NowCM’s new co-CEO on why finance finds innovation so tough
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Fintech

NowCM’s new co-CEO on why finance finds innovation so tough

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The latest in a string of big appointments at debt capital markets-focused fintech NowCM is a reflection of how the firm must increasingly institutionalize itself as it grows. Markus Sauerland tells Euromoney why change is so difficult in the financial world.

Anyone looking for a striking image of what makes technological innovation so difficult in traditional banking need look no further than the extraordinary 3D model that Rabobank constructed of its IT systems back in 2017.

The model, which took months to construct, is a bewilderingly intricate mass of connections between thousands of desks, showing the ways in which all the different systems communicate – or fail to communicate – with each other.

Seven years on, it is fair to assume that banks have probably not got any simpler.

For Markus Sauerland – appointed in April as chief operating officer and co-chief executive of NowCM, a fintech that specialises in developing digital solutions for primary debt issuance and bond trading – Rabobank’s depiction of its systems is a reminder of exactly the kind of challenge faced by the institutions that NowCM works with every day.

Robert Koller, founder and CEO of NowCM, likes to cite an oft-repeated statistic that an investment bank once found that whenever it was involved in a bond issue, it had to type the details into 28 different systems manually because none of them were connected.

Sauerland recognises that picture only too well.

“Every institution now recognises that they need to do something,” he tells Euromoney.

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Deputy editor
Mark Baker is deputy editor. Prior to joining Euromoney magazine he was based in Hong Kong as managing editor, Asia, for the Capital Markets Group. He previously edited EuroWeek magazine and was also deputy editor at International Financing Review.
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