Minister of Industry and Trade
Jozef Síkela was born on 17 June 1967 in Rokycany. He started Primary school in Zbiroh, but in 1974 the whole family moved to Brno, where he completed his primary education with expanded teaching of foreign languages. In 1986 he graduated at a secondary economic school and was accepted for study at the Prague University of Economics and Business. He graduated as an economic engineer in 1991. In the same year he was selected in an audition to join the prestigious banking study programme of the Austrian Creditanstalt AG in Vienna, where he worked until 1995.
Then he returned to Prague, where he worked in various positions in the field of credit risk management and corporate banking, initially at Bank Austria Creditanstalt, later in the leadership of insurance company Česká spořitelna, a.s., (Erste Group) until 2006.
In 2006 he became the first vice-chairman of the Board and deputy general manager, later chairman of the board and general manager of Erste Bank in Ukraine.
Thanks to the successful consolidation of Erste Ukraine, he was named chairman of the board and general director of the Slovak insurance company Slovenská spořitelna in 2010. At its head he succeeded in achieving historic results, with the bank repeatedly gaining the title of Bank of the Year, and in 2013 Jozef Síkela was awarded the title Banker of the Year and nominated as Manager of the Year. Under his leadership the bank was also awarded the title of Most Valuable Brand in Slovakia.
In 2015, Jozef Síkela was named a member of the board of Erste Group Bank AG, parent company of the Erste group. In this position he was responsible for corporate and investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, real estate financing including communal living, business finance, financial markets and macroeconomic analysis. His responsibilities included the above-mentioned activities of the Erste group on all "domestic markets" of Erste in the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, as well as in the so-called extended markets in Germany, Poland and Switzerland. His direct responsibilities included the Erste Group branches in London, New York and Hong Kong. During 2017–2019 Jozef Síkela devoted himself intensely to the programme of banking development for small and medium-sized companies throughout the Erste group.
In connection with the departure of long-time chairman of the board and general manager Andreas Treichl, Jozef Síkela decided to abandon his banking career and after a year-long "family holiday", in 2021 he began devoting himself to advisory and investment activities.