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Raisin has appointed former UBS chair and Bundesbank president Axel Weber to its advisory board as the German retail deposit broker revealed a 66 per cent jump in assets under management to €50bn.
Weber, who left UBS after a 10-year stint in 2022, will take on the role in December, the fintech group told the Financial Times.
One person familiar with the internal discussions added that Weber was “highly likely” to become the body’s chair, succeeding former Georgian prime minister and Raisin seed investor Lado Gurgenidze, who will remain on the advisory board.
Raisin operates online platforms in Germany, the UK, the US and five other European countries where consumers can compare savings accounts and other financial products and directly deposit their money with banks.
The advisory board, which meets once a quarter, has six external members, mainly representatives of investors. Unlike a supervisory board, which appoints executives and oversees the daily operations, it has no formal decision-making power but consults the management team on strategic questions.
Founded in 2013, Raisin has been buoyed by the sharp rise in interest rates, with assets under management rising by €20bn this year to €50bn, the company disclosed in a statement. A quarter of the funds came from consumers in the US, co-founder and chief executive Tamaz Georgadze told the FT.
Weber, who is also an adviser for German asset manager Flossbach von Storch and Boston Consulting Group, told the Financial Times that one of the reasons for joining Raisin was the start-up’s cross-border activities within Europe, as the company makes it much easier for consumers in one country to deposit savings in another.
“The European capital market and banking union has always been one of my hobby horses,” he said, adding that he was looking forward to sharing his experience in finance and payments with the fast-growing business.
Weber told the FT that he did not see a potential conflict of interest between his roles at Flossbach von Storch and Raisin, stressing he was advising the Cologne-based asset manager on macroeconomic issues and monetary policy, and was not involved in any investment decisions.
Georgadze told the FT that Weber’s decade-long experience in wealth management at UBS was highly valuable for Raisin. “While we clearly operate in a lower market segment, we also have the aspiration to develop investment and pension products,” he said, describing Weber as a “smart guy” who was as approachable as he was competent.
Raisin was on track to generate revenues above €150mn this year, a person familiar with the numbers told the FT. Georgadze told the FT that the company “has been consistently profitable on an operating level”.
Raisin says its 1.3mn customers since the company launched a decade ago had earned €1bn in interest, compared with €430mn that the same deposits would have generated with average market rates over the period.
Raisin in March raised €60mn from existing and new investors, including Goldman Sachs, saying it would spend the money on improving its website and its US expansion.