However, digital solutions and digitalised processes alone are not enough to make cooperation more efficient and productive, and to develop new business models; major changes can only take place if working conditions are adjusted and if the culture of cooperation within an enterprise changes.
This is a claim which Aareal Bank Group will incorporate more strongly in its entrepreneurial actions: we can only effectively react to a working environment becoming increasingly complex and faster if we can count on cross-functional networks and multi-disciplinary teams. Appropriate working conditions, structures and processes are to be established at Aareal Bank Group; at the same time, training programmes are being launched and a cultural transformation process has been initiated to firmly establish this approach with executives and employees.
Aareal Bank Group's start-up programme plays a significant role: "First of all, our start-up programme is obviously a great tool to better recognise and understand the drivers behind the digital development and market trends," says Henning Zander, Head of Aareal Bank Group's start-up programme. "That, however, also applies to pioneering forms of collaboration. We are currently putting a lot of thought into how we can further develop the models which we are already using within the Company – making them even more effective. Discussions and exchanges of information with young, innovative and unconventional companies are a great help."
Aareal Bank Group's start-up programme aims at cooperations, participation in accelerator programmes, strategic investments, and the development of own start-ups. For example, in 2019 Aareal Bank acquired a stake in PropTech1 Ventures, a venture capital fund specialising in European PropTech start-ups. "This fund investment gives us access to between ten and fifteen tech-savvy property sector companies, whose development and working patterns we can now closely follow," Zander confirms. "This not only increases our innovative strength, but also benefits the further development of our collaboration models."