Marcus Schmalbach is Founder and CEO of RYSKEX, headquartered in Berlin, Germany. RYSKEX is an excellent mixture of innovative strength, network, and youthful curiosity. The company runs by the motto of ‘Tomorrow’s solution already today.’ Due to Marcus’s long-standing experience in risk and captive management in various industries, RYSKEX has emerged as one of the leading companies.
Before the founding of RYSKEX, Marcus was the Head of German MBA, and he is still working as a visiting professor on Innovation and Risk Management matters with and also an academic head of BlockART institute. Being one of the veterans in risk management, Marcus in a chat with Mirror Review, enlightened us on his approach towards the emerging threats in the industry. Here are the excerpts,
The right idea at the right time
What is the story behind the establishment of RYSKEX?
RYSKEX was created during my time at the business school. Back then, I was head of an MBA program and at the same time, my love for research was still focused on the emerging risks, alternative risk financing and strategic risk management of Fortune companies. Together with my then colleagues Prof. Dr. Plugmann and Prof. Dr. Nicolas Burkhardt, the idea of a symbiosis of technology and the capital market emerged. This led to the establishment of RYSKEX, later experts like Tatjana Winter, Simon Kolkmann and Tobias Gurtzick joined the team and we became a real company.
Either I win or I learn
Is there a secret motto that helps you embrace the failures?
I’m probably not the first to answer this question with the very wise words of Nelson Mandela, but I’d rather copy well than invent badly. I live by the motto “I never lose either I win or I learn“. At the same time, I try to live by the maxim of our investor Christian “The best boss is the dumbest employee” – this is true for us! I have my experts around me who I listen to and my experience and my gut help me—mostly—to make the right decisions!
Not the classic cliché CEO
Being a CEO, how will you describe your daily routine?
Here, I do not fulfill the classic cliché of a startup CEO. My day does not start with morning yoga, nor with a round of table tennis, nor do I dance my name together with the employees to start the day in the best possible mood.
My day is pretty simple, I come into the office to get a coffee, greet the ones I meet and then go on a walk with my dog and further make my phone calls and answer emails. In summary, no day is like the other— welcome to the age of VUCA World.
Recruitment is the key
How would you keep yourself and your team members motivated and does the company culture affect the performance of your team?
Well, I am a child of the eighties and the financial industry— ergo with money (just kidding). But this statement is not that wrong. Recruitment is the key so if you hire the right people from the start you need not worry at the times of crisis. So, everyone in our team has many years of professional experience, shares in the company and is hungry for success that is the basis. If one of them hangs in the balance, they will move up again in the others.
To answer the second part of the question, yes, company culture does tend to affect the performance. I haven’t taken a day off in three years. Not because I couldn’t, but because the project is far too much fun and I don’t want to miss anything. The fun we have together keeps us glued to the project despite the challenges.
Leadership runs in the DNA
Have any of your personal experiences helped you to become a good leader?
Hasn’t there always been an eternal discussion of human history, is one born a leader and follows his destiny, or can one become a leader? I claim I was a leader all my life and have always sought responsibility. Be it as captain of the soccer team, school spokesperson, or later as Head of the MBA program. I believe it is in my DNA to want to be a leader. Nevertheless, over the years, I have grown more and more and my experiences are beneficial to shape my leadership skills. Everything keeps coming back somehow. It is always about people.
Focusing On Bucket List
What are your future plans for the company?
The first on the list is to survive the upcoming global economic crisis—which seems to be a difficult task for the young tech companies. However, despite the crisis, our futuristic approach has very well prepared us for the challenges coming forth and we even see opportunities for our business model through the turbulences that have already begun. In the medium term, I’m looking forward to expanding the trading volume on the platform and as soon as we have reached an eleven-figure volume I see our mission fulfilled. Later, I might sell the company to a large financial group and devote myself to new tasks.
Healthy attitude keeps you healthy
Despite your busy schedule, how do you keep yourself healthy?
Especially in the current situation of pandemic, I listen to the health authorities and stay at home! But any on any other day I am an enthusiast athlete, I do sports regularly—very much like team sports because I love competition and comradeship. If this is not possible I go on a walk with my dog. I am grateful every day I wake up healthy and go to bed healthy. I think a healthy attitude can also help stay healthy.