Published on October 7th, 2019

Finance and tech have to work together – Highlights of the finleap #fintechsummit19

#reshapingfinancetogether in the St. Elisabeth Church

When you picture a start-up event, what immediately comes to mind? A beer fridge strategically placed next to IKEA chairs in a small coworking space in Mitte? The finleap fintech summit was certainly very different, with the antique vaulted ceilings of the St. Elisabeth Church providing a unique atmosphere. 

Over 200 industry leaders across the financial business and investment sectors met at the church for a day of keynotes, panel discussions and open forums. The goal? To determine how leaders can work across Germany, Europe and companies to reshape the financial sector together. 

To capture the happenings of the fintech-summit, we’ve collected its highlights with the following list: 

#1 Opening Keynote from Dr. Jörg Kukies & Jonathan Larsen

Dr. Jörg Kukies, State Secretary of the German Ministry of Finance.

Dr. Jörg Kukies, State Secretary of the Bundesministerium der Finanzen (German Ministry of Finance) for his keynote on challenges and opportunities in the European financial market. As former Co-CEO of Goldman Sachs AG International’s Frankfurt branch, Dr. Kukies has decades of experience in both the business and investment sides of the financial world. In joining the Federal Ministry of Finance, he brought his corporate background into the public sector of finance. In his keynote, Dr. Kukies spoke on the current situation of the German and European fintech and financial ecosystem. And if anyone has insight on the challenges in and the opportunities for the European financial market – it’s him. 

#2 Jonathan Larsen, Chief Innovation Officer of Ping An on the Asian view of Europe’s role in the financial services market

Jonathan Larsen, Chief Innovation Officer of Ping An.

Jonathan Larsen, Chief Innovation Officer of Ping An, the world’s leading insurance group, took the stage to speak to the Asian view on Europe’s role in the financial services market. Over the course of his keynote, Jonathan provided an interesting perspective on the European financial services market, in which Asian companies make up the largest share of investors. He first mentioned the portrayal of fintechs as the antithesis of the traditional finance industry. To this he said,

“No financial institutions have gone due to fintechs. We still have a long way to go in transformation.”

#3 Fireside chat with Don Lacey, Ramin Niroumand & Philippe Oddo 

The fireside chat with Don Lacey, Ramin Niroumand & Philippe Oddo.

After the exciting perspectives shared during the keynotes and panels, what better way to continue than with a fireside chat with some of the biggest names in the industry? Don Lacey, COO of the Ping An Global Voyager Fund, Ramin Niroumand and Philippe Oddo, General Partner of the ODDO BHF Group, joined Martin Kloss on stage wrapped up the evening with a discussion of the “Route to success – challenges and priorities for European Leadership”. In his conclusion, Don Lacey remarked, “The battle is between big tech and big finance, and people still trust banks more than tech companies when it comes to data”. To which Ramin replied,

“It’s time to change. Finance and tech have to collaborate. Either we win together, or we lose together.” 

#4 Keynotes from Dr. Carolin Gabor and Ramin Niroumand 

Dr. Carolin Gabor.

As of now, most every-day processes are already digitized in some way. But what comes next, and how will this impact younger generations, most of whom have a very different upbringing when it comes to technology? In her keynote, Dr. Gabor answered all of these questions from her own perspective – a mother to two young daughters. 

Ramin Niroumand.

Ramin Niroumand, CEO and Founder of finleap, took to the stage to speak on finleap – the leading fintech ecosystem in Europe and gave insight into the latest happenings in the finleap ecosystem, as well as the formal introduction to the new business structure, finleap abc. He remarked,

“The finleap abc structure streamlines our vision to move us forward in the next stage of growth.” 

#5 Business & Investment Track Presentations 

The first business track panel discussion.

The first round of the business track panel discussions were moderated by Frank Mattern, Managing Director of Mattern Advisory and Investments, and focused in on “Industry transformation: how to tackle the challenges of digitalization”. Jan Beckers, Founder and Chairman of IONIQ Group, Simone Bock, Chief Innovation Officer at BNP Paribas Personal Investors, Marco Börries, CEO of enfore and Alexander Argyros, CEO of Moonfare, joined Frank in exploring solutions to these challenges. Simone provided an interesting perspective on tackling these challenges, saying,

“Key factors for successful transformations are strong sponsorship, systemic change management and the ability to ‘unlearn’.”

Following the discussions, fintech leaders from the finleap ecosystem took the stage. Christopher Oster, CEO of CLARK, a fully-digital insurance manager, and Richard Renner, CEO of perseus, which provides cybersecurity for small and medium enterprises, each presented their company’s solutions to the challenges of digitalization. In his presentation, Richard highlighted one of the key challenges,

“A lack of awareness among employees and a growing number of cybercrime professionals are one of the reasons cybersecurity is one of the major challenges of digitalization.”

On the other side of the church grounds, Martin Kloss moderated the investment track, “Trends to watch: the era of contextual and model banking”. One by one, Martin invited speakers from the finleap ecosystem, Taner Akcok, CPO of finleap connect, Dr. Roland Folz, CEO of solarisBank, Jessica Holbach, CCO of Penta and Carlos Lopez-Moctezuma, Global Head of Open Banking of BBVA to the stage to each present the business model of their respective banks. The session was closed with a group discussion on innovation and digital disruption in the banking world. 

The first business track panel discussion.

During the second half of the day, Ignacio Garcia, General Manager Spain for finleap connect, moderated the business track discussions with Dr. Ernest Droege, CEO of Droege Group, Rolf Elgeti, Partner at Obotritia Capital and Daniel Manzke, VP Product & Tech at finleap. Following the discussion on, “the power of ecosystems”, Stephan Stricker, CEO of PAIR Finance, Kai-Uwe Mondros, Managing Director of Zalando Payments GmbH, and the Management Team of Joonko, each took the stage to present their companies and the trends they have observed in the finance industry. 

After five years of finleap, we can proudly say that, as demonstrated through events like this, we have been at the very forefront of digital innovation and disruption, as well as cooperation between finance and tech to #reshapefinancetogether.

All photos are courtesy of Sascha Hilgers.