Frankfurt Main Finance – New Website Reports on FinTech Activity in the Financial Centre

As part of an ongoing campaign to promote the Financial Centre Frankfurt as a leading FinTech hub, Frankfurt Main Finance has published their yearbook On the Move and refreshed their online presence. Both actions serve to better illustrate the FinTech activities in the Financial Centre and promote the local FinTech companies and their partners.

The new website, www.frankfurt-main-finance.com, shows which FinTech companies and institutions are already taking advantage of the enormous potential of the Frankfurt Rhine-Main region. Additionally, one can find current FinTech studies as well as a calendar featuring the numerous FinTech events in the area. Furthermore, the supporters and initiatives strengthening Frankfurt’s position as a FinTech Metropolis are listed in the new FinTech Database. Companies acting as service providers for FinTechs can also register in the database free of charge.

Another new feature on the Frankfurt Main Finance is the option to subscribe for the Financial Centre Newsletter containing news from the Financial Centre, suggested events and informative articles.

In addition to the new website, Frankfurt Main Finance is expanding their presence and efforts on Social Media. The success of this renewed effort is evident in the activities surrounding the Frankfurt Finance Summit where the designated hashtag, #FinSum16, was a top-trend in Germany on Twitter, especially within the financial sector. For continued updates on the Financial Centre, follow Frankfurt Main Finance on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Besides updates on the activities of Frankfurt Main Finance, the bilingual website also includes content regarding current topics concerning the Financial Centre, Frankfurt as an RMB Hub and the the city’s international activities.

“In addition to augmented content, Frankfurt Main Finance’s new online presence has a fresh and modern appearance. Visitors will find information more easily and quickly than before. Using the website should be enjoyable,” explained Dr. Lutz Raettig, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Frankfurt Main Finance.

 

FinTechs Changing the Financial Sector

“The FinTech firms are not about to kill off banks, but they will reshape finance,” declared Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, speaking at the Frankfurt Finance Summit. He explained that the job of regulators is not to stymie the young financial technology companies, but rather to create room for innovation. “The time is right for an open dialogue on digital transformation,” expressed Oettinger. He further outlined the importance of created the Digital Single Market.

Watch the video of Commissioner Oettinger’s keynote below.

Hesse Actively Promotes Development of FinTech Hub in Frankfurt

At the Frankfurt Finance Summit, Tarek Al-Wazir, Hessian Minister of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development, revealed that the planned Frankfurt FinTech Hub will open in September 2016. The Hessian government kicked off this initiative last December with an announcement. The goal is to create an attractive environment in Frankfurt for modern financial technology companies, known as FinTechs. The FinTech Hub should help to facilitate the founding of new companies and help to retain established FinTechs in the Frankfurt Rhine-Main region.

Watch Minister Al-Wazir’s speech below.

6th Frankfurt Finance Summit: the Future of Finance Decidedly Digital

On May 12, 2016, top names from the finance sector and politics came together in Frankfurt for the 6th Frankfurt Finance Summit. This year’s Summit was titled On the Move – the Future of Finance and explored digitalization’s implications for the industry and regulators. More than 200 people attended the conference held in Kap Europa, the first congress center in the world to be awarded a platinum certificate by the German Sustainable Building Council.

Of particular interest during the Summit were young financial technology companies, or FinTechs. Amongst other points, the day’s first panel explored the regulatory implications of digitalization and FinTech. The second panel of the day called Digitalization – the Dawning of FinTechs and moderated by Bloomberg Television’s Caroline Hyde, focused solely on FinTech. Even the conversation between Prof. Dr. Andreas Pfingsten and Diwakar Gupta highlighted the important role that digitalization is playing in increasing financial inclusion in developing economies in Asia, where millions of people lack access to brick and mortar financial institutions and cash still reigns supreme.

