Laszlo Wolf: Leading with technology
As part of Euromoney's 50th anniversary coverage, we profile some of the biggest names that we interviewed for our May CEE focus.
When Laszlo Wolf joined OTP in 1993, the bank was controlled by the Hungarian state and undergoing a painful restructuring to prepare it for life in the private sector. Twenty-five years on, it has a balance sheet of more than €10 billion and a banking network that stretches from Russia to the Balkans.
So how did a state-run Hungarian savings bank become a regional powerhouse? Wolf says a big factor in the group’s success was its early focus on technology.
“We started actively developing our IT systems as early as 1993 and were also well ahead of the curve on ATMs and mobile banking via SMS,” he says.
He also cites management continuity – OTP has been led by chairman Sándor Csányi since 1992 – and a rigorous approach to capital and risk management as differentiating factors.