Krakow offers Universal-Investment optimal conditions to support further growth. Photo: TTstudio Source: iStock

Four questions for Aneta Pilch, branch manager in Krakow

Author: Aneta Pilch

St Mary's Church, the old Jewish quarter Kazimierz, Royal Castle Wawel: Krakow offers a mixture of culture, leisure activities, impressive architecture and even a small, authentic jazz scene. The city is also known for its numerous universities and its economic success. Thus, Krakow offers Universal-Investment optimal conditions to support further growth. The company therefore opened a fully integrated office in winter 2018. In an interview with universal spotlight, Country Head Aneta Pilch gives an insight into the Krakow office scene and some information about herself.

Aneta Pilch, Country Head Poland, Universal-Investment Photo: Manjit Jari Source: Universal-Investment

universal spotlight: How does the Krakow branch support the locations in Frankfurt and Luxembourg? What is your role?

The Polish colleagues complement the teams in Frankfurt am Main and Luxembourg and help in two ways: Firstly, they help us to take care of the daily business for our customers. Secondly, they are an active part of the transformation of Universal-Investment. As planned, Fund Administration is the largest team in Krakow and the number of specialists in this area will certainly be increasing.  Areas like IT, Risk Management and Legal have also expanded their groups in Krakow. Currently, 48 employees work in twelve different departments. And Universal-Investment will build up even more staff in Krakow, as we have not been able to find enough people in the Rhine-Main region for further company growth. There are no plans to relocate jobs. The branch in Poland intends to support the overall growth of Universal-Investments business. In my position as branch manager, I am driving the development and expansion forward and defining strategies and goals.

The branch in Poland intends to support the overall growth of Universal-Investments business.

Aneta Pilch

What did you do prior to joining Universal-Investment?

I worked five and a half years for UBS as Head of Legal, Compliance & Risk, then as Centre Head of Service Delivery with over 900 employees. Prior to that, I spent 12 years with HSBC in Chicago and Krakow, where I moved in 2007 to be part of a team that built the HSBC office here.

What does Poland’s future look like from the perspective of Universal-Investment and the financial industry?

Over the past 15 years, the business services sector has been the fastest growing in Poland. In Krakow alone, over 65,000 employees work in this sector for key global players such as HSBC, State Street and UBS. Krakow has attracted such companies due to availability of talent (over 25 universities with 250,000 students) as well as proximity to major European cities and highly motivated employees. 95 percent of employees in Krakow have at least a Master’s degree. They are able to quickly take on complex tasks due to their specialist expertise. In the future, the demand for highly qualified employees in the financial sector in Poland will continue to increase, while at the same time repetitive activities will be further automated. With its presence in Krakow, Universal-Investment has a great ‘second-mover’ advantage: We can invite top talents to an interview and give them the opportunity to work in this highly specialized financial sector.

What makes Krakow so special in your opinion?

The city is not too small, but not too big either. It offers an attractive mix of culture, various leisure activities and impressive architecture. Despite millions of tourists, many buildings are still almost undiscovered. In Krakow there are good restaurants and, in addition to the theatre, a small but particularly authentic jazz scene. Krakow was the capital of Poland until 1596 and therefore still enjoys the flair of a royal city today.

October 2019 

Author: Aneta Pilch
Date of issue: 12/27/2019