A long tradition in steel-making and a passion for innovation: The history and structure of Italian manufacturer Acciaierie Bertoli Safau SpA (ABS) created the perfect foundation for the company to develop a unique ability to meet the needs of the most demanding markets around the world. As one of the leading players in steel production, ABS prides itself on the quality of its products and services, and is striving to further enhance its competitive edge with a three-pronged focus on sustainability.
Why do so many incompetent men become leaders? – A question that might spark many a heated discussion. For psychologist and author Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic it is also the title of choice for his current publication. European Business talked to the Argentinean-born scientist about the mistake of equating confidence with competence and the current ignorance of scientific data in public debate.
Enjoying the freedom of the open road on two wheels is an intrinsic piece of modern American mythology. No bike expresses this more than the hand-made, customized machines ARCH Motorcycle Company, which was founded on the idea of redefining the American performance cruiser. European Business talked to Gard Hollinger, joint-founder of ARCH Motorcycle Company about where he finds inspiration for his motorcycle designs, having a Hollywood star as a partner and whether he has a favourite bike in the new portfolio.
For 700 years, water has bubbled up from an underground spring and cascaded through the Tamina Gorge in Switzerland at a constant temperature of 36.5°C. How kind of nature to supply bathing water at the perfect temperature for human enjoyment. Although it was first discovered by huntsmen in 1242 and bath houses were first erected in 1350, it was not until the railway first reached Ragaz further down the valley that “taking the waters” there really took off. Today, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz AG presides over a portfolio that includes a 5-star hotel, health spa, casino and medical centre; all of which are only here today because of a 700-year-old thermal spring.
Often the foundation of a company leads to a thriving success when it involves a personal story and the founder himself is driven by passion for his well-aimed vision. This is truly the case with Cair LGL whose founder survived serious illness and knew from his own experience which medical products would best meet patients’ and healthcare professionals’ needs in the fields of infusion, chemotherapy, nutrition and suction. Georges Gaston Lopez, the founder of Cair LGL, experienced from a patient’s point of view how to improve treatment of patients with kindey-failure and make life more liveable in the long run.
If one thing is certain in life, it is uncertainty. Things happen: Illness, fire, accidents, death and a myriad of other calamities can occur. Fortunately, humanity came up with insurance, which, while not a solution or prevention against strokes of fate, provides financial support when times get tough. AXA is one of the biggest names in the insurance sector, and among the companies under its umbrella is L’Ardenne Prévoyante in Belgium. L’Ardenne Prévoyante provides insurance to the French-speaking regions of the country, focusing on private customers as well as small and medium-sized businesses. CEO Vincent Lambert spoke with European Business about how things are changing in the insurance business and how the company continues moving forward.
The combination of seven different business units under one umbrella has proved the secret of entrepreneurial success for G’s Group Holding. The Czech group was founded in 2008 and is one of market leaders in the country and neighbouring Hungary when it comes to the production and packaging of salad, plants and other vegetables.
For longer distances, flying may get you where you want to go faster than taking the bus, but you will invariably miss out on a lot on the way. And, in this age of flight shame, bus travel beats flying hands down from an environmental perspective. Italian bus company Inter Saj Srl has been offering passenger services since 1925, and believes there is still plenty of mileage in its business model.
Finance & Real Estate
According to surveys Switzerland’s banks enjoy a superb reputation abroad – not only in terms of competence, safety and integrity but also regarding ethical values. They are world leaders in the international financial industry and acclaimed for providing quality services professionally and discreetly. Banca Zarattini & Co. SA is one of those Swiss banks – and known for remaining close to clients and far from risks.
When travelling for business or pleasure, travel insurance is often a vital and sometimes overlooked component. Security and safety are major concerns for many people when they are enjoying time away from home. Europaeiske Rejseforsikrings A/S, headquartered in Copenhagen, has over 95 years of experience in providing customers with peace of mind.
Despite its position as Italy's leading software house for corporate treasury management and financial planning, Piteco S.p.A. is still setting itself challenging goals; one of the most important is continued growth. Founded in 1980, the company has already seen extensive change in the market, and is striving to remain at the forefront of future developments.
There is a special feeling that finds us when we step into certain places. Sometimes those places make us feel safe and comfortable, sometimes they remind us of other places we have lived. Often it is a combination, but always, they create a sensation that is universally identifiable: It is the feeling of home. Utleiemegleren AS understands better than anyone the feeling of home and what it means. By bridging the gap between landlords and tenants, Utleiemegleren ensures satisfaction and more meaningful relationships.
The world is getting smaller: not literally of course, but the march of globalization and digitalization means that we are all far more aware of what is happening in other regions of the world. In particular, images and information about the conditions in which citizens live and work in developing countries has made many people pause for thought. Banks and wealth managers in particular are experiencing the effects of this increasing awareness. Many clients are no longer content to allow the professionals to simply invest on their behalf; they demand that their money is used for social improvement around the globe. Belgian firm Incofin Investment Management is a specialist in so-called impact investment.
The housing market for affordable homes has experienced dramatic changes recently. People who survive on a low income or need extra support are literally left out in the cold. The Belgian Wallonia is a challenged region with an unemployment rate of 20% in some areas. Here, the social institution Centr’Habitat SCRL has set off to create living space for people in need.
Developing houses that are welcomed by their owners is relatively easy in the higher end of the market. Achieving this for the average citizen by developing well-designed apartments that allow for several functions and increase in value over time is an art in itself. Victoria Dom S.A. is a Polish family-owned project developer with a clear vision of residential development. The company is currently active in Warsaw and Berlin. With sales exceeding 1,000 apartments per year, the future is looking bright for this lean and profitable organisation. Victoria Dom S.A is headquartered in Warsaw.
Cash flow problems are one of the biggest threats to solvency that small and medium-sized companies face. When a company’s capital is tied up in stock or assets that will not be realized until a point in the distant future, it can threaten the company’s ability to cover immediate day-to-day outgoings or vital investment. Auxiga Group International makes it possible for companies to put up these assets as collateral against bank loans that protect their solvency until a profit can be realized.
One of the most dynamic sectors of corporate finance is mergers and acquisitions. Hundreds of companies change hands for a variety of different reasons each year with big and not-so-big transactions taking place around the world. DC Advisory advises and oversees around 200 such transactions each year. Of these, more than half involve cross-border expertise – something DC Advisory possesses in abundance.
At first glance, aviation and the real estate sectors do not seem to have anything in common. The reality is that the synergies are probably few and far between, but nevertheless, the Belgian Noordco Group operates successfully in both sectors. The company’s secret to combining such an unlikely pairing? The common vision and values that Noordco applies to both areas of its business.
An initiative that starts locally and originates in dissatisfaction with a particular sector may expand into a relevant challenger of that sector at a national level and beyond. A case in point is LON d.d., a bank that offers clear and personal financial services to Slovenian consumers and companies alike. Currently, LON has national coverage in Slovenia, with eleven branch offices, 125 employees and total assets of 265 million EUR, and is looking across its borders at surrounding markets. LON is headquartered in Kranj, about 30 kilometers northwest of the capital Ljubljana.