It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to Mariella Schurz, our long-time colleague, General Secretary of the B&C Private Foundation and Managing Director in the B&C Group. Mariella’s passing on 4 November 2022 spells the loss of an exceptional individual. She was highly committed to the B&C Group, to her employees and to building a better society through her courageous and rousing dedication, and a great deal of warmth and understanding.
Mariella shaped B&C for more than 10 years after joining the Group in mid-2012. She took on increasingly important tasks and demonstrated an exemplary sense of responsibility in each of them. Mariella is credited for the diligent new design of Palais Ephrussi, the funding activities of the B&C Private Foundation, the structure of the holding group and her prudent management of human resources. She also significantly developed the Houska Prize and turned it to her own masterpiece. Mariella was the face of the B&C Group to the public and played a decisive role in shaping B&C’s image.
Both inside and outside the Group, it is well known how important the continuous development and improvement of the Houska Prize was to Mariella. She also deeply cared about fostering financial literacy. She expanded the Houska Prize to include three categories and focused on recognising the people and personalities behind the research, as well as their unique achievements. Her active engagement in the still young MEGA Foundation for Education sent out highly visible – and impressive – signals. The purpose of MEGA is to create equal opportunities in education and increase economic financial literacy with the specific aim of enhancing general business know-how and life skills among future generations. Many initiatives and programmes designed to promote equal educational opportunities were and will be continued to be supported by the MEGA Foundation for Education. For the B&C Group, Mariella played a pioneering role in fostering broad-based economic education, which is essential for the welfare of a mature society.
Above all, Mariella Schurz stood out for one thing: courage. The courage to address issues and put ideas into action. With her openness and warmth, she was always able to inspire people with her ideas and bring them on board. Her hard work and unwavering commitment, both inside and outside B&C, was always coupled with a high degree of empathy, absolute conviction, single-minded persistence and, above all, a great deal of humour.
She leaves a gaping hole in our lives. As a treasured colleague and friend, Mariella will always be remembered with deep fondness.
Our sympathy and deepest condolences go to her family, life partner and friends.
The Board of Directors and the Management on behalf of the entire team of the B&C Group