Dear Friends and Members,
As 2016 draws to a close, it is prudent to reflect on the past year, our accomplishments, and the challenges we have met. In doing so, one can be quite content with the strides that Frankfurt Main Finance has made in promoting our Financial Centre within Germany and across the globe. We continued to grow and nurture our international partnerships, sending several delegations to financial centres in Asia and Eastern Europe. At our Financial Centre Breakfasts we enjoyed discussions with Arundhati Bhattacharya, CEO of the State Bank of India, and François Villeroy de Galhau, Gouverneur of the Banque de France. Both of these leaders gave us great insight into some of the challenges facing financial institutions in their countries, in particular digitalization.
This year’s Frankfurt Finance Summit focused on this current trend of digitalization in the financial sector and how major actors address the challenges it presents. We were honored to have Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, deliver a keynote on the European unified strategy for digitalization. In his keynote, Germany’s Minister of Finance, Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, expressed his views on where the financial industry is heading, challenging businesses to find new, innovative models that fit into our new world.
At the time of the Summit, the results of the United Kingdom’s referendum on EU membership seemed almost unthinkable. Six months later, we can surely say this was just the first of many surprises in 2016. However, Brexit has presented the Financial Centre Frankfurt with an opportunity to become a facilitator, to grow and welcome more institutions into our city. For Frankfurt Main Finance, Brexit thrust our initiative into the international spotlight. Between hundreds of interviews with international press outlets, speeches and panel discussions, and delegation trips, Frankfurt Main Finance has been hard at work spreading the word about our Financial Centre and our cooperative approach to building a new “London Bridge.”
Winning large institutions for Frankfurt is certainly important, but many of our efforts over the past year have been dedicated to the smallest actors. In the beginning of 2016, Frankfurt Main Finance was hard at work with the Dialogue Forum FinTech Frankfurt Rhine-Main to promote our region as a top destination for Financial Technology start-ups. The past year brought with it an explosion in activity in the FinTech ecosystem and culminated in the opening of Frankfurt’s FinTech Hub, Tech Quartier.
As we enter the quiet days around Christmas and the New Year, we can rest satisfied in our diligent work in 2016 advancing our Financial Centre. We are optimistic in our trajectory and look forward to the opportunities and challenges that 2017 will bring. But until they are here, we wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. May your holidays be rejuvenating, inspiring and filled with joy!
Your Frankfurt Main Finance Team