What about fintechs? How do you approach the start-ups of the financial sector?
Ah yes, the much-trumpeted competition with the fintechs. They have the innovations, but we have the customers. It doesn’t take much insight to realise that teamwork potentially represents a win-win situation for both. It makes sense to keep one’s eyes open, to understand what the fintechs are up to, to engage with the issues raised and to work with them on joint developments.
All kinds of most interesting possibilities have emerged already and we are watching carefully to see just what can be achieved. And we are very much on the lookout for opportunities to collaborate too, but we need to be selective and ensure that we only become involved where there are real benefits in play for us and for our customers.
You yourself are involved as a mentor with the Frankfurt TechQuartier community, a new hub for fintechs. How does that work?
To be honest the mentoring side has yet to begin really – TechQuartier has only been in existence since December 2016. One aspect that has already caught my eye, however, is the sheer variety of people: I see start-up founders who are barely into their twenties and others who are easily pushing 50. I welcome the extra opportunity for discussion in any case and we will see down the line to what extent we are able to be of assistance to each other.
What elements of your own character do you find most useful in your work?
Patience (laughs). I’m not overly endowed with it, but it is definitely the most important thing. Of course a certain enthusiasm for the unknown and for creating new ways also helps; that and a measure of persistence.