Donau-Finanz was established by Dr. Herbert Kraus (former politician, party chairman and founder of the Austrian Liberal Party after the Word War II), Dr. Hans Priebsch (Austrian lawyer) and Hans v. Behr (German industrialist) in 1957. At that time, Donau-Finanz was specialised in development of special investment products for the Austrian insurance sector and represented large foreign companies in governmental projects in transport, energy, aviation and infrastructure.
After serving with the Chase Manhattan Bank in the USA and Europe for several years, Dr. Michael Kraus and Dr. Erhard F. Grossnig joined Donau-Finanz as minority partners in the mid 1970’s. They introduced new investment banking business units within Donau-Finanz and initiated various restructuring projects.
Dr. Michael Kraus developed institutionalised enterprise restructuring plans for the Austrian Minister of Finance, Hannes Androsch, and took on numerous restructuring projects after the resulting Austrian Act on Tax Reduction was passed in 1977.
In the early 1980’s Donau-Finanz reinforced their property unit after having drafted various restructuring and development plans for the SCS (Shopping City Süd, in Vösendorf near Vienna). Subsequently, Dr. Michael Kraus served in executive position for the SCS group for fifteen years (at the time the largest European shopping centre).