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Carsten Höltkemeyer

General Manager, Barclaycard Germany

Tell us about your life before Barclaycard.

I have more than 20 years of experience in banking. I started my career at Price Waterhouse. After several jobs in Finance, including becoming CFO of Royal Bank of Scotland in Europe, I moved into a CEO role 10 years ago. I’ve now been running Barclaycard’s German business for seven years.

Why did you choose Barclaycard?

Barclaycard is one of the coolest brands in banking. Why wouldn’t you want to work for one of the most innovative payment companies in the world?

Is there something you learned early in your career that still sticks with you today?

In one of my first jobs, I had to check the FX trading results of an investment bank. My very ‘profound’ and detailed analysis concluded that there was a 50 billion-Euro gain on all transactions. This was 1,000 times higher than the average result of previous years, and clearly wrong! However, I defended my analysis, let’s say, very self-confidently to the end. After my discussion with the senior partner of the audit company, I landed very hard and very painfully.

The lesson? Never be too self-confident! Always challenge yourself.

What do you love most about your job?

The diversity of people in my team and the wider company. Working with so many great people is truly inspiring.

If there’s one thing you’d like to be known for, what would it be?

Being a great team player.

Tell us something surprising.

At the age of 16, I wanted to leave school to become a builder. Only after my mum intervened did I decide to finish school and go to university.

What do you do in your spare time?

I love to spend time with my family, ideally travelling with my two boys and my wife.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Make sure you can justify everything you’ve done to yourself when you look in the mirror the next day.