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PZU management board loses Eureko representative

Dutch-based insurer Eureko took its representative off the management board of insurer PZU yesterday following a dispute with state-appointed managers. Eureko, which with BIG Bank Gdañski owns 30% of the Polish market leader, withdrew deputy chief executive Antonio Martins da Costa and accused PZU management of aborting a strategic investment program.

The row followed a government go-slow on PZU’s further privatization and will do nothing to improve Poland’s reputation for dodgy corporate governance less than two years before it expects to join the European Union. “Basically, da Costa told us ‘I’ve had enough. I want to leave PZU. I’ve lost confidence in...most of the management board’,” Eureko CEO Ernst Jansen told reporters. Jansen said da Costa was a “seasoned insurance professional” who provided know-how to PZU, outlasting six state-appointed chief executives during his three-year stint at the firm.

While at PZU, da Costa faced accusations of falsifying documents and had his office bugged during a fraud probe against the former head of PZU’s life arm, Grzegorz Wieczerzak. Wieczerzak was recently charged with multi-million dollar fraud after spending over a year in investigative custody.

(WBJ 11.x.02)

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