Published on September 16th, 2019

The Handelsblatt Frankfurt Banken-Gipfel (Banking Summit)

Kicking off the Handelsblatt Banking Summit’s program was our 8th annual finleap fintech dinner. More than 80 leaders of the German fintech scene met on the 38th floor of the Henninger-Tower in the Restaurant Franziska, where a 360 view of the bustling city of Frankfurt awaited them.

Ramin Niroumand, CEO and Founder of finleap, opened the evening by recapping the latest  news from the finleap ecosystem and by introducing our new SaaS business unit, finleap connect.

The evening wasn’t at all short on exciting speakers and speeches. Donald Lacey, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Ping An Global Voyager Fund, gave insight into the Asian market leader’s plans for Europe, and highlighted the differences between the Asian and European financial markets.

The Handelsblatt Banking Summit, kicked off with a panel with Christian Sewing (CEO, Deutsche Bank) Ann Cairns (Vice Chairman, Mastercard) and Larry Fink (Chairman and CEO, Blackrock) on current challenges in the banking industry, such as digital transformation and emerging new business models.

In the evening, the winners of the 19th annual Handelsblatt Diamond Star Awards were announced. Strong nominees were competing in the category for Digital Retail Banking. This years’ winner was Tomorrow Bank in cooperation with solarisBank! Congratulations to both companies for creating the first sustainable mobile bank and a powerful banking as a service platform!

On the second day of the summit, Ramin and Stefan Unterlandstättner, Chairman, Deutsche Kreditbank, held a panel to answer the burning question, “Who are the winners of the digital transformation – banks or fintechs?” After an extensive debate, the two reached the agreement that fintechs and banks must see each other not as enemies, but as market drivers to strengthen the European finance industry together.

Marko Wenthin, CEO of Penta, discussed the question “Will technology define the future of Corporate Banking?”, together with Dr. Michael Diederich, Chairman of HypoVereinsbank/UniCredit Bank, and Dr. Wolfgang Fink, CEO Germany/Austria, Goldman Sachs. Marko answered with a clear “yes”. He further explained, “Entrepreneurs have lots of questions which go beyond banking. At Penta we help them to digitize and manage their whole financial business.”

Chris Bartz, CEO & Co-Founder, Elinvar and Chairman of the FinTech Council of the German Federal Government, joined Marianne Stroehmann, Director of Google Germany, and Mirjam Pütz, Managing Director and Head Research & Development of Deutsche Bank,  on stage to debate if AI is revolutionising the Banking Sector. Chris put it like this, „The moment is now: Companies have to create the foundations and the necessary infrastructure for successful digitalization, now. Otherwise they don‘t even have to bother with implementing machine learning or AI“.

After loads of interesting talks and discussions, ‘fintexx – women in finance hosted a lunch event for women in the finance industry. Carolin Gabor, CEO of Joonko and founder of the initiative welcomed the guests to the lunch.

(c) Uta Wagner

Claudia Lang, CEO & Co-Founder of Community Life’s held a keynote on, “From group to founder – why the leap is worth it”. Over the course of her talk, Claudia explained why she replaced the comfortable executive chair in the corner office with the folding chair and co-working space at a start-up company. In 2012, she founded her own insurtech company, Community Life, with the vision to allow insurance policyholders to really see themselves as a community that stands together. She shared what her biggest challenges were and the mistakes she will never make again. The keynote was followed by a lively discussion of participants experiences with such life-changing decisions. 

All in all, the 24th annual Handelsblatt Banking Summit was by far a successful one. We would like to take the time to thank Handelsblatt for the amazing event, as well as Ping An for their support in the finleap fintech dinner. We’re already looking forward to the 2020 Banking Summit!