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CEO Blog: Grooming the next generation of global entrepreneurs

Today, we announced that our US CEO Nicolas Kopp would be leaving his role to pursue an exciting new venture - founding his own business. At N26, we pride ourselves on encouraging innovation, disruption and an entrepreneurial spirit as almost a school for entrepreneurs. While we’re sad to know Nic will be leaving, we’re also extremely proud to see one of our very own go forth and take this exciting and meaningful step as a founder.

Nic and I have known each other for a long time. We first met when we were both in business school at the University of St Gallen, and I was naturally delighted to have him come on board when we launched N26 in 2015. Back then, he’d left a job in investment banking to take a chance on N26 - a small company with a vision to change banking for the better.

Nic’s been with us since the beginning, when we were just a handful of people in a tiny windowless office in Berlin, launching N26’s free bank accounts for the very first time. Over the years, he’s played an instrumental role in building our business development team, combining strategy, operations and internationalization divisions, and developing our product partnerships including the one we have with Transferwise.

As we continued to grow, we knew we needed someone with global experience and a deep knowledge of our business to take on one of our most ambitious challenges yet - being the first European digital bank to enter the US market. Nic was a natural choice, and as US CEO has not just managed a hugely successful market launch, but also helped us scale our NYC-based team to over 80 people, build a world-class US leadership team and attract over 250,000 new customers within our first five months.

Under Nic’s leadership, we are now in a strong market position in the US, and have much more to look forward to. He will continue to lead the business until the middle of the year, where he will split his focus between finding a strong leader to drive forward our ambitious expansion plans in the US market, and ensuring that we continue to gain momentum to support our long-term strategy and success.

While we will be sad to see Nic go, we are also very excited for what lies ahead for a respected colleague and dear friend. As an entrepreneur, you build companies primarily to change an industry for customers. But another goal of ours as founders is to encourage and empower people to build their own companies. Seeing Nic take this step tells us that we’ve done our job well, and he has both Max and my full backing for his new venture. We wish him the very best and can’t wait to see what he will achieve.

Valentin Stalf Co-founder and CEO, N26

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