Srpsko narodno vijeće, Serb national council

Vladimir Matijević Vladimir Matijević
famous Serbs in Croatia

Vladimir Matijević – philanthropist

Vladimir Matijević was born in Gornje Budačko in 1854 and was the only one of eight siblings who lived to a mature age. As a child from an army officer’s family of modest means, after primary school he enrolled in a cadet school in Turanj near Karlovac. But when his father noticed Vladimir’s aversion towards the army and the military career, he allowed him to continue education in civilian schools. After completing secondary school in Rakovac near Karlovac, he enrolled in the Trade College (Handelshochschule) in Vienna.

Upon completion his studies he took a job in a shop in Zagreb where he first worked as an assistant and later as a commercial agent and travelling salesman. He gained experience working with the major trade companies of the time and contributed to the expansion of their business and capital. Through diligent work, Matijević amassed a significant fortune in his own right and was at the age of 27 offered partnership by Konšak, owner of the biggest trade business in Zagreb. At that time Matijević started developing his idea to establish the Serb Economic Society Privrednik (Economist) and in 1897 he managed to realise it with a group of friends. During World War One he donated large sums of money to Privrednik and, as he had no children, bequeathed all of his estate to Privrednik, to be used for humanitarian purposes.

In 1925 he merged Jadranska and Podunavska banks into the Jadransko-Podunavska bank and remained its lifetime president. He held various other posts, including that of an auditor for the Austro-Hungarian bank, the president of the Serb bank in Zagreb, a member of the Agrarian bank’s supervisory board and a member of the Kingdom of SHS bank’s management board. He also sat on management boards of numerous companies. He was one of the founders of the Alliance of Serb Agricultural Cooperatives and also supervised the work of Privrednik from its very beginnings. He died in Belgrade in 1929.

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