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Billionaire Michael Gastauer On Leadership And What It Means To Sole Invest

by Busines Newswire
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Microsoft. Berkshire Hathaway. CVS Health. Canva. When it comes to many of the world’s biggest and most recognizable companies, whether they are major conglomerates or young startups that changed or created an industry, a common denominator across all is the notable leadership they have.

These people at the helm, despite coming from different backgrounds and working in significantly different industries also share some common characteristics. These often include an unbridled commitment to innovate and the knack for finding common problems and an even greater desire to solve them.

Having one of the biggest years in its less than a decade history, Toronto-based Black Banx Group has had a similar force behind its continued success. German billionaire Michael Gastauer, after having experienced the flaws of cross border banking, account opening in foreign countries and international wire transfers for years as a finance professional and proprietor, established the borderless digital bank to address these concerns and then some.

Redefining Digital Banking on a Global Scale

Following its official launch to the market in 2015, Black Banx was able to earn 200,000 customers in its first year. Fast forward to 2024 and the digital bank has over 40 million customers.

Given the short period it has taken to reach this number of customers, it can be said that Black Banx’s success is significant, if not outright spectacular. For Gastauer, it all comes from keeping to the initial vision, no matter the circumstances, and being a leader to ensure that is the case for everyone he is working with.

“Vision comes from personal experiences where we want to solve a problem or offer a product or solution that doesn’t exist or makes things better. In this case, it was to make banking across countries so easy that it can rival local banking. Once I and the rest of Black Banx had clearly formulated, everything we did and continue to do has been in service of this goal. So no matter the highs and lows in the market, by keeping a goal in mind, it informs every decision you make, be it the skills you hire for, the innovations you pursue for your customers, or opting to operate via sole investment.”

“As leaders, our minds are what keeps us going in the right direction. Banking on our experiences and trusting the expertise we continue to earn helps us make important decisions and attract the right people. It is our “mental navigation system” that knows all the answers to the difficult questions that we deal with when building and leading your business. It helps us to stay positive, motivated and attracts the right feelings you need to be successful.” 

“A favorite quote that continues to inspire my work is ‘It is your mind that creates this world,’ which describes exactly how important both being knowledgeable and having a vision is. So, if anyone wants to learn how to be successful, they must learn how to work with their mind and make the most out of what it can do.”

As Gastauer’s brainchild, Black Banx has redefined digital banking on a global scale. The group is presently available in over 180 countries and counting, and empowers both private and business customers with transaction and account management services across 28 FIAT currencies and two cryptocurrencies.

Flexibility and Freedom in Sole Investing

While Black Banx continues to garner plenty of attention for its expanding availability in different markets and the millions of customers it continues to earn because of it, one aspect of its success that tends to be glossed over a little is how it operates via sole investment.

Apart from being the founder of Black Banx, CEO Michael Gastauer is also the President and Chairman of a number of successful companies and organizations, one of which is Gastauer Family Office. By the end of 2018, Black Banx group reached a US$10bn valuation, making it one of Europe’s most valuable fintech companies.

Given its success and rapid rise in valuation, Black Banx has had multiple opportunities to obtain external funding that would substantially boost its growth goals. However, Gastauer continues to opt for sole investment for the degree of freedom it offers him and his team.

According to Gastauer, the commitment to revolutionizing the cross-border aspect of finance has been what has allowed Black Banx to thrive even during these generally challenging times for fintech. By external investors likely insisting on capitalizing on every new opportunity in the market, that might not have been the case. 

“While it is indeed been tempting to dip our feet in other aspects of finance such as individual and corporate loans, especially during the fintech boom two years ago, we continue to feel that easing access to banking at a global level is our biggest responsibility, and as such, any efforts we make to expand Black Banx as a business should be in line with easing banking for global customers. If we were to have external parties insisting on the contrary in the name of only profits, we might not be where we are today and are headed in the future.”

Gastauer adds, “Of course, we maintain a commitment to innovation and will always want to address any pain points or problems customers have when it comes to making transactions across the globe, and sole investment is actually also what has afforded us the freedom to pursue new innovations as the only risk appetite we have to manage is our own.”