Berlin fintech startup factory is joined by three financial experts

Company builder FinLeap, specialized in financial services, expands their management team

Thomas Schmidt (48), Chris Bartz (38) and Marco Neuhaus (40), three financial experts with a strong affinity for startups, have joined FinLeap to support the Berlin based fintech team. “If you want to digitalize the financial industry, you have to know and understand the business. FinLeap’s experienced entrepreneurs and financial experts, in collaboration with a strong tech team, support the establishment of new fintech companies. The financial know-how and startup experience of FinLeap’s team are key success factors for our existing ventures as well as for startups already in the planning. Thomas Schmidt, Chris Bartz and Marco Neuhaus – three experts with more than 50 years of banking experience have decided to join FinLeap. We are very pleased about their decision“, says Ramin Niroumand, FinLeap co-founder and partner. 

FinLeap is a European startup factory specialized in financial services. Based on FinLeap’s support, six fintech companies have already been established since December 2014. More than 100 finance, startup and tech experts are working side-by-side on these ventures, and for FinLeap, in the heart of Berlin. Clark, the most recently founded enterprise, was able to contract Christopher Oster, the co-founder of Wimdu as CEO. Oster was supported by FinLeap’s expert team during the establishment of Clark – led by Dr. Mark Ortmann, a German insurance expert and transparency guru. “Schmidt, Bartz and Neuhaus complement our expertise in regulatory, market strategies and refinancing solutions“, explains Niroumand.

“If you want to digitalize the financial industry, you have to know and understand the business. FinLeap’s experienced entrepreneurs and financial experts, in collaboration with a strong tech team, support the establishment of new fintech companies.„ Ramin Niroumand, FinLeap Co-founder and Partner 

Ideally positioned for business success

Thomas Schmidt has assumed the position of FinLeap’s Regulatory Director. “Fintechs are operating in a fiercely regulated market – with high costs for all businesses. FinLeap’s ventures benefit from distributing these costs and having access to a high level of expertise.”, Schmidt explains. Schmidt got to know the business from scratch before joining the XCOM Group where he, in his capacity as an executive board member, was responsible for the restructuring and establishment of new business divisions within the financial group. His in-depth knowledge of bank management was proven during his assignment as a member of the board of directors of flatex Holding AG, where he transformed the shareholder bank into a full-service bank in his capacity as managing director.

“Fintechs are operating in a fiercely regulated market – with high costs for all businesses. FinLeap’s ventures benefit from distributing these costs and having access to a high level of expertise„ Thomas Schmidt, FinLeap Director Regulatory

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Chris Bartz, who assumed the new position of Chief Marketing Officer in July, highlights the opportunities for new Fintechs: “Customers do not trust established providers. Fintechs can fill this gap by taking their customers seriously and by providing offers that focus on customer requirements.” Bartz is heading a team of online, PR and brand specialists which supports the established startups in creating a market strategy, developing a brand and in handling public relations. He contributes almost 20 years of experience in the financial industry. After training as a bank clerk, Bartz continued his employment while studying in Frankfurt, Milan and London. He started his career at Deutsche Bank with a substantive focus on the development and implementation of organic growth strategies. Most recently, Bartz held the position of Head of Corporate Strategy & Communication at Mittelbrandenburgische Sparkasse and its subsidiary Berliner Privatbank Weberbank.

“Customers do not trust established providers. Fintechs can fill this gap by taking their customers seriously and by providing offers that focus on customer requirements„ Chris Bartz, FinLeap Chief Marketing Officer 

Success partly depends on optimal refinancing

Marco Neuhaus studied economics at Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn and at the London School of Economics and Political Science before receiving his doctorate at Mannheim University. In 2007, following assignments at Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch International in London and Frankfurt he joined Talanx Asset Management where he was responsible for all investments in high-yield products and funds: “Being able to invest at the right moment is very crucial for startups. Accordingly, optimal refinancing structures are essential.” In his capacity as a venture partner, Neuhaus is responsible for FinLeap’s investment and financing issues, and supports the management team of the FinLeap venture Billfront in coordinating requests from borrowed capital partners. In addition, he is involved in the development of new startups within the company builder.

“Being able to invest at the right moment is very crucial for startups. Accordingly, optimal refinancing structures are essential„ Marco Neuhaus, FinLeap Venture Partner