EUROPE - Johannes Leobacher, board member at Austria-based Erste Group Bank, has died at the age of 45.

Leobacher was appointed to the management board at Erste Group in April 2009 and was responsible for the group corporate and investment banking division. 
After completing his studies at the University of Economics of Vienna, he started his career in 1990 at GiroCredit, one of the predecessor banks to Erste Group.

Since then, he has held various management positions in trading and treasury at the bank, including structured financing with a special responsibility for corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and credit restructuring.

Before being appointed to the management board at Erste Group, he served as head of capital markets and treasury.

Erste Group said its employees wanted to extend their heartfelt condolences to Leobacher's wife and two daughters.

"They have lost a husband and father who was not yet 46 years old," it said.

"Despite his strong commitment to his profession, his family was always at the centre of his life, and he was always there for them.

"Erste Group mourns one of its colleagues, who was a vigorous personality and excelled at moving things, but who never forgot - despite all of his activities - that banking is a business for people by people."