Is King of Stonks’ Felix Armand Based on a Real Person? Where is He Now?

‘King of Stonks’ is a German satirical series set against the backdrop of the finance sector. The story predominantly revolves around a German fintech company called CableCash and its two heads — COO Felix Armand (Thomas Schubert) and CEO Magnus Cramer (Matthias Brandt). Magnus is bombastic and an opportunist, whereas Felix is brilliant but seems to suffer from a deep-seated inferiority complex. One of the things that make them such a good team is that they complement each other. However, even in their company, many don’t know that there is a constant power struggle between the two. It becomes evident for the viewers in the pilot episode when Magnus dupes Felix into turning the entire company to him. Felix is then forced to accept his position as the COO while Magnus becomes the sole CEO.

Given the frequent references to real-life business people and companies in the show, many of you must be wondering whether Felix and the others are based on real people. Here is everything you need to know about him. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Who Is Felix Armand?

Felix is one of the main protagonists of the Netflix series ‘King of Stonks.’ Twelve years before the show, he was a programmer at Networth, a company that offered internet pioneers an uncomplicated online payment option. It was founded by Jutta Katz, who went on to become the head of Deutsche Bank. The company only attracted adult filmmakers, internet gambling sites, and ringtone creators as clients. But as their technology was astounding, it drew the attention of Deutsche Bank, and they sent two of their consultants to buy Networth. Magnus was one of those consultants.

However, the purchase didn’t go through as Felix, the creator of the code, hid the said code on Magnus’ advice. They purchased Networth for one euro and rebranded it as CableCash. Since then, the company has witnessed a meteoric rise. When the series opens, CableCash is about to go public.

Felix tries to leave CableCash multiple times but always ends up contributing to its survival. He is also quite an idealist. He begins dating the short seller Sheila Williams, believing that she is Amira Wallace, the daughter of a Nigerian billionaire. However, after he learns the truth, Felix’s vicious side comes out as he saves CableCash from a damning exposé and Sheila’s attempt to short its stocks.

Is Felix Armand Based on a Real Person?

Although Felix Armand, the COO of CableCash, doesn’t exist in real life, it seems that he was inspired by Jan Marsalek, the former COO of the since-insolvent Wirecard AG, a German company that provided payment processor and financial services. Marsalek is originally from Austria, and like Felix, he never received any degree. He joined Wirecard in 2000 and became its chief operating officer and a board member about a decade later.

Image Credit: OE24.TV/YouTube

Since the Wirecard scandal, Marsalek has been on the run from the authorities. In a June 2022 interview, while answering a question about what role the Wirecard case played in ‘King of Stonks,’ series co-creator Philipp Kässbohrer remarked that while there was a smidge of inspiration o the Wirecard scandal on the show, CableCash was a fictitious company on its own. He added that he and his team were more interested in the human motivations behind such scandals.

Where Is Jan Marsalek Now?

Marsalek was allegedly one of the most prominent masterminds of the Wirecard Scandal. In the show, Felix is shown to have links to Austrian intelligence. Marsalek, on the other hand, was reportedly connected to Russian intelligence. During the Wirecard scandal, Marsalek was fired from his position in the company. He was later spotted in Belarus. The German Police have designated him a fugitive, whereas Interpol has issued a Red Notice on him. Moreover, he is part of Europol’s list of Most Wanted Fugitives.

Read More: Is King of Stonks’ CableCash a Real Company?