Erik Podzuweit is the CEO of Scalable Capital, which he co-founded with Florian Prucker, Stefan Mittnik and Adam French in 2014. The company has grown to become the largest digital asset manager in Europe and boasts more than £1.7 billion in assets. In addition, on June 9, 2021, it announced that it had raised over $180 million in Series E funding, making it the sixth fintech unicorn in Germany. Through these ten facts, you will understand how Podzuweit and his co-founders have managed to make their way to the top in the dynamic tech industry.
1. Why He Thinks People Should Trust Robots More Than Bank Advisors
According to Podzuweit, there is a conflict of interest between the quality of advice from the bank advisors and the commission earned. Usually, the bank advisors are given targets for in-house products, which they must meet to acquire high commissions. Therefore, they aim to convince customers to take up more assets, not caring if it is suitable for the customer portfolio or not. In contrast, Robo advisors go a step further to be concerned about client portfolios. Hence, as per the CEO’s reasoning, the journey of the Robo advisors begins where the traditional bank advisors end, making the robots much better in digital asset management.
2. His Vision for Private Investment
DUB UNTERNEHMER magazine interviewed the CEO, and he revealed that in the next ten years, he expects every investor to have adopted some form of private investment. Podzuweit opines that the fact they were the first German Robo advisor to hit the one billion euro mark in customer assets is proof that the trust people have in digital asset management keeps growing. He added that the trust compels customers to try them out because they know the benefits are worth it.
3. He is Not a People Pleaser
Often, we are told that you lose a piece of yourself every time you decide to please other people until you are completely absorbed into what they think of you. Podzuweit believes your downfall is near the minute you start trying to please everyone. He opines that the only people you should focus on are those you are targeting to sell to because they are the only ones you need to convince.
4. The Best Virtues He Thinks are Best for Starting a Business
In an interview with Wirtschafts Forum, Podzuweit explained that founding a startup is not an easy task, and one must be ready to be assertive and have the critical ability. The CEO said that if you can take criticism seriously, you can create a good foundation for your business since most critics are advisors in their own way. However, that does not mean losing sight of the goal because people can also cause distractions that make you lose track of essential aspects needed for your startup.
5. Why He Thinks Execution of Ideas is Better than Ideas Themselves
Martin Lewis Perl, a renowned American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1995, once said that you should expect tons of useless ideas for every good one because the mind does not have a spam filter. However, you cannot know when an idea is not worth it until you try it out and determine if it is good enough to pursue. In the same way, Podzuweit added that as much as it is good to have a concept, execution separates it from the others in your head.
6. He Believes a Good Entrepreneur Must be Good at Sales
Most people mistake being good at sales as only referring to the salespeople who have to convince you to take up insurance so they can earn their commission. However, Podzuweit enlightens us that there is more to being a salesperson, especially when you have a business to run. On YouTube, he says that as an entrepreneur, you have to convince potential employees that they have to leave their current jobs to join your startup. At that point, you are not sure if it will even make it through the first year. He added that you also have to convince investors to put their money in your business.
7. He is Bright
Going by the fact that Podzuweit managed to be admitted to the University of Kiel, it is safe to conclude he was a bright student. The institution is rated among the top 3% of universities worldwide, holding the 20th position in Germany and ranked 389th globally. While at the University, the CEO studied Business and Economics. He later went on to England after being admitted to Warwick Business School. It is also quite competitive with an acceptance rate of 42%; students must have exceptional IT, statistical and numerical skills.
8. His Work Experience
After getting his education, Podzuweit put it to good use by becoming an econometrics and statistics tutor. He later utilized his knowledge at Goldman Sachs, where he spent seven years holding the senior positions of Executive Director and Vice President in London and Frankfurt, respectively. Podzuweit kept climbing the ranks; thus, even when he was employed at Westwing Home & Living in Germany, he became the co-CEO.
9. He is a Savvy Investor
Archyde talked to the CEO, who disclosed that he also likes to create long-term wealth and the best way to do so is by investing in ETFs. However, he still wants to make some money in the short term; hence he trades almost every day to have a manageable portfolio. The entrepreneur has also used his position as a neobroker to introduce others to the stock exchange. He reckons that people have become more aware of other investment options during the pandemic, thus their interest in the stock exchange. As such, Podzuweit prides himself on being the middleman, helping others make sound investment decisions as well.
10. He Does Not Think Brokers Should Suspend Trading to Protect Investors
Podzuweit clarified that neobrokers should not patronize customers by suspending shares of certain shares to protect investors. He believes the moment a broker advises an investor to avoid certain stocks for whichever reasons, the investor feels patronized, which is not recommendable. He, however, argued that even when Robinhood temporarily suspended the purchase of Gamestop shares, it was because they were experiencing a liquidity problem.