Advisory Board | Austria Forum
Expert on Sustainable
Solutions, Klaus Bergsmann
Born on December 6, 1956 in Upper Austria. After graduating from the HTL Mödling/Mechanical Engineering, Klaus Bergsmann was an assistant at the HTL Mödling and at the same time completed his studies in economics at the University of Vienna. Further education followed in the field of cultural management, project management, various bank management trainings and environmental management.
Since 19982 he has held various positions in the financial sector (Girozentrale, Erste Bank and Erste Group). Among others, Klaus Bergsmann was board secretary, head of the savings banks department, responsible for the acquisition of various Austrian savings banks (including Knittelfeld, Hainburg, Salzburg, Mühlviertel-West, …) for both Girozentrale and Erste Bank. The biggest challenge was the purchase and integration of Ceska sporitel’ňa (Czech savings bank) into Erste Group.
This was followed by responsibility for building up the international insurance business in Sparkassen Versicherungs-AG, with new start-ups or the re-organization of life insurance companies in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia and Romania. The engagement in the insurance industry was completed with the
responsibility for negotiations of a long-term cooperation agreement between Vienna Insurance Group and Erste Group combined with the sale of Erste Group’s entire insurance activities to VIG.
In the last years of his professional career, Klaus Bergsmann built up the topic of sustainability in Erste Group and was Sustainability Officer for the entire Erste Group. The main focus was on the introduction of environmental sustainability in banking operations, the development of comprehensive sustainability reporting and the implementation of the new
regulatory requirements through the “Green Deal” of the European Commission.
In April 2020, Klaus Bergsmann retired after 42 years of professional activity and has since been working as an independent management consultant for “sustainable solutions”.
Klaus Bergsmann is a member of the “Erste Responsible Advisory Board” of Erste Asset Management and of the advisory board for the “Erste WWF Stock Environment Fund”, an investment fund of Erste Group that is oriented towards strict sustainability criteria. He is also a member of the
Rotary Club Mödling and is active as a parish councilor in the parish of Maria Enzersdorf.
Institutional Capital Associates
Dr. Sascha Lafeld
Head of Carbon Offsetting &
Green Energy Services
Managing Director and Founder
rfu – Mag. Reinhard Friesenbichler Unternehmensberatung
Studied Business Administration at Graz University after being trained as a mechanical engineer. He completed his business studies by handing in his final paper with the topic of “Ethical Investment”. His first professional activities included work as an engineer, business journalist and Managing Director of a financial services provider.
Since 1997, he has had his own company rfu Business Consulting, Vienna, specialized in sustainable investment. Various teaching assignments and functions in Supervisory Boards, activities as an examiner and auditor as well as numerous publications.
Impact Investing Institute
Sarah leads the Institute’s team and works closely with the Board, the Advisory Council and external stakeholders to deliver the Institute’s strategy. She is also in charge of the Institute’s policy and advocacy work around green+ sovereign bonds, impact reporting and social investment.
Before Sarah was appointed CEO of the Impact Investing Institute in July 2019, she was Business Editor at the Financial Times, where she worked for 18 years. Prior to working at the Financial Times, Sarah worked in emerging markets fund management for Citigroup’s asset management business and at Foreign & Colonial, where her role included reviewing political and economic events, and producing analysis of the global economy. She started her career working for the UN Conference for Trade and Development’s debt management programme in Geneva.
Sarah is a non-executive director of Social Finance, a Companion at the Chartered Management Institute and a Visiting Professor at the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at Kings College London. She was also formerly a trustee of CSV, one of the UK’s largest volunteering charities. Sarah is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Head of Sustainability Certification
Susanne Hasenhüttl started at ÖGUT (Austrian Society for Environment and Technology) as scientific project manager in the field of “Ecological Economics”. Subsequently she built up the thematic area “Sustainable Financial Markets and Green Investment” at ÖGUT and has been leading projects in this area ever since. Since 2004 she has been head of Sustainability Audit for severance payment funds and pension funds. Furthermore, Susanne Hasenhüttl offers further education for financial advisors on the topic of sustainable investments.
Susanne Hasenhüttl is a member of various advisory boards and juries, e.g. the ASRA jury for the best sustainability reports or the GREEN BRANDS jury. She was also a committee member of the FNG label for sustainable mutual funds. Since March 2018, Susanne Hasenhüttl has been a member of the management board of the crowdinvesting platform Crowd4Climate – a platform financing climate mitigation and adaption projects worldwide.
Victor van Hoorn
Victor is and attorney-at-law admitted to the New York and Amsterdam bar. He holds theFrench and Dutch citizenship.
Dr. Heidrun Kopp
CEO and Founder
Sustainable Finance Institute Inafina
Heidrun Kopp is the Founder and CEO of the Institute of the Vienna based „ Sustainable Finance Institute“.
