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After Cigna's bankruptcy: Rene Benko became a “broken man” according to those close to him

After Cigna's bankruptcy: Rene Benko became a “broken man” according to those close to him

The billion-dollar bankruptcies in Rene Benko's former illustrious Cigna empire also appear to have left their mark on the alleged real estate mogul, according to a report in the Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper. There is currently no trace of Banco. He is a “broken man.”

“He suddenly thought he knew his way around everywhere He can turn anything into gold“, says one long-time employee, according to the newspaper. After entering the retail sector and later also the media sector (“Kronen Zeitung”, “Kurrier”), the path to becoming a man with a supposedly golden hand who led an extremely luxurious lifestyle was on the sign – Costs used for Bankruptcy record a result.


Benko was the de facto managing director until the end, even if he tried to hide it from the outside world. Benko “held matters in hand” and instructed his staff and administrators. “He shouldn't be evading that in my eyes either.”Signa investor Hans Peter Hasselsteiner said last week. The potential liability issues stand or fall for Benko personally if he is indeed a managing director. As reported, the Financial Prosecution wants to examine this matter.

Banko's whereabouts are unclear


Pinko stays away from people's eyes. According to TT, it is unclear where he is exactly, whether in Innsbruck or elsewhere. But it can also be found again and again in Vienna, He also had breakfast at the Park Hyatt Hotel In its “golden district” in the city center.


Politicians from former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz used to enjoy taking photos with him. During his time as an advisor, Curtis took Benko to the Arab world, for example to the United Arab Emirates in 2019, to hold discussions with investors.

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Bankruptcies in the Pincus Group result in liabilities amounting to double digits in the billions. These are by far The largest bankruptcy in the history of the Austrian economy.

According to Benko's associates, Dieter Berninghaus was an important advisor to Benko. He knew how to motivate Pinko, he wrote in “TT”. Berninghaus He has been advising the Signa Group for several yearsA spokesperson for the “independent mergers and acquisitions director” told APA on Saturday. He has never carried out any operational activity as a managing director or on the supervisory board of Signa companies.


In 2022, Berninghaus, the former director of Migros and Rio, said in an interview with the Swiss business magazine Bellans that he is currently working on building the largest luxury department store group in Europe, TT wrote.


“Once Benco and Beringhaus had agreed on a strategy, the decision was made, and then the railroads ran him over. There was no way to confront him from the outside,” a Cigna employee says, according to a newspaper report, of Better Days.


Berninghaus, 58, a German with a Swiss passport, lives in Switzerland and, according to the spokesman on Saturday, has always worked from there. Beringhaus was only temporarily in the United States and returned again.

Unfair ways to pay bonuses?


The second name that appears in the analysis of Cigna's bankruptcy is that of Timo Herzberg. Just before Christmas, Herzberg was terminated from his position “with immediate effect.” He was dismissed as CEO of Signa Prime and Signa Selection. “The doubts were clear and the supervisory boards left no other choice,” Alfred Gusenbauer, a former adviser to SPÖ and head of the supervisory boards of both companies, said at the time. What exactly disrupted the trust relationship remains unclear. Presumably, Herzberg included this Bonus payments are in the millions Perhaps collecting money using unfair methods.

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Cigna likes to claim that the European Central Bank is practically responsible for its collapse. This is due to a special review of bank loans to Signa and rapid increases in interest rates. However, with its increases, the ECB was only following previous developments in the USA, and as TT wrote: “Every businessman knows that interest rates can change.”