Interview with Kai Friedrich – Consorsbank & BNP Paribas

Neuenhaus: Mr Friedrich, you have once in an interview to the question “How digitalisation changes the relationship with the customer?” responded that customers today are taking a much more active role than before and are, simultaneously, cooperation partners. What is the role of the digital consulting project in this context?

Kai Friedrich: In our project, we already involve future users of the system during the specification phase. Here, various user tests are carried out with customers in order to be able to react to the customer’s wishes as early as possible.

Neuenhaus: What kind of “value-added” services can the customer expect by digitalising investment advice and asset management?

Kai Friedrich: We bring the investment advice and asset management to the customer digitally and around the clock. The user can participate much more actively in the consultation. Apart from the mere consulting services with natural language recognition, much important information is presented in support of his investment decision. Interactively, the customer is guided through the consultancy process and can directly decide whether the selected investment recommendation matches his needs or if it wants to adjust it. As a sparring partner, we accompany the customer in all questions concerning his investment. For customers who do not want to take care of anything, the path to convenient digital asset management is open.

Neuenhaus: Do you see yourselves well prepared to stand up to the FinTechs by implementing “Digital David” and, thus, meeting the requirements of the next generation on the subject of investment? Or do you see no connection at all?

Kai Friedrich: We do not see our project as an attack on the FinTechs, but more as the sensible response of an experienced bank to the current developments. Currently, FinTechs very much focus on the topic of asset management by Robo-Advice. We are expanding the current offer by a smart digital consultant that assists in all respective questions. We assume that the coming generations will certainly use a lot more self-evidently online consulting.

Neuenhaus: What kinds of feedback do you notice, for example, in actions such as “boss for a day” coming from the “young” generation on the topic of financial investment? Is this already present for 15 to 20 year olds?

Kai Friedrich: We know that the issue of financial investment among young people is not very present. It does not or hardly represent a topic at schools. The first self-earned money often leads to dealing with one’s own finances. I am convinced that digital consulting shows to be an opportunity here, because it reduces hurdles, and, a consultation can also be simulated.

Neuenhaus: What is the sum that allows for someone to get the beneficial advantage of an asset management in the future?

Kai Friedrich: We are planning to make an entry into digital asset management possible already from a deposit of € 5,000. As a result, investors with relatively small sums have the opportunity to make use of professional asset management.

Neuenhaus: What is the role of digitalisation in MiFID II? Especially in the areas of consultant support and documentation.

Kai Friedrich: Digitalisation supports the consultants in meeting all the important requirements that MiFID and, in the future, MiFID II are going to engage in a consulting process. For example, in telephone consultations, consultants are supported by means of integrated checklists. In addition, the investment advisory software ensures that all legal aspects of a consulting documentation are consistently processed and documented accordingly. In addition, digitalisation ensures that our investment strategies developed by experts are accessible to the customer online.

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