Sberbank Europe.”

The Grand Decoration of Honor for Services to the Republic of Austria was awarded on 8 June, 2020 in the Great Marble Hall of the Ministry of Economy by Federal Minister Dr. Margarete Schramböck.

About Sberbank Europe Group

Sberbank Europe (Sberbank Europe AG), headquartered in Vienna, Austria, is a banking group 100% owned by Sberbank of Russia, which is the largest Russian bank. Sberbank Europe Group is present in eight markets in Central and Eastern Europe: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia and Serbia. Sberbank Europe Group has around 740 thousand customers, operates 188 branches, and employs over 3,900 employees across Europe. The total assets of Sberbank Europe amount to EUR 12.1 bn (as of 31 December 2019). 

Photo credits: Andreas Tischler

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