The Slovenia Times

NLB, Varis CEOs named managers of the year


Portorož - CEO of bank NLB Blaž Brodnjak and Sabina Sobočan, the general director of pre-fabricated bathrooms maker Varis, have been named the best managers of 2022 by the Managers' Association of Slovenia. They will receive the award tonight at the association's annual congress in Portorož.

Brodnjak is responsible for an exceptional transformation of NLB, which went from needing state aid to becoming a successful bank, the association has said. Under his lead, the bank improved its results, as well as employee satisfaction.

He is described by bank employees as a trustworthy person with high moral standards, said the press release, also describing him as an advocate of social responsibility and sustainable development, and a great supporter of sports.

Brodnjak came to NLB in 2012 as management board member, having previously worked at the bank Hypo Alpe Adria in Klagenfurt, insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav, and the banks Bawag, Reiffeisen Krekova Banka and Bank Austria Creditanstalt, the association said.

NLB's assets have nearly doubled since late 2015, when they were at EUR 11.8 billion. Its revenue increased from EUR 476 million in 2016 to EUR 667 million at the end of 2021. Capital yield before taxes was at 11.8% last year, while net profit was EUR 236 million.

The best female manager of the year award will go to Senčar, who has turned a family company into a European leader in prefabricated bathrooms. The company has so far produced over 100,000 units.

Varis Lendava generates 95% of its revenue abroad, mostly in Germany. It is becoming increasingly dedicated to environmentally-friendly solutions and has developed green concrete, among other things, the association said.

Sobočan is characterised by an inclusive management style and is described by employees as determined and tenacious. She started working at Varis in 2013 and took over as director two years later.

Since then the company's revenue increased two and a half times to EUR 31.9 million last year, while net profit grew tenfold to 6.3 million, and value added increased to EUR 67,000, which is 67% above the industry's average.

Earlier this year Sobočan was one of 21 leaders invited by French President Emmanuel Macron to sign a gender equality declaration in Paris on 8 March, the press release said.

The Manager Association will also honour tonight the Maribor-based laboratory equipment supplier Mikro+Polo. Apart from reporting significant growth, the company developed the first smart lab furniture in the world, which is projected to generate EUR 100 million in revenue.


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