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MA FinTech: Berlin Leadership Lunch Highlights

10 March 2020 by Mason Alexander
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​MA Fintech was delighted to host their first leadership lunch in Berlin. The Leaders of Tech event attendees included fintech and tech leaders with backgrounds including payments, banking, blockchain, legal tech, compliance and IOT. The main discussion was revolving around the fintech landscape, market trends and leadership challenges.


Culture was a key topic of discussion for all involved. Many of the attendees represented companies that were going through hyper-growth and they were interested in discussing how to maintain a good company culture when going through this time of growth or change.


The conversation led towards how to manage a high-performance culture from afar. An attendee explained that he often feels that energy is very high when he is in the office, but he thinks performance and energy dips when he is travelling with business. Other attendees experienced the same when their employees are working remotely, mainly when tasks are unstructured, or responsibilities are not clear enough.


Motivating team members was also discussed. It is vital that the team members buy into the founder and the product in order to drive performance.


Although the tech market in Berlin is well connected there is a lack of authentic connection’s at leadership level and the importance of these types of meet ups was discussed.


MA Fintech’s Caren Schwannauer talked about the importance of reaching out for help when building a team, seeking advice from people in the know and how that will help you determine the people you need. There can sometimes be confusion around what skills are necessary to build out a product or offering and consulting with experienced professionals can shed light on how to build out your team.


A trend discussed by our attendees was that when fintech professionals make the move from banks to startups, that the startups are fast-paced, innovative and exciting. This can often be the case, but startups can also bring different problems that well-established banks do not face, such as instability, lack of structure and a lack of experienced management.  People often underestimate this when joining a start-up. However, people who move to startups tend to be extremely committed and don’t revert back to traditional banks, many of them also launch their own startups.


Education was also a hot topic for discussion. Keeping educated and up to date with the latest regulations is a continuous ongoing aspect for fintechs. Compliance talent can often be the most difficult to find and attract. A lot of fintech founders have a commercial, business background and are not compliance savvy. There is sometimes a knowledge gap and it can be critical, resulting in a denial of license or penalization.


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