Live panel – CEE Forward: Future Engines of Growth
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Live panel – CEE Forward: Future Engines of Growth

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Date: Wednesday 30 September 2020

Time: 1:30pm BST

In a post-Covid world, competitiveness will be more important than ever. The heads of Erste Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and leading regional private equity firm Mid Europa Partners discussed how Central and Eastern Europe can take advantage of a changing global environment in a post-Covid world.

Key highlights included: 

  • How CEE can build on its tech strength to develop the knowledge economy 

  • The EU Recovery Fund, building back better and sustainability challenges 

  • Convergence 2.0: achieving deeper political and cultural integration with western Europe 

  • CEE’s image problem: the gap between perception and reality

Watch the recording now


Lucy Fitzgeorge-Parker, ESG Editor / Emerging Europe Editor, Euromoney

Lucy Fitzgeorge-Parker is ESG and Emerging Europe Editor. She started her career in banking before switching to journalism in 2003. She has been a regular contributor to Euromoney and Global Capital since 2010, covering emerging markets, banking and capital markets.



Jurgen Rigterink, Acting President, EBRD

Jürgen Rigterink became the EBRD's Acting President in July 2020, when the Bank's sixth President, Sir Suma Chakrabarti, ended his second term.

Mr Rigterink also oversees the Client Services Group which is comprised of the Banking and Policy & Partnerships departments. He has overall responsibility for implementation of Banking and Policy objectives, ensuring that EBRD investments, policy engagement and advisory services deliver the maximum transition impact in EBRD’s countries of operations. Before he came to the EBRD in 2018, Mr Rigterink was the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of FMO, the Dutch Development Bank.

Before his time at FMO, he worked in the private sector at ABN AMRO where he ran the company’s activities in Kazakhstan and held a number of senior positions including Sector Head of Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.


Bernd Spalt, CEO, Erste Group

Bernhard Spalt has built his entire career within Erste Group, having joined in 1991 straight out of university. He has held multiple board-level positions in Central and Eastern Europe and at holding company level, spearheading several strategic repositioning undertakings.

He was member of the management board and CRO in Romania (2017), Slovakia (2015-16) and Hungary (2012-15). He had previously also served as CRO of Erste Group (2006-12), having managed the establishment of the group’s Strategic Risk Management division. Prior to that he was the driving force behind bad loan management in the Czech Republic and thus played a key role in the successful turnaround of Ceska sporitelna (1999-2002).

Bernhard currently serves as Chief Risk Officer at Erste Group’s Austrian subsidiary Erste Bank Oesterreich. He earned a master’s degree in Law from the University of Vienna in 1992.

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Thierry Baudon, Chair Invest Europe and Founder Mid Europa

Thierry is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Mid Europa Partners. Until 2016, Thierry led Mid Europa Partners as its Managing Partner. He subsequently became Executive Chairman until the end of 2018. In June 2018 Thierry was elected as Chair of Invest Europe (the European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, formerly known as EVCA) for 2019/2020. He has over 35 years of transaction and general management experience, including investing in Central Eastern Europe since 1985. Previously, he headed the International Finance Division of the SUEZ Group, and held senior positions with the EBRD and World Bank/IFC Group.

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