On Friday, 19 February 2021, Christian Sewing, CEO of Deutsche Bank and Frankfurt School alumnus, spoke at an exclusive online event for Frankfurt School students and alumni about "More digital, more sustainable, more competitive: financing the transition of Europe's economy". He discussed the role of the financial sector in the recovery from the Corona pandemic and outlined how this path can be digital and sustainable. He emphasised his institution's responsibility and said: " From the beginning, we, Deutsche Bank, wanted to be part of the solution." Following his presentation, the CEO of Deutsche Bank answered questions from the over 650 participants. Professor Nils Stieglitz, President of Frankfurt School, welcomed Christian Sewing, students and alumni. Angelika Werner, Vice President Strategic Relations, and Carsten Vogel, Development Director, moderated the event.
In regards to the development of the pandemic, Christian Sewing showed optimism: "We as Deutsche Bank still believe that 2021 can be significantly better than last year - that we can get the virus under control and that the economy will recover quickly." He cited four aspects for his confidence: advanced vaccines that can be quickly adapted if needed; a pent-up demand among consumers and for corporate investment; government stimulus programmes on an unprecedented scale; and central banks generously providing liquidity to the markets. At the same time, Sewing warned of medium-term risks. For example, the national debt has increased enormously – at a time when enormous investments in a more sustainable and digital economy are needed.
At the end of his presentation, Christian Sewing gave personal insights. He has spent his entire professional life in the industry and still does so with enthusiasm: "The financial industry is versatile, it is global and it is a place where I can make a difference. That's still true for me after 30 years - and now more so than ever."
The discussion that followed focused on the impact of the Corona pandemic on the idea of a Capital Markets Union, inflation risk, Deutsche Bank's role in investment banking and career issues. Christian Sewing emphasised his studies at Frankfurt School would still benefit him today. But he also pointed out that knowledge alone is not enough to make it to the top: "A career in banking is a question of personality, passion, dedication and commitment. Certainly, you have to work hard to get to a top position. But you also need team spirit; an understanding of leadership; you have to be resilient and willing to make difficult decisions. But most of all, you need to enjoy the task, enjoy what you are doing."