From November 18 to 19 the FIM class of 2015 had the chance to take a look at a major German bank and to experience excellent speakers. It was all about getting insights from practitioners and new perspectives into a rising field of business. On the first day Deutsche Bank opened its doors to the FIM students and hosted several interesting sessions on different topics. On Wednesday November 19 it was time for the Euro Finance Week, this year titled as „Euro Finance Tech“. Thus, the speakers ranged from experienced bankers, over serial entrepreneurs to acknowledged professors such as Prof. Dr. Hans Ulrich Buhl
We took off early from Augsburg to get the most out of our visit to Deutsche Bank. On the way to Frankfurt the first discussions about the banking industry and related topics already came up and the first interesting questions were ready to be asked to the practitioners. Having arrived in time, the last ties were tied and we were ready to go. First, we received a warm welcome from Mr. Wegmann, global head of business operations of Deutsche Bank AG, who also introduced us to the day’s schedule. The sessions kicked off by a presentation about the new corporate strategy which implies major organisational changes within the bank. During the talk we had the chance to receive answers to many questions which were on our minds. Next on the agenda was a talk about a department where small mistakes may threaten the whole bank – the DB Investment Services. After recharging energy with some coffee and cake we went into the second half of our Deutsche Bank experience. Separated into small groups we went through four workshops, which addressed the monitoring of operations, tax processing, strategic drills and digitalization. After all those interesting sessions once more we had the opportunity to put questions to Mr. Wegmann. With the day coming to an end we went out for dinner in eager anticipation of the Euro Finance Week.
Having arrived at Messe Frankfurt early in the morning, we were looking forward to outstanding talks and discussions during the second day. The opening keynote was held by Tarek Al-Wazir, state minister for economics, energy, transport and regional development for the Land of Hesse. He highlighted that the current development concerning FinTechs is strongly driven by customer wishes. Shortly afterwards it was time for the discussion “Frenemies – Cooperations between Banks & FinTechs”, which was hosted by Prof. Buhl. The panel included established bankers, as well as investors and entrepreneurs. After an opening introduction by Prof. Buhl the discussion kicked off and lead to noteworthy statements. Those included that FinTechs are not regulated too softly, but simply regulated differently since they are not based on the same business models as banks. Also it was stated that it is essential for the acceptance of FinTechs that customers have to understand and experience the added value derived from the analysis of their personal data. Parallel to the panels it was pitch time on stage 2 where various start-ups had only two minutes to convince the audience of their idea or business model. The lunch break gave us time to process everything we just heard and to get further insights from the huge amount of experts attending the conference. Afterwards it was quite difficult to decide whether to attend the parallel sessions on stage 1 or 2, since both were very interesting and of high quality. At the same time the increased offer of pitches, speeches and discussions allowed all of us to attend exactly those which interested us the most. After the last discussion on “Blockchain – The Future of Finance”, hosted by Prof. Dr. Roman Beck, which all of us were eagerly listening to, it was time for us to head back home to Augsburg.
After two inspiring and informative days it is safe to say that everybody of us would enjoy this experience all over again. It was a great and unique chance to get insights into the daily operations and strategic development of the Deutsche Bank, as well as hearing different perspectives on FinTechs.