Niklas Becker (*1983) is co-responsible for the alternative investments division of a major international bank. He has many years of financial and capital market experience in Germany and abroad and, together with Olaf Lampson, designed and placed the student bond of StudierendenGesellschaft Witten/Herdecke e.V. in 2014.
In 2014, you were one of the initiators of the first talks that led to the foundation of CHANCEN eG. What motivated you to co-found CHANCEN eG back then?
The Income Share Agreement (ISA) is ingenious and has proven its worth since it was invented in the 1990s. Like many people before me, I thought it was a pity that the ISA was only offered at the Witten/Herdecke University. Other providers also offer the ISA model, but I think that ISAs should be available to everyone – regardless of their degree course, social background, gender, etc. This is what motivated us to start concrete talks in 2014.
How has the work of the supervisory board developed since its foundation?
Formally, the ‘supervisory board’ has existed since the cooperative was founded. However, even before its foundation, several people have played a major role in the project we now know as CHANCEN eG, and have contributed to its good start. GLS Treuhand, for example, and specifically Joachim Rang. He consequently took over the chairmanship of the supervisory board at the time of CHANCEN’s foundation, while Olaf Lampson and Florian Kollewijn are taking active responsibility in the executive board. With the expansion to five members, the supervisory board, and thus the entire organisation, has gained perspectives and competences without losing its discussion culture. Despite all the changes, one thing has remained constant: the supervisory board was and is a complementary and important body within CHANCEN eG.
What is your role in the supervisory board? Do you have particular focal points?
Finance is usually high on the agenda of the supervisory board. However, we would really like to have more space for other topics. If I had to name ‘my’ focus, it would be finance in the broader sense. However, I think it is one of the many strengths of the supervisory board that there are no clearly defined focal points and that every member is involved in every topic.
How can the supervisory board of CHANCEN eG develop further? What would you like to contribute?
Since its foundation, CHANCEN eG is in the process of defining its position in between a start-up and a social financial services provider. Our responsibility is growing constantly – towards students, universities, employees, investors and society at large. The supervisory board is not operationally active, but is happy to also provide and develop ideas. We are a controlling body at all times. It is my wish that we can continue to meet this responsibility with an open mind and joy. I would like to continue to contribute to this goal.
What are your wishes for CHANCEN eG during your next mandate?
I wish for the organisation to continue having a positive impact on society. We would love to see even more people starting to contribute to this vision. CHANCEN eG, like the ISA, are only a means to an end: making education accessible. Demography, digitalisation, populism and, in particular, the growing national debt are issues that CHANCEN eG must and will deal with. The future is shaped by people. It is therefore all the more important that the state and society create good conditions for education – this also means that everyone can afford education. This is our goal, which we will keep in mind beyond any mandate.