Anniversary book: A journey through time
The anniversary book is dedicated to the people who have helped write and shape the company’s history. It tells the story of the Bank and its staff community, revealing the concept on which this symbiosis is based, and also explores some less well-known aspects of VP Bank. It looks, for example, into the philanthropic side of the company’s founder Princely Councillor of Commerce Guido Feger, whose foundation, today the company’s principal anchor shareholder, donates large amounts of its income to charitable purposes. The book’s design enables readers to follow the thought process of the founder and of VP Bank’s other leading figures and committees. It provides interesting insights into why VP Bank developed in the way it did, shows what lasting impact the Bank’s most illustrious characters had on the company, and highlights the values that have always guided the Bank as a business and as an employer and continue to do so today.
“The book links VP Bank’s characteristics, our ideas and history with those typical of a traditional family company with a long-term outlook. I like this portrayal of the company’s exceptional corporate culture very much, because it focuses on the human element, something that has always been central to the company”, explained Fredy Vogt, Chairman of the Board of Directors, in summing up the book’s content. The book also examines the Bank’s roots in Liechtenstein, a country that VP Bank has been very actively involved in since its foundation 60 years ago.
Focusing on people
The future is always a reflection of the past. This is true for both people and companies. In the case of VP Bank, its origins and long-standing values are most clearly reflected in the values embodied by the people who have helped to shape it: in the Bank’s management and its employees, who together act as the face of the company. The anniversary book effectively conveys this people focus. Among its central messages is the following: “While the path taken by the Bank during the past 60 years has been characterised by stability and trust, its journey has also seen major challenges, upheaval and innovations. People have always been and always will be at the heart of the Bank’s activities. This anniversary book, which includes anecdotes and many personal memories, likewise focuses on people. After all, what sets VP Bank apart cannot really be expressed in pure facts and figures. Instead, what stands out is the cooperation and unity exhibited by the company’s employees.”
The anniversary book moreover emphasises how deeply we are influenced by our environment, and how much we need each other in order to progress. It presents the history of VP Bank in the context of the zeitgeist. Featuring a timeline running through the entire book, it lists important events occurring in Liechtenstein, on the financial centre and in the global arena. It does not only mark 1956 as the year in which the Bank’s founder, Princely Councillor of Commerce Guido Feger received a license to run a banking business, it also mentions that VP Bank’s foundation year was the year in which Liechtenstein celebrated 150 years of sovereignty, in which the country received Hungarian refugees and in which Elvis Presley rose to international fame.
Foresight as a guiding principle
VP Bank has had to contend with its fair share of challenges over the years, and the book gives an outline of these too, in addition to the Bank’s most significant milestones since its founding in 1956. It describes, for example, the events of 1969 when VP Bank became the first bank in Liechtenstein to introduce a salary account for cashless payment transactions – named the “personal account” – as well as the Swiss Cheque. In a further first for Liechtenstein, the Bank put an ATM into operation in December 1970 and one year later introduced the night safe. 1974, the year in which VP Bank became the first bank in Liechtenstein to open itself up and give up shares to the public and its employees, also features. The book also underscores the most important milestones on the Bank’s journey to becoming an international banking institution. It mentions the year 1988, for instance, in which VP Bank significantly strengthened its international activities by establishing VP Finance (Luxembourg) S.A. and setting up VPB Finanz Ltd in Zürich, which were later followed by locations in Tortola (British Virgin Islands), Singapore, Hong Kong and Moscow. But it also explores some of the more topical issues facing the banking industry, such as low interest rates and high density of regulation. Even though economic conditions may remain difficult, VP Bank looks to the future with optimism, and is steadfastly focused on its primary strategic objective of ensuring that the Group continues to grow profitably while maintaining its autonomy and independence.