When Wien Holding was created in 1974, it was unique in Europe as an experiment in public-private partnership. Today, the holding brings together 75 separate companies under its umbrella. Although the holding is in the ownership of the city of Vienna, the majority of its companies are run independently as for-profit organizations or as non-profit public services.
“The companies within the holding all fulfil roles intended to make Vienna a more attractive place to live and work, and to attract business to the city,” says Managing Director Sigrid Oblak. The 75 larger companies that make up Wien Holding are joined by around 25 smaller projectbased entities. All operate in the areas of culture, real estate, logistics and the media.
Many are former public services that have been privatized. “A wave of privatizations throughout the 1990s sought to bring the agility and funding of the private sector into the public service domain,” says Ms. Oblak. “It saw an injection of private capital into some of the most important of Vienna’s assets. Amongst these are beacon enterprises such as the Wiener Stadthalle, one of the biggest exhibition and congress centers in Europe.
“Theater and cultural events play a major role in the attractivity of Vienna as do practical considerations such as business transport infrastructure and property development,” outlines Ms. Oblak. “With over 3,000 employees across the various organizations within the holding, we play an important role in maximizing quality of life and creating attractive jobs by tempting major companies to set up here.”
The companies within the holding all fulfil roles intended to make Vienna a more attractive place to live and work, and to attract business to the city. Sigrid OblakManaging Director
Wien Holding is the motor behind all of the improvements the city of Vienna has instigated in pursuit of these aims. Its success has made it a role model for others to follow. “Our success brings its own challenges,” notes Ms. Oblak. “Vienna is growing by as many as 30,000 new inhabitants each year. We have to make sure that the city can absorb such high influx rates by building more residential units and the social services to go with them. Our work is never finished.”