Inafina (www.inafina.org) was established to connect society (private individuals and beyond) to financial institutions with an visible active ecological & social engagement and a clear vision towards sustainable finance. Part of the Insitute’s mission is to foster capacity building for sustainable finance activities via green financial literacy.
In 2016 Kopp published a textbook at the Springer Verlag to discuss the role and relevance of sustainability rating agencies titled „Nachhaltiges Finanzwesen: Rating statt Raten!“. The first „Sustainable Finance Summit Vienna 2020“ was organized as a forum for stakeholders interested in Sustainable Finance. Ms. Kopp also created and hosts the Podcast „Green Money Talks“.
She has long-time experience in Banking with focus on Central- and Eastern Europe. Apart from her academic education in Vienna she holds two master degrees successfully finished in Vienna, London and USA.
ESG Plus Austria
Elisabeth Müller heads the Austrian business of ESG Plus, a social impact company that develops innovative and sustainable solutions for the financial market. ESG Plus is currently operating in Austria and Germany and provides cutting edge financial services to multiple market stakeholders. Previously Elisabeth Müller held senior positions at UNIDO and was responsible for international sustainability programs mainly in South-East Asia and Latin America. Afterwards, she joined WWF Austria as Head of ‘Financial Markets and Climate’ division. Elisabeth Müller graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science with a specialization in environmental and social impacts along global value chains. She is committed to transparency, to a sustainable financial market and to enable more opportunities for female leaders.
Dr. Reinhard Paulesich
Vienna University of Economics and Business
Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development
Reinhard Paulesich: is a retired economist at the WUW MLGD affiliated to the Socioeconomic
Department. He began as a research fellow for development policies at the Vienna Institute
of Development Policies at the beginning of the 80ies of the last century. At the beginning
of the 90ies he shifted both research focus and University from development to ecological
economics. He got several national awards for research on participative and co-operative
management in multi national firms.
As environmental regulation density increased environmental management and integrated
quality and occupational health & safety issues came into focus. Subsequently his concept
for qualifying EMAS certifiers on Austrian national level for their social and communicative
expertise was defined as a national standard. With the Millennium shift he focussed his research
and lecturing to ethical ecological analyses of firms and regions, first capital market
then credit market oriented. The intention is to increase risk opportunity awareness of firms
and regions regarding their sustainability policies by introducing a sustainability rating. This
rating is for the use of strategy development as well as for sustainability engaged investors
and business supporting institutions.
September, 2011, he started as a partner of a consortium of 6 universities a Trans European
Executive Programme in Corporate Social Responsibility – TEMPO HEI (www.csr-tempo.eu)
for four years. Recently he teaches economic policy at the University of Applied Sciences
The Institute works closely with numerous international networks and is an important member
of the scientific community in the field of regional and environmental economics, and is
committed to upholding the high standards of this community. The Institute believes in an
interdisciplinary approach to practical and theoretical questions. Particular emphasis is
placed on providing future managers, scientists and policy makers with the tools to recognize
the most important contributing factors leading to dynamic corporate structures and
attractive, sustainable communities and regions.
Managing Director and Board Member
fair-finance Asset Management
Dr. Klaus Reisinger
Klaus Reisinger is a passionate climate protector, which is why he also studied technical
chemistry / process engineering and already devoted his dissertation to renewable energies.
From 2003 to 2015 he was managing director of ALLPLAN GmbH and during this time also
founded the company ClimatePartner Austria, where he is still active at times. In 2018 he
found his professional home as a partner of iC consulenten Ziviltechniker GesmbH. Klaus
Reisinger is there responsible for building technology and is highly intrinsic motivated about
planning climate-neutral properties.
Moreover, Klaus Reisinger is a visiting professor at Burgenland University since 2008 and
teaches the topic “climate protection” there and in autumn 2018 he was appointed to the
board of IG Lebenszyklus Bau, where he is responsible for climate neutral real estate
Dr. Andreas Rickert
CEO and Founder, PHINEO
Director of the former program ‘civil society’ at the Bertelsmann Foundation. Andreas also
worked as Senior Governance Specialist at the World Bank in Washington D.C. Prior to this
he was Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, Inc. globally working on public
sector and healthcare projects in Bahrain, The Netherlands, UK and Switzerland. He
studied Biology and completed his Ph.D. on genetics in Germany and the United States.
Andreas serves on various boards such as the expert group of the European Commission
on social entrepreneurship (GECES) and is member of the German Council for Sustainable
Development. His large network comprises top level decision makers in the private, public
and third sectors. He has specific expertise in public private partnerships, corporate social
responsibility (CSR), sustainability, impact investing, social business and philanthropy. At
PHINEO he is responsible for the organization’s overall strategy, strategic partnerships as
well as external representation.
Chairman of the Board