Career Lounge

Diversity at VIG

Diversity in the business environment is a highly discussed topic, especially in the field of staff and personnel development. At Vienna Insurance Group diversity is daily experienced. This may be recognized by more than 20 different languages spoken and 26 nationalities of employees – only in the headquarter in Vienna.  

Get to know some of our employees’ personal backgrounds and professional careers:

Svetla Nestorova

Svetla Nestorova

General Manager, Bulstrad Life
Country: Bulgaria

-    At Bulstrad since 2004, with VIG since 2006 (acquisition of Bulstrad by VIG)
-    In current position since 2006
-    Responsibilities: General Management

My VIG story
I had already been at VIG for a while and thought that I knew everything. But then I realised that I had some learning to do. I may have been a VIG employee, but I wasn’t VIG through and through until I took part in the IEDC Leadership Development Programme in Bled in Slovenia in 2011. I met some amazing people there, both professionally and privately, from all over CEE – people who I can now call friends.
I discovered how rewarding it can be to work with a diverse group of intelligent, professional people who are keen to learn. We were pushed to our limits, and honed our skills, learned new things and searched for answers together. The programme lasted for about a year, and I didn’t return as a VIG employee but as a VIG fan!
When I started at Bulstrad, we were ranked sixth in the life market. Every improvement in our market share since then was a milestone which strengthened my belief that nothing is impossible in my job.

What it means to be part of VIG
VIG is a phenomenon, and having access to the Group’s wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise is a huge advantage. You can’t even begin to count the number of years of market experience which the Group companies have built up. Regional experience is the most decisive factor.
No matter what the situation, you can just pick up the phone and speak to someone who can help. There is always a specialist who is available to give you advice and support. And even if that person doesn’t know the answer, they always know someone who does.

My advice for new (female) VIG employees

Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to choose between your private life and your work! It’s just not true that they are mutually exclusive. I have a wonderful family. A husband and two kids who need their mother. And I’m there for them. The same goes for lots of women in our team, and of course for the men too! (Laughs)
In my experience, a rewarding career enriches your family life and vice versa. It’s up to you. You can have one or the other, or both. And VIG is the perfect place to find the right balance.

Christine Dornaus

Christine Dornaus

Managing Board member, Wiener Städtische Versicherung
Country: Austria

- At VIG since 2002
- In current position since June 2009
- Responsibilities: securities and funds, investment management and loans, real estate and real estate related investments, finance and accounting, collections service centre

What it means to be part of VIG

It means being part of an Austrian and also an international success story. The staff event we held for the inauguration of CEO Peter Hagen gave me a real taste of the strong sense of togetherness in the Group. For me, this close cooperation within the Group is one of the secrets of VIG’s success.

My personal success factors
I believe there are four factors which have helped me to be successful:
1)    a team which pulls its weight
2)    a boss who backs me up
3)    a family that supports my career
4)    hard work

My advice for new VIG employees
Put all of your energy into getting as much as you can out of your work and channelling it into your personal development.

What makes VIG special in comparison to other international companies
The individual professionalism at VIG is something really special.

Daniela Lemmel-Seedorf

Daniela Lemmel-Seedorf

Investor Relations Assistant, Vienna Insurance Group
Country: Austria
Hobbies, interests and home life: opera, theatre, history

My VIG story
I had heard a lot of good things about VIG as an employer from a friend of mine who had been working for the Group for just under a year. When the time came for a change in my career, I submitted an unsolicited application to the Recruiting team and soon received an invitation to attend an initial interview. Everything snowballed from there really: Investor Relations was looking for a new assistant to take over at short notice, which opened the door to me at VIG in February 2011.
I didn’t really have any fixed ideas about what to expect in the Investor Relations department, but the sheer variety of tasks that I was given responsibility for came as a very positive surprise. Alongside my standard office management and travel planning responsibilities, I also have a hand in the IR section of the VIG website. Every day is different and brings fresh challenges with it.

My career
After graduating from Vienna University in theatre studies and ethnology I was given the opportunity to accumulate valuable experience as a management assistant at the division “European Computer Driving Licence” (ECDL) of the non-profit foundation “Austrian Computer Association”. I was involved in building up the ECDL and helped to shape the development of computer application certificates over the years, as well as organising and holding workshops. During this time I also found time to start a family. But after 12 years I felt that it was time for a new challenge.

What’s special about my job at VIG
Working in a large group was a completely new experience for me. I attach great importance to a friendly working atmosphere, and I like to know that my work is appreciated. As far as that’s concerned, VIG has more than exceeded my expectations. I go to work motivated and with a spring in my step each day. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to say that.