Neobrokers´ impact on the retail brokerage industry in Germany

  • Alexander Thielecke (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Since 2019, there has been a surge of new low-cost challengers in the German market for self-directed online investors. This thesis seeks to understand what distinguishes these so-called neobrokers from incumbent brokerages and to estimate their likely impact on the German retail brokerage market. Therefore, the author conducted a qualitative analysis by researching existing literature and conducting six semi-structured interviews with experts from the retail brokerage industry. Findings show that neobrokers utilize disruptive business models. They omit or dramatically lower commissions to win new-market customers and over-served customers from incumbents. They do so by implementing lean and cost-efficient offerings while making revenues from payments for order flow. Neobrokers contribute to the overall growth of the market of self-directed investors. They also lead to a rising fragmentation and price competition in the retail brokerage market and likely impair incumbents’ future growth. Furthermore, a consumer survey was conducted to analyze the demographics, investment behaviors, and preferences of neobroker clients and clients of incumbents. The results show a significant difference in willingness to pay for online brokerage services between neobroker clients and clients of incumbents. Also, neobroker clients tend to have significantly less investment experience and trade more frequently than incumbents’ clients. Finally, neobroker clients value conventional quality attributes of online brokers significantly less, substantiating the statement that they constitute new-market and over-served customers.
Date of Award29 Apr 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPeter Rajsingh (Supervisor)


  • Disruptive innovation
  • Business model innovation
  • Retail brokerage industry
  • Online brokers
  • Self-directed investors
  • FinTech


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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