"In the harmony of many lies the strength, which results in good. It is the task of every one to contribute to it."
Archduke Johann, 1846
Archduke Johann recognized that in order to be strong one must unite, and founded the Grazer Wechselseitige as a mutual insurance association.
On 14 July 1828, the preparations of many years conducted by Archduke Johann, were finally crowned with success: His brother, Emperor Franz I, authorized the founding of the "k. k. privilegierte innerösterreichischen Brandschaden-Versicherungs-Anstalt für Steiermark, Kärnten und Krain" (Imperial and Royal privileged central Austrian Mutual Fire Damage Insurance Company for Styria, Carinthia and Carniola) by an Imperial Decree. This laid the foundation stone for the Grazer Wechselseitige - a success story, which has already lasted for more than 180 years.
What then began as a provincial insurer with a pure Austrian connection has since developed over the years and is today an international group of companies in Central and Eastern Europe.
In between lie more than 180 years of eventful history: Phases of economic upswing were sustainably used to master times of crisis. Two World Wars, the Stock Market Crash of 1873, the consequences of "Black Friday" in 1928, or even the oil price shock in 1973, were not able to throw the up-and-coming company off course.
The geopolitical and politico-economic changes resulted in restrictions with regard to the territorial field of activity of the Grazer Wechselseitige. On the other hand, however, in more recent history, the effect of these changes meant that the company is now represented in more than 13 countries.
Meanwhile, the commitment was in no way restricted to insurance but could be expanded in particular to the areas of real estate and banks. The Grazer Wechselseitige met recurrent econo-historical crises on the capital markets early on by carrying out investments in real estate and real assets. Becoming active in the banking sector was linked to the desire to provide customers with a comprehensive service.
Today, after more than 180 years of existence, the original concept of mutual responsibility is more topical than ever: Only timely provision can secure economic livelihood.