"There is almost nothing for which there isn't a subsidy program!"

Interview with Doris Woll, Chairwoman and Michael Schmidt, Authorized Signatory Sales Management, and Markus Allgayer, Head of Sales Management Residential Construction at Saarländische Investitionskreditbank AG

Over 70 people are committed at SIKB for the sustainable transformation of Saarland

The changed interest rate environment poses unprecedented challenges for many capital seekers - in the residential construction segment as well as in the private sector. Saarländische Investitionskreditbank has made it its mission to consistently support market participants in Germany's smallest federal state by area, acting not only as a conduit institution for KfW, but also as a business agent for its own investment companies.

Wirtschaftsforum: Ms. Woll, the Saarland Investment Credit Bank is involved in many critical areas of the economic life of Germany's smallest federal state by area. How complex is your range of services in everyday life?

Doris Woll: First of all, we act as a competition-neutral conduit institution to KfW and in this capacity, we provide support to our house banks (savings banks, cooperative banks, and commercial banks) as a risk partner in lending, to support even larger investments and more ambitious projects in Saarland. In the case of subordinated loans, which are also government-subsidized, we also make direct contact with the respective companies seeking such financing solutions. Furthermore, we act as an agency for the Guarantee Bank Saarland, where we primarily serve as a strong partner in risk-sharing, as well as for several investment companies, which are available to companies whenever they want to request equity-like funds, for example in the mezzanine sector, which is currently experiencing a renaissance.

Saarland Investment Credit Bank Value Tree
The value tree of the SIKB is an immutable guideline in daily business

At the same time, we are the business agents for the Saarländische Wagnisfinanzierungsgesellschaft, to date the only venture company in Saarland. In this capacity, we provide equity capital to startups in the early stages of their business life cycle through silent partnerships and, increasingly, open investments. This approach often better addresses their unique situations than traditional loan financing does. All these approaches are unified by our effort to use our expertise and clout to actively promote sustainable transformation in Saarland.

Doris Woll, Chairwoman of the Board
Doris Woll, Chairwoman of the Board
Michael Schmidt, Authorized Signatory Sales Management
Michael Schmidt, Authorized Signary Sales Management
Markus Allgayer, Head of Residential Construction Sales Management
Markus Allgayer, Head of Residential Construction Sales Management

Wirtschaftsforum: Mr. Schmidt, you are in charge of the commercial lending department at SIKB - how can all these daily business various approaches be merged into a coherent whole?

Michael Schmidt: Indeed, this is a very important key. Our goal is to consistently offer all these different services from a single source and to provide our partners with a clear guideline through the thicket of different funding programs, in order to meaningfully support the market participants in the Saarland economy and the house banks. That is why all our consultants have once worked in house banks themselves to be able to have an overview of the corresponding need and the challenges of the daily business in detail. In addition to optimizing interest rates, our focus is also on consistent risk management, which is why we often go into the upcoming customer meetings together with the respective house bank to jointly determine the best possible financing structure. Depending on the determined need for equity capital, a participation company or the guarantee bank can then be integrated into the process, for example. Such comprehensive support across all entities is unique in Saarland. Especially in the context of business start-ups and succession planning, individual solutions are often the right way.

Wirtschaftsforum: In addition, the Saarländische Investitionskreditbank also acts as a contact for state housing promotion.

Markus Allgayer: The seemingly classic area of private house building plays a rather subordinate role for us in daily business. Instead, we focus primarily on supporting settlement companies and private investors, where we distinguish between commercial and residential use of the respective funding. In addition, we are also the only institution in Saarland that finances condominium owners' associations, which is associated with extremely complex legal issues due to the specific legal form. Since the building stock in Saarland was mainly constructed 50 to 60 years ago, there is generally a strong need for renovation and a correspondingly wide demand for financing solutions, which we often explore in direct exchange with the owners. Another important pillar of our commitment in the residential sector is the promotion of social living space. Even though the real estate market in our state may not be as tense as in Munich or Berlin, there is also a strong demand for affordable rental and ownership properties in Saarland.

Saarland Investment Credit Bank Artrium
The SIKB is closely connected to the startup scene in Saarland

Wirtschaftsforum: What impact does the changed interest rate environment have on your day-to-day business in all these areas?

Doris Woll: As a promotional bank, we naturally play a special role in the financing landscape, and indeed, we have noticed that interest rate optimization, along with risk sharing, has once again become more important. Many attractive funding programs come with corresponding interest rate reductions, so that necessary investments in the sustainable transformation of Saarland can still be pursued decisively. At this point, our expanded advisory expertise is naturally in demand among all stakeholders - as well as our committed, trustworthy, and future-oriented attitude, which we of course want to fill with life every day, regardless of the macroeconomic conditions.

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