Published on August 10th, 2016

MD Interview Series: Eckhardt Weber

Eckhardt Weber recently became one of FinLeap’s Managing Directors. As such, he is responsible for all legal and regulatory issues concerning FinLeap and all of the ventures. Not only does Eckhardt have years of experience as a venture capital lawyer where he advised startups and investors on funding rounds and exit deals, but also holds a master’s degree from University of Cape Town and is alumnus at Ludwig-Maximilians University and Universidad de Sevilla. Although he has been a part of FinLeap for 1.5 years already, Eckhardt’s role is changing from an advisory- to a deciding one.

Today, we will interview him about the ventures and his newly acquired position. You’ve been at the company for a while now. How did the idea to change positions to Managing Director come up?

Eckhardt: FinLeap had the intention to increase its management capabilities. Since I have supervised FinLeap and the ventures on several legal and finance topics and helped build up the early team starting solarisBank there was a good fit. As a Fintech company builder, it made sense that the management team has a member that oversees the complex legal and regulatory challenges and supports new ventures in their early stages in this regard, and so I joined. What are your new responsibilities in the company?

Eckhardt: I will be supervising the legal department and all regulatory aspects of FinLeap and the ventures. How does the legal framework differ for each of the ventures?

Eckhardt: Some of the regulatory pillars apply to all the ventures. Data protection, for example, is a key aspect for each venture. Then, each individual business model is complex and different from the other ventures, yet all learnings from one venture can be often be used in other circumstances as well. Since all the ventures are so different, what is the best way to provide for the ventures’ needs?

Eckhardt: The first step is kick off meetings where the legal and regulatory ground is set up for the ventures. Then, we monitor every step, so pitfalls can be avoided for the future. Of course, a great flow of communication between the legal department and all employees of the ventures is necessary to understand the exact direction of the business. What do you think gives FinLeap the edge in the competitive market?

Eckhardt: On the one hand, the setup of a company builder in FinTech, which provides a platform with knowledge and network that is close to impossible to find in the European landscape of startups, is a large advantage. On the other hand, the great team of intelligent and driven people who have good values helps FinLeap prosper. What do you think you’ll have to do to keep up with the changing FinTech trends?

Eckhardt: You can never become satisfied with what he or she has achieved. Instead, you need to stay restless – always challenging the existing business models, products, and ways. I have to be on the look out of how FinLeap and the ventures can improve their products and methods constantly, because of how dynamic and fast paced the FinTech world is. We may be in the forefront right now, but we still have to adapt to the competition. My main challenge is to help each company to stay ahead while we maintain excellent execution. What impact on the company do you think you’ll have as the new Managing Director?

Eckhardt: I will enable the other members of the management team to focus on business development, product, and venture development, instead of worrying about the legal and regulatory aspects. I will also try to bring stability and substance to FinLeap and the ventures and support them on their individual funding structure or set up.

In two weeks, we will be back interviewing MD Ramin Niroumand who is responsible for strategic management and business model development at FinLeap.