Karl Matthäus Schmidt on Entrepreneurial Thinking and Digitization

Meet Karl Matthäus Schmidt, CEO at Quirin Privatbank AG and a member of CURAZE, FemaleOneZero’s innovation network. In 2013, he launched quirion, Quirin Privatbank's robo-advisor, one of its kind in Germany. Now, he’s looking to increase their robo services, and he’s excited to see the use of blockchain evolve too

1. What are the most important topics in business today?

We are entirely focused on how we can further increase our market share in robo advisors, or more specifically, digital asset managers. All our growth efforts are aimed at helping more people in Germany achieve (better) returns by investing in capital markets simply, cheaply, and with a focus on profit. Digitalization is a catalyst here – it accelerates and simplifies this process immensely.

2. ... and what are the biggest challenges?

Growth. We suffer from all the typical growing pains and often overhaul our company internally. Then we have to optimize processes or restructure teams sometimes, provided that the latter in particular is not pointless. Finding good people who bring the right mindset to the job is becoming increasingly difficult.

3. Which innovations and tech trends do you find particularly exciting?

Without a doubt, the blockchain. The technology behind it is super exciting and won't disappear. From an ecological point of view, the whole thing is questionable, but will certainly change in this regard. From an investor's point of view, the blockchain and cryptocurrencies where the technology is used are and will remain pure speculation – it is advised to invest with caution.

4. What idea, product or thought leader has excited or inspired you lately?

Jeff Bezos with Amazon. What this man has created from the ground up is enormous. There's a lot to learn from his feat.

5. Why do cultural change and digital transformation belong together in your opinion?

You can't have one without the other. Today, no one can avoid digital transformation. The whole team has to get on board; You can't do it without them. For us, the challenge here is to take every consultant on site with us on the journey.

6. In one sentence, is there a topic that we should no longer be discussing in five years?

Digitalization. The state and the German administration system in particular must make rapid improvements and not only stay up to date, but also try to get ahead of the curve at times. 

7. What makes companies or leadership successful in the long term?

Definitely entrepreneurial thinking and acting. Crises in particular demonstrate this time and again. It is the creativity, and the flexibility of the business and entrepreneurs worldwide that always find new ways out of the crisis with innovative solutions.

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