Heinrich Pecina muses on his 15 years working in banking in central and eastern Europe. "It's a strange thing," he says, "but whenever I have worked for a larger institution in the region, after my departure it has ceased to exist." You could call it the curse of Pecina. He started his banking career working for Girozentrale. After he left it in 1990 it was taken over by Erste Bank. He then joined Creditanstalt as head of investment banking, where for the next seven years he built up the firm's brand as one of central and eastern Europe's top investment banks.
He left when Creditanstalt was acquired in a hostile takeover by Bank Austria in 1997. After that, he worked for Union Bank of Switzerland, advising its board on its activities in central and eastern Europe, and had a front-row seat to watch its merger with Swiss Banking Corporation in 1998.
"Witnessing all this M&A activity at first hand has helped me a lot when it comes to advising my clients on acquisitions," says Pecina.
After the UBS merger, Pecina decided the wisest course was to set up his own company, Vienna Capital Partners (VCP), which he did in 1998.