University of Leipzig, Leipzig Graduate School of Management and St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences launch research project on finfluencers  

Digital media top the list of preferred information channels for private shareholders in German-speaking countries. Young shareholders in particular also use social media to find out about stock market topics, investment options and also individual shares. In this digital information system, a new type of information intermediary is establishing itself alongside analysts, journalists and investment advisors: the finfluencer.

Influencers are people who – often commercially motivated – regularly publish content on a topic in digital media and thus exert a certain influence on the interested audience. Finfluencers specialize in financial topics. Particularly on the social media channels YouTube and Instagram, finfluencers today reach a considerable audience and thus influence the knowledge, assessments and sentiments of shareholders.

Finfluencers are therefore a new target group for listed companies. However, the number, type and quality of finfluencers are largely unknown to date. As a result, issuers are reluctant to interact and even cooperate with this audience – forfeiting the opportunity to influence their representation by finfluencers.

A new research project by the Leipzig Graduate School of Management, St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences and the University of Leipzig will shed light on the hitherto less transparent market of finfluencers and thus provide orientation for issuers. The goal is to (1) identify finfluencers, (2) analyze their quality, and (3) contribute to quality assurance in the finfluencer field. The project is supported by DIRK – German Investor Relations Association, IR club Switzerland and Cercle Investor Relations Austria (CIRA).

The project will involve three steps by the end of 2023:

  1. Creation of a market overview: An overview of currently active finfluencers in the German-speaking region is to be created, which records essential structural features (such as platforms, main topics, reach, publication forms and frequency, etc.).
  2. Creation of a quality ranking: In a second step, the project team develops quality characteristics of the Finfluencer offerings and creates a quality ranking based on this.
  3. Development of a code of ethics for finfluencers: In a third step, a code of ethics for finfluencers will be developed together with representatives of finfluencer practice as well as issuers and associations. Finfluencers are invited to commit to this one. This, in turn, will feed into future quality rankings.

The project thus offers issuers an overview of the finfluencer market and facilitates orientation as to which finfluencers offer themselves as target groups or cooperation partners and can or should be taken into account in capital market communication. The project offers finfluencers easier access to the investor relations offerings of listed companies.


Prof. Dr. Christian Pieter Hoffmann

University of Leipzig, Center for Research in Financial Communication

Prof. Dr. Henning Zülch

HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management

FH-Prof. Mag. Monika Kovarova-Simecek

FH St. Pölten


DIRK – Deutscher Investor Relations Verband:

IR club Schweiz:

Cercle Investor Relations Austria (CIRA):

Previous publications:

Jonas, H., Hoffmann, C. P., & Binder-Tietz, S. (2022). Capital Market Communication for the New “Generation Share” Eine empirische Untersuchung der Anforderungen junger Privatanleger:innen an die Kommunikation von Aktiengesellschaften und Finanzdienstleistern. DIRK-Forschungsreihe, Band 29. Frankfurt: DIRK- Deutscher Investor Relations Verband.

Kovarova-Simecek, M., Barrantes, E., &  Müllner, J. (2023). The influence of finfluencers.

Fuchs, S., Michl, J., & Hoffmann, C. P. (2022). YouTube als Informationsquelle für die neue “Generation Aktie”. Eine Analyse der YouTube-Videos von deutschen Finfluencer:innen. Center for Research in Financial Communication.