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Skeletons Are Falling Out of Telekom’s Closets: How Vida Žurga, a Protégé of the LMŠ Party, Arranged Commissions for an Austrian Broker, With Whom Her Partner Leo Ivanjko Works!

We are presenting exclusive documents on concluding insurance brokerage transactions, signed by a member of the Telekom Management Board, Vida Žurga. The transactions were concluded with a company from Vienna, with which Žurga’s partner Leo Ivanjko also works.

In the past, we were often able to read about the suspicious and dishonest business practices that took place in the state-owned company Telekom Slovenije during the government of Marjan Šarec after the arrival of Vida Žurga to the position of member of the Management Board. Žurga was appointed to her position by Damir Črnčec, Šarec’s State Secretary for National Security, who was also Žurga’s mentos in her doctoral dissertation. Žurga was then tasked with taking care of the interests of both the LMŠ party, as well as Črnčec personally.

 For the last fourteen years, the insurance intermediary for Telekom Slovenija was the company Vzajemnost, the owner of which was Miha Trošt, a friend of the former member of the Management Board Zoran Jenko. At that time, there was a lot of talk about Jenko laundering money through Vzajemnost, but no one terminated the contract with the company. Following the bankruptcy of Vzajemnost in 2018, the then-director of the Telekom Management Board, Rudi Skobe, published a tender for a new insurance broker, to which six companies applied.

Two companies were then selected at the tender: the insurance brokerage company FT Pretium, which was in charge of the parent company, and the insurance brokerage house Za&Svet (owned by Nada Klemenčič), which was in charge of Telekom Slovenije’s subsidiaries. The two companies were authorised to arrange insurance for the year 2019. FT Premium reduced the cost of premiums by 500 thousand euros in 2019, but the premium still amounted to 1.8 million euros. The payment for this service was 8 percent, which is pretty usual for such a commission. The authorisation came into force at the beginning of 2019, so on the 1st of January. On the 1st of February 2019, Vida Žurga took office as a member of the Management Board of Telekom Slovenije.

Žurga gave the job to someone her partner works for?!
In March 2019, Žurga had lunch with the President of the Management Board of the Triglav Insurance Company, Andrej Slapar. They talked about how the authorisation can be transferred to another insurance broker. On the 7th of May in the same year, so three months after the beginning of her term, Žurga revoked the authorisation of the broker FT Premium, and at the end of the year, the same happened to Nada Klemenčič and her company Za&Svet. FT Premium threatened to sue and demanded that the three-month notice period be respected. The company was then left without authorisation on the 7th of August.

On the 12th of August, so five days after the authorisation was revoked, Žurga gave authorisation to Thomas Knoblich from Vienna. What is interesting about this is that the son of a prominent lawyer Šime Ivanjko, Ph.D., Leo Ivanjko, who is also Vida Žurga’s partner with whom he has one child, works for Knoblich. On the same day, the Zavarovalnica Triglav insurance company started transferring its liabilities in the amount of 12 thousand euros per month to Thomas Knoblich. The insurance contract remained the same, unchanged, except for the recipient of the commission, which was replaced.

And this is where the story continues. In August 2019, Žurga went to Slapar again and said that the Austrian broker demanded a 12 percent commission or 18 thousand euros per month. Slapar ordered that the matter between the Austrian broker and Zavarovalnica Triglav be settled by the company’s Executive Director for Corporate Clients, Gorazd Jenko. Knoblich then came to Jenko and demanded a commission increase to 12 percent. Jenko demanded that a risk analysis be prepared first, and after Knoblich had prepared prepare it, Triglav would then examine it so that they could then raise his commission. To this day, the commission has remained at 8 percent, but it is still Knoblich who is receiving it.

The question in all of this is why Via Žurga gave the job to someone her partner works for. And the question of commissions is thus undoubtedly more than in place. What will the people in charge at Telekom Slovenije do about this?

Sara Kovač

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