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Banking on success: Jorn Follmer ’91

Jörn Follmer ’91 MBA helped his native Germany reunify through financial solvency.

Banking on success: Jorn Follmer ’91

Jörn Follmer ’91 MBA right with Paris Hilton went back to his native Germany to help his country with reunification investment.

Banking on success: Jorn Follmer ’91

Jörn Follmer ’91 MBA helped his native Germany reunify through financial solvency.

The only downside to Jörn Follmer’s ’91 MBA job is too much travel. But the 45-year-old investment banker reckons there are worse fates than having to fly to New York City seven times a year, or jetting off to New Zealand or Malaysia at the drop of a hat. Last year, he had two personal destinations, one vertical, one back in time: to climb Kilimanjaro and to fly back to Fort Worth for his 20-year reunion.

The West Berlin native was at TCU in 1989, the year the wall came down. In 1991, MBA in hand, he went back to Germany to help his country with reunification investment. After founding and selling two profitable companies, he’s now a partner with CDC, a Munich-based capital market service company and official listing partner of Deutsche Börse (the German Stock Exchange).
CDC is one of Deutsche Börse’s top listing partners in terms of taking international issuers public.

“It’s the fastest-growing and least expensive exchange in Europe,” he says. “And if your company has anything to do with green tech, sustainables, or eco tech, Deutsche Börse is the best place in the world to list and to raise growth capital.”

Follmer is the face of CDC, responsible for taking companies public and being public, for presenting them to potential investors and the press. He’s convinced that studying in the U.S. helped him to feel confident when speaking English with people from all over the world.

“Coming to TCU definitely gave me an edge linguistically, but also in feeling comfortable within other cultures,” he says. “I arrived with my two suitcases from Germany, and that was it. I dove into a whole new world.”

Diving into new experiences is Follmer’s delight. “At my age, many people are deeply entrenched — they’ve already mapped out the rest of their lives. I want to keep exploring in life, to keep trying new things.”

It’s one reason he enjoys being honorary consul for Jamaica, an invitation he accepted early last year. The other is his unquenchable sociability. “I was never a number cruncher. I was always much more comfortable with people, interpreting texts, communicating.”

The wall of photographs in his office attests to that: from Follmer with Paris Hilton (who owns 10 percent of Rich, AG, one of CDC’s clients) to football great Franz Beckenbauer, to former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and many more.

“I never did excel at Excel,” he says. “But you know, it hasn’t seemed to matter.”