VIENNA Senior executives from Raiffeisen Bank International (RBIV.VI) will stay on and dominate the board of the combined company once a planned merger with its parent Raiffeisen Zentralbank [RZB.UL] is confirmed next year, the Austrian firms said on Wednesday.
Under the plan, which will be put to shareholders for final approval in January, parent company RZB will be merged into central and eastern Europe specialist RBI, with RZB shareholders receiving RBI stock in exchange.
RBI's Chief Risk Officer Johann Strobl will take over as chief executive of a combined company once the merger takes effect, the companies confirmed. Strobl, 57, was seen as the front-runner for the job after Heinrich Schaller, head of Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberoesterreich, pulled out of the race.
"He (Strobl) knows and understands both Raiffeisen as well as our Austrian and CEE (central and eastern Europe) home market and knows how to communicate with the capital market and the supervisory authorities," the said the companies, which planned the merger mainly to bolster RZB's capital buffer.
RBI finance chief Martin Gruell will stay on in that role at the combined firm, they said. Of the remaining four board posts announced, three went to people already on RBI's management board, with Klemens Breuer, head of markets and retail, also taking on the role of deputy chief executive.
Strobl and Walter Rothensteiner, the head of RZB, will hold a news conference in Vienna at 9 a.m. (0800 GMT) on Thursday, the companies said.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Kirsti Knolle and Louise Heavens)