Innovation Lions Among Banking Sheep: Jarosław Augustyniak

Innovative concepts in banking and finance do not come around near as often as in other fields of business. However, a recent SABRE Award winner, Idea Bank, proves even traditionally conservative businesses can think outside the box. 

Courtesy Jaroslaw Augustyniak's Lion's Bank

Courtesy Jaroslaw Augustyniak’s Lion’s Bank

Last month in London, the tenth edition of the prestigious SABRE Awards set out to reward PR excellence from a selection of some 400 projects from 40 countries. One such project, “Pride Entrepreneurs”, was a highly innovative and unique financial sector campaign aimed at the Polish SME sector. The brainchild of the outside the box thinkers at Idea Bank SA, the focus of Pride Entrepreneurs was to actually shine the spotlight on that company’s customers, SMEs and entrepreneurs. To find out what makes Idea Bank’s reinvention of customer allegiance so unique, it’s necessary to introduce the bank’s CEO, Jaroslaw Augustyniak (below right).

Augustyniak is from Elblag, a medium sized city on the river of the same name, close-by to the Baltic Sea in northern Poland. Educated at the School of Economics in Warsaw (1996), as well as having studied at the University of Vienna (1997) and the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland (1998). This free thinking entrepreneur cut his teeth at KPMG and Siemens Finance, and climbed the financial responsibility ladder through key executive positions and successes with; Getin Holding SA (2005), Getin International SA (2007-2011), Noble Securities SA (2008-2011 onwards), Insurance Europe SA (2009-2011 r) and Life Insurance Company Europe SA (2009-2011 onwards). Most notable of these positions (before Idea Bank) was Augustyniak’s role at Noble Bank – the first bank to cater to the highly affluent customer for private banking. 

Fast forward past a dozen highly unique and successful financial initiatives, and Augustyniak’s Idea Bank comes into sharp focus. As GAZETA writer Maciej Milosz quoted Augustyniak recently on his keen understanding of entrepreneurship

“Being an entrepreneur gives you a sense of accomplishment and confidence in their abilities…”

Jarosław AugustyniakSo, Pride Entrepreneur answers the question; “What about marketing and PR for small business with great potential, that cannot otherwise afford it?” And the Idea Bank chief discloses where the bank’s focus originates from, personal experience. As simple and logical as this idea may seem, surprisingly few businesses prioritize marketing. Not even huge PR firms seem in the business of acknowledging their clients. Look at any press release or AOR announcement here or on PR Week, you’ll scarcely find a link to the client amid the fluff over an agency being selected. So Jaroslaw’s approach is quite brilliant, even if only for rediscovering brand visibility’s value.

One does not have to be a finance wizard to understand how wealth and business are built up. Creating wealth from a wealth of investments, be they intellectual, property, or monetary, is the best sort of economics. This is where Idea Bank and Lion’s Bank interconnect to form a more perfect and natural business atmosphere. High wealth customers, real estate backed assets, true entrepreneurial expertness, and highly innovative advice and products make Augustyniak one of Poland’s most important business innovators. And probably one of Europe’s since traditional finance has failed in many instances.

Idea Bank, Lion’s Bank, and Augustyniak’s initiatives from real estate and SMEs to Startup Nation and VC momentum for budding Polish tech companies reveal a highly energetic and positive force for success. That is, in a European market so often mired in ultra-traditional stagnation and two dimensional thinking too. Adding PR for companies and customers that cannot afford it? Augustyniak may have instigated a paradigm shift in how banks do business. Proof perhaps that lions do not always have to be predatory to win.

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