biography

Leszek Czarnecki was born on the 9th of May 1962. A Polish businessman, ranked 446th on the Forbes 2008 World's Billionaires List with an estimated net worth of 2.6 billion dollars.

He has been called both a visionary businessman and a financial genius, always a few steps ahead of competition. Today Leszek Czarnecki is a majority shareholder in six companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange: the Getin Holding, a financial holding, Getin Noble Bank, retail and private banking organisation, insurance company Europa, MW Trade, Open Finance – financial advisory firm, and LC Corp - the real estate company. The Getin Holding is made up of companies (on top of the ones mentioned above) such as Idea Bank (banking for SME), PF Leasing and PDK – financial advisory firms. Getin Holding also owns financial institutions operating in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.

Leszek Czarnecki's trademark, according to what the capital market thinks, is to create a company, bring it to its highest point and then sell while a leader in its sector of operations. That was exactly the story of the European Leasing Fund (Europejski Fundusz Leasingowy), which he set up in 1991 as one of the very first leasing companies in Poland, and which became the industry's top player. The beginnings were difficult - “leasing” was not a widely known term, and in the Głogów suburb, where the company's first HQ were, it sounded downright exotic. Hardly surprisingly then, as Leszek Czarnecki once reminisced in an interview, that for the first three months not a single customer showed up. The office got closed, only to reopen in Warsaw. That was the jackpot. This, followed by years of effective management and steadfast development of the EFL, and the effects were spectacular. In April 1998 the Wall Street Journal named Czarnecki one of ten best managers in Central Europe. Business was great, to the point that in 2000 the company made its debut on the London Stock Exchange and a few months later also on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. In 2001 Czarnecki decided to sell EFL to the French bank Credit Agricole. The record sum he received is talked about to this day – 412 million Euro was then almost a billion zlotys. As part of the deal he also took 25 percent share in the Credit Agricol Polska SA. But as his close associates point out, for Czarnecki the revenues count, but so does the pleasure of doing business.Co-operation with French was not easy, so with no regrets he sold them his shares in January 2003 and started planning a new empire of his own. Only a month later the Getin Holding S.A. was born, which in the following years became an international financial group.

Leszek Czarnecki is an author of two books published in 2011 - “Simply business” and “Risk in banking. A post-crisis perspective”.

The Financial Times predicted his success placing the then 42-year-old among the 25 rising stars of European Business. Of course there were other honours. Leszek Czarnecki was selected as the Player of the Year by the Polish Edition of the Forbes magazine three times in a row – in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2009 Puls Biznesu nominated him for the title of the Entrepreneur of the Twenty-Year Period. In the same year Leszek Czarnecki received an honorary award as the Entrepreneur of the Year in the contest organized by Ernst & Young. 2010 saw Leszek Czarnecki receive from PKPP Lewiatan the Andrzej Wierzbicki Award for his success in business and active contribution to business environment. In 2010 Puls Biznesu and Association of Polish Employers recognised Leszek Czarnecki as the “Entrepreneur of the year”. In 2011 Warsaw Business Journal awarded him with the title of the “Business Leader of the Year”.