On March 15, 2018, we were privileged to host Dkfm. Dr. Claus J. Raidl, President of the National Bank of Austria (OeNB – Oesterreichische Nationalbank) as part of the Fireplace Talks at Lauder Business School. During the session, Dr. Raidl offered insights into the OeNB’s mandate, its decision-making bodies, the tasks of the central bank as well as the current challenges facing the OeNB, the Euro Area and the EU.

In the session introduction by our Executive Director, Mr. Alexander Zirkler, we learned that Dr. Raidl was one of the founders of the Lauder Business School, as in the formation year of LBS (2003) he was the president of the FH Council (Fachhochschulrat). In the early years of LBS, he played a part in the development of the LBS curricula and accreditation process, and he was extremely pleased to visit LBS and to see it flourishing in the past decade.

The OeNB is the independent central bank of the Republic of Austria. Together with the European Central Bank (ECB) and the other euro area central banks, their mission is to safeguard the stability of the euro and to support sound economic development. Moreover, the OeNB makes an essential contribution to securing price stability and financial stability. Dr. Raidl explained that one of the challenges of the OeNB is its mission to support the EU and the EU integration, as in the past couple of years Europe has seen the rise of anti-European sentiment. Moreover, he expressed his thoughts on the EU as a paradox, “The ones in the EU want to go out, and the ones out want to get in! This continues to surprise me, as the EU and the euro are a huge success story”.

In closing, Dr. Raidl answered students’ questions and led an open discussion with the audience. The most interesting insights were his daily tasks, personal leadership style and the qualifications necessary to become a team member of the OeNB. Furthermore, he gave his critical opinion on cryptocurrencies and the “banks without bankers” movement.

The major takeaway for the LBS students and our future leaders was Dr. Raidl quoting Napolean: “What is the basic problem?” He encouraged the students to listen to the closest critical voices and not to lose focus, as one of the major challenges is the ability to get to the bottom of the problem.

We thank Dr. Raidl for his visit and for the very inspiring Fireplace Talk at LBS!

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