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04.06.2024 12:00:00

At the memorial service in honour of Professor Dr Philipp Sandner, WM Group and Frankfurt School of Finance & Management announced that they are establishing the ‘Philipp Sandner Award for Thought Leadership in Digital Finance Research’. Philipp Sandner held a professorship for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Frankfurt School and was the founding director and head of the Frankfurt School Blockchain Centre (FSBC). He passed away in January. The research award is intended to honour the achievements and innovations of Philipp Sandner and to promote young academics. 

"Philipp Sandner was undoubtedly one of THE pioneers in digital finance. He was an early adopter of this topic in research and teaching. He enlightened many people in business, politics and society. And inspired us all with his enthusiasm," says Joachim Lauterbach, Chairman of the Advisory Board of WM Gruppe, publisher of Börsen-Zeitung. "We were very pleased to establish the Philipp Sandner Award for Thought Leadership in Digital Finance Research together with Frankfurt School in order to continue to inspire young people to achieve excellence in this field in his spirit."

The ‘Philipp Sandner Award for Thought Leadership in Digital Finance Research’ is to be announced annually and internationally. The plan is to present it at the Frankfurt School Blockchain Centre conference. 

"Our community has lost a highly esteemed academic and colleague," said Frankfurt School President Professor Dr Nils Stieglitz. "With his passion and expertise for his field of research, he inspired us all and played a key role in shaping the profile of our business school. We want to honour Philipp Sandner's memory and are extremely grateful to the WM Group for supporting us with this generous sponsorship."


Family members, friends, colleagues and companions from academia, politics and associations came to Frankfurt School's Audimax on 3 June to commemorate Philipp Sandner. 

In his speech, Nils Stieglitz described how Philipp Sandner came to Frankfurt School in 2015 and founded the FSBC on his own initiative just two years later. Philipp Sandner recognised the risks of the new technology, but above all, he saw the opportunities. His enthusiasm was infectious and he was able to convince people of the potential of blockchain. This made Philipp Sandner a futurist and a key player in the blockchain ecosystem.

Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Federal Minister of Education and Research, got to know Philipp Sandner a few years ago as a member of the Bundestag through her work on the Finance Committee. In her speech, she recalled committee meetings in the Bundestag that focussed on the opportunities offered by blockchain. She was deeply impressed by Philipp Sandner's inspiring and engaging nature and his courage to embrace new technologies. She also admires his ability to make complex topics understandable: "When he explained something, it was suddenly no longer complicated at all. This was particularly true of his favourite subject - blockchain. He made this complex technology simple for everyone who listened to him," says Bettina Stark-Watzinger. As a scientist, it was always important to him to achieve a real impact with his research and to create a concrete benefit in practice. This was also reflected in his involvement in numerous committees, associations and initiatives. 

Burkhard Balz, Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Bundesbank, spoke about how Philipp Sandner succeeded in developing the Frankfurt School Blockchain Centre into an established platform. He has always sought dialogue and thus built a bridge between the new crypto scene and the traditional financial sector. As one of the most influential economists in Germany, Philipp Sandner recognised the potential of crypto tokens and blockchain technology for various areas of the economy at an early stage. His death has left a huge gap in the cryptoassets community.

In a very emotional speech, Philipp Schulden, Frankfurt School alumnus and first employee of the FSBC, described Philipp Sandner's almost fatherly care for his students. He always saw himself as a mentor and encouraged them to find their own way. He gave them the space to make mistakes and learn, but never left them alone. He therefore hopes that the FSBC will continue to stand up for Philipp Sandner's ideals and continue his work. 

Levin Zou, a Bachelor student at Frankfurt School, accompanied the memorial service on the piano. The subsequent get-together offered guest the opportunity to talk about shared memories of Philipp Sandner.