The professional career of Markus Berendes - Part 2
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Bonnfinanz and Markus Berendes
Interviewer: How did the chapter „Bonnfinanz“ start?
Markus Berendes: My original plan was to go back to the bank where I used to work. Even my parents thought that I will go back. When I came back from Chicago the former branch director of Bonnfinanz in Munich offered me the vacancy as general agency manager at Bonnfinanz. Back then, I was only 21 years old and the youngest general agency manager– I couldn’t refuse this opportunity.
That’s how I got into the independent financial services industry. An additional benefit was that Bonnfinanz was the market leader in asset advice from a single source at that time.
Interviewer: In summary, can you please let me know what did you prefer the most at Bonnfinanz in comparison to your former employment at the bank? What was the main difference for you?
Financial analysis make are important
Markus Berendes: At Bonnfinanz I had to generate sales. No sales, no money. Due to the financial analysis I had the opportunity and knowledge to adjust the offers for the customers exactly to their needs according to the assessment at that time.
Such a detailed analysis was not possible at the bank because we had no chance to have such a consultation with the people standing at the counter. People came to the bank and said “I have 100 euros to save every month, please do something.”. At the bank we had the instruction to sell specific selected contracts to the customers. Moreover, we received a letter from headquarters every morning which stocks should be sold this week.
These products were not tailor-made for the customers at all. The aim from the bank was to minimize its own portfolio and sell it to the people.
Interviewer: This means, at Bonnfinanz you had the opportunity to choose between many different offers to really fulfill the people’s needs?
Markus Berendes: Yes exactly. I preferred this type of customer care much more.
The call from Berthold Schadek
Interviewer: How long did you stay with Bonnfinanz?
Markus Berendes: Three to three and a half year. Until 1983. Afterwards, I followed the call from Berthold Schadek.
Interviewer: What exactly was the content from Berthold Schadek’s call?
Markus Berendes: Some branch director had left the company and Bert Schadek was sent by the head office. His task was to calm down the tense mood in the agencies. During this time I got to know him and saw how professionally he dealt with this problem.
Back then, such a method impressed me very much. Shortly after this time I received the information that Bert Schadek had founded his own company. The name of the company was Securent GmbH. The former branch manager who was responsible for me, asked if I will follow Bert Schadek to the Securent GmbH. So did I.
Interviewer: Did many colleagues of you switched from Bonnfinanz to Securent GmbH?
Markus Berendes: Some. It was manageable. I think that Berthold Schadek behaved very carefully in order to avoid discrepancies with Bonnfinanz. After a while, I also started my own company together with a partner. However, my company was based very much on Bert Schadek’s concept.
Interviewer: Thank you very much Markus for this Interview!