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Fintech Solarisbank shakes up tech management with new CIO and CTO

The German bank is working to incorporate acquisition Contis' tech.

German banking-as-a-service start-up Solarisbank has reorganised its top technology management, promoting Ingmar Krusch as CIO and Dennis Winter as CTO.

The new Solarisbank CIO and CTO team will report to chief platform officer Jörg Howein. The pair replace previous Solarisbank CIO Hima Mandali, who joined Solarisbank in 2019 from CapitalOne; Solarisbank said in its press release Mandali had decided to return to the US.

Berlin-based Solarisbank describes itself as a “tech company with a banking licence”, and offers white-label banking-as-a-service (BaaS), allowing almost any company to establish a banking product, with a full EU banking licence. Last year Solarisbank raised €190 million in Series D funding, valuing the bank at around €1.4 billion.

This January the fintech completed its acquisition of UK competitor Contis, giving it additional reach – and a 2021 revenue of more than €100 million.

Solarisbank’s clients include American Express, for whom the firm provided an API-powered buy-now-pay-later function in Germany; and Samsung, which uses Solarisbank to provide a virtual German debit card for Samsung Pay users in Germany. Other clients include German B2B bank Penta, crypto bank Nuri, and mobile bank Tomorrow.

See also: 'Fintech’s fintech' ClearBank raises £170m as Azure-native startup looks to global growth

Since acquiring Contis, the bank added Chloé Mayenobe as chief growth officer in March, and had an organisational shake-up later the same month. On the technical side, Solarisbank announced it had signed a deal with Snowflake to use its cloud systems to store and process the bank’s data.

Solarisbank makes a big play of being fully in the cloud, and of having a completely modern tech stack. The bank offers all its services as RESTful APIs.

The bank has also been under some additional scrutiny from BaFin, the German banking regulator (itself under increased pressure following its lack of scrutiny of Wirecard, which collapsed in scandal in 2020). BaFin announced in March that Solarisbank was subject to additional capital requirements, and that it had found “numerous organizational deficiencies” at the bank.

Both Krusch and Winter have been with Solarisbank since near the start of its founding in 2016. As Solarisbank CIO Krusch will “drive the tech organisation as a whole” according to the firm. Winter as CTO will lead strategic development of the bank’s technology architecture and security strategy – as well as integrating Contis’ tech.

“As a result of the Contis partnership and the expansion with local branches and tech hubs, Solarisbank has grown into a multinational company,” said Howein in a press release about the new Solarisbank CIO and CTO appointments.

“Almost half of the more than 700 employees are part of the tech and product teams, and we are convinced that a close-knit dual leadership can master the challenges of a growing tech organization. I am thrilled that we were able to win over Ingmar and Dennis, two outstanding managers from our own ranks, for this task.”

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