Co-founder of DAB Bank, continental Europe's first online broker, and once the youngest CEO and executive board member of a German bank in German banking history Kröner's career has blended the world of banking, financial services and technology.
After the IPO of DAB Bank in 1999 Kröner founded KölschKröner & Co AG (KKuC) with Martin Kölsch and invested in rule breaking financial services start-ups. KKuC became Fidor Bank AG and Kröner as CEO has responsibility for strategic- and business development, investor, public- and corporate communications, retail customer groups within local markets and community development and loan-distribution as well as Assets- and Liability-Management/Treasury. He is also a member of the Board for Fidor TecS AG and is responsible for standardized product development and customer service.
Kröner will speak at the upcoming SAP Financial Services Forum, June 23-24, London where he will be speaking on the impact of new bank challengers and whether they will raise the bar for the industry or fail in a wave of regulations and red tape.
Q: What does digital innovation mean to you?
A: Digital innovation first of all is a state of mind and by that I mean that it’s a cultural issue. Digital innovation means searching for inefficiencies/spreads in an existing offer (or for new offers) and improving those in a very customer centric way – all enabled by state of the art technology. “Improving” is the ability to make it happen for a mass-market: easy, efficient, fast.
Q: What are the main challenges and opportunities that the financial services world faces as adoption of digital technologies becomes greater?
A: Keeping up with the speed of change is a particular challenge because the issues that need change – corporate culture or IT infrastructure, for example – are long-term projects.
Q: How can customer-led innovation be better ingrained within financial institutions?
A: I am not sure if that can ever really happen – starting from a green field site might be better.
Q: How can banks, financial institutions and insurance companies respond to competition from major consumer tech firms and new players who offer innovative digital and mobile financial services products?
A: In three ways: open your eyes; dare to change; and focus on your strengths.
Q: Looking at the agenda, what do you believe some of the key takeaways will be from the SAP Financial Services Forum, 2015?
A: We will see! There will be a lot of inspiration but, most importantly, one can only make things happen back in the office – if one wants.