Status: 04.12.2023, 13:18 PM
Stefan Proßer, Vice President of the Bavarian Savings Banks Association, presented Thomas Orbig (right) and Peter Lingg with the Savings Bank Medal in Gold. © Bianca Heigl
Weilheim – Großer Bahnhof last Saturday at the Sparkasse Oberland in Weilheim: With guests from politics, business and, of course, employees, the outgoing CEO Thomas Orbig and his deputy Peter Lingg were bid farewell. And as is the case when an era comes to an end, there was of course a lot to say. Since both Orbig and Lingg have played a decisive role in shaping the fortunes of the savings banks over the past 20 and 30 years respectively, they were also bid farewell accordingly: with laudators, a keynote speaker, honours and a cosy finale.
Mayor Markus Loth, who is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sparkasse Oberland, gave a laudatory speech for Thomas Orbig, a native of Weilheim. Loth paid tribute to the achievements of the CEO, who will retire on 31 December, in difficult times. Wars, crises and low interest rates were just a few of the key words for the challenges that Orbig first mastered as a member of the Executive Board, and from 2018 as its Chairman.
With the two mergers – with Kreissparkasse Schongau in 2017 and with Kreissparkasse Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 2022 – the current business area from Lake Ammersee to the Zugspitze was created. "Our joint work on the Board of Directors has been very fruitful and characterized by mutual respect over the years, even if our opinions were not always the same due to the different perspectives of the bank and the municipality," said Loth. However, this has never been the case with sustainability, which Orbig has also made a top priority for himself.
Even the snow chaos on Saturday could not stop the majority of the guests from taking part in the farewell of the two Sparkasse grandees. © Bianca Heigl
The mayor also emphasized Orbig's many volunteer activities and his commitment to the local economy: "In addition to the abundance of honorary positions, the tasks as chairman of the board demanded a high degree of time management and enthusiasm. You brought all of that with you, as well as a lot of energy." In recognition of his merits, he awarded him the large silver coin of the city of Weilheim.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen's District Administrator Anton Speer paid tribute to the outgoing board member Peter Lingg in a very personal speech. The well-being of the citizens and the local economy has always been close to his heart and so the merger is also "important and right". The appreciation of the other person was always the maxim for Lingg's actions. His sympathetic charisma and Swabian humour did the rest to ensure that Lingg was universally appreciated and loved during his 30 years of work at Kreissparkasse Garmisch-Partenkirchen, then Sparkasse Oberland. There was also a special award for Lingg – the county's gold medal of honor. And for Thomas Orbig, Speer had liquid food with him: Mittenwald beer from the highest brewery in Germany.
The ceremonial address was given by Stefan Proßer, Vice President of the Bavarian Savings Banks Association, who reviewed the many challenges facing banks in the Orbig-Lingg era. Maintaining the trust of the customers, but also always involving the employees, is a special merit for both: "Everyone can be proud of what has been achieved!" Proßer appealed to the wives of future retirees: "Work out the job advertisement for your husbands in detail! They're so used to it!" Thomas Orbig and Peter Lingg received the Savings Bank Medal in Gold from him.
With a small lump in his throat, Thomas Orbig then addressed the guests, who had appeared in large numbers despite the violent onset of winter. Exactly 20 years ago to the day, he gave his first speech here and it was quite an emotional event for him. He thanked Loth, Speer and Proßer for their words and was pleased to see former colleagues on the board of directors in the crowd of guests. When he took office 20 years ago, Josef Fraundorfner told him that he was taking over the office at a difficult time. However, this was later exacerbated by the crises, wars and regulations. "As the Executive Board, the Board of Directors and the employees, we have mastered all the challenges well," says Orbig. And addressed to his staff: "Without you, a savings bank would not live!" He also thanked the customers for their loyalty.
He saw his own task as creating an environment in which everyone could give their best. However, not through complete support, but through the personal responsibility of each individual and each team. After the first merger, he did a Lego workshop with "Generation Y and Z", which resulted in the company mission statement as a "cool motto 'move your S'". At the time of the merger with the Garmisch-Partenkirchen colleagues, "Just do it" was chosen as the new mission statement. He was happy about 20 wonderful years as chairman of the board and is now tackling new challenges with his wife Karin in the design of the new bungalow. And of course, he did not forget the board secretariat and paid a heartfelt thank you to the "Three Angels for Orbig". He also thanked the hospice association for the donations made in lieu of gifts and said goodbye with a heartfelt "Servus, it's good, pfiat Eich!"
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Peter Lingg also expressed his gratitude for the donations, which were also requested instead of gifts, in his case in favor of the Initiative Oberland, which supports a project in Tibet. He thanked his family, especially his wife Feli, and is now starting a new phase of his life after a good time in "our savings bank".
Nothing works without them: the wives of the board members received flowers. Our picture shows (from left to right) Felicitas and Peter Ling, Veronika and Markus Lanz, Thomas and Karin Orbig. © Bianca Heigl
But it was not only the farewell of Orbig and Lingg that was on the festive agenda. Also the handing over of the baton to the future chairman of the board, Markus Lanz, who – instead of the baton – received a compass engraved on wood from Orbig, which should always show him the direction, but also give him the courage to break new ground. Lanz then briefly introduced himself to the guests. He is starting his new job with "joy, gratitude, also some respect and a lot of energy", in which he wants to continue to anchor the Sparkasse as a strong, competent partner for municipalities, companies and the people of the region.
The farewell, which culminated in a Weißwurst morning pint, was musically framed by the Ettinger Tanzlmusik.