In his opening address, Tarek Al-Wazir, Hessian Minister of Economics, Energy, Transport, Urban and Regional Development, highlighted the importance of FinTech for the region and discussed the most recent developments in the continued effort to advance the Frankfurt-Rhine-Main region as a European center for FinTech companies. “[Digitalization] is not only a technological development. I think digitalization is working to restructure the economy and to change our lives. In fact, we are witnesses of a revolution,” explained Al-Wazir. Further stressing the importance of FinTech, Al-Wazir stated that, “The financial center Frankfurt needs to catch up in this development. Here, as elsewhere, the rule applies: either move with the times, or the times will move on without you. […] The region of Frankfurt enjoys ideal conditions to evolve into an international FinTech hub.” At the end of his address, Minister Al-Wazir outlined new details of the highly anticipated FinTech Hub to open in Frankfurt in September 2016.

The Future of Finance

With a look to the future of the financial sector, Carsten Kengeter, CEO Deutsche Börse Group, shared some of his views in a conversation with Prof. Dr. Uwe Stegemann, Director McKinsey & Company. Besides discussing topics like a possible Brexit or the merger of Deutsche Börse and the London Stock Exchange, Kengeter was keen to recognize the importance of FinTech and the new approach of his own organization in supporting FinTech and innovation. Kengeter pointed to Deutsche Börse’s own Venture Network, the recently launched FinTech Hub in Frankfurt and their commitment to initiatives like Dialogue Forum FinTech Frankfurt-Rhine-Main: “With our FinTech Hub being part of the Hessian State Government’s FinTech initiative, we want to give start-ups in the financial sector a jump start, thereby contributing to the creation and development of a FinTech community within Frankfurt’s financial center. Frankfurt should become Germany’s leading FinTech center.” Deutsche Börse Executive Board Member, Hauke Stars, would even point out later that Deutsche Börse was indeed itself a disruptive FinTech in the 1990s when it brought digitalization to the trading floor.

The panel, Redefining Banking – Regulatory and Economic Challenges, featured some of Europe’s top names in regulation and supervisory. After stressing the importance of the Capital Markets Union for growth of the European economy, the role of regulators in digitalization came into focus. Felix Hufeld, President of Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), stressed that his agency would create regulation that treats FinTechs and established institutions equally, helping to ensure a level playing field. Gabriel Bernardino, Chair of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority, explained, “We need to create the possibility for companies to innovate, but also within boundaries that will protect consumers.” Sylvie Matherat, Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Bank, further explained, “Digitalization has a fundamental impact on the banking industry and banks’ business models. Through its Innovation Labs, Deutsche Bank collaborates successfully with FinTech companies. We are embracing technology innovation as a source of future differentiated value to our clients. However, given the increasing importance of FinTechs it is vital that they are regulated adequately. Regulators need to find the right balance between fostering innovation and safety for clients and the financial system.”

Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, delivered the Summit’s first keynote address, examining digitalization and the European strategy for fostering digitalization and creating a Digital Single Market. He stated, “Our duty is to protect the consumer, the investor and their personal data and to ensure a level playing field for all players of the sector.” Oettinger inspiringly stressed that the time is right for an open dialogue on digital transformation and gave details of an action plan to be released later in 2016, the result of discussions with political and business leaders across the EU.

The Dawning of FinTechs

The second conversation and panel titled Digitalization – the Dawning of FinTechs, moderated by Bloomberg Television’s Caroline Hyde, proved to be one of the most exciting and lively conversations of the day. In his conversation with Hyde, Gottfried Leibbrandt, CEO of SWIFT, stressed the importance of cyber security and how digitalization can create new vulnerabilities. Leibbrandt also posited that banks should cooperate with FinTechs and that adapting their technology would help them and consumers. The panelists continued the conversation on FinTech and discussed how FinTech is changing back office functions in banks as well as the role it plays for end-users or consumers. On Blockchain, Hauke Stars of Deutsche Boerse stated, “Blockchain has the potential to disrupt the financial industry right from the center.” Stars continued to explain, that “The big cost and the big benefit in the financial industry is not the consumer from my perspective, it’s the B2B business. And when I look at the costs banks have in the back office and the infrastructure costs and the opportunity for efficiency with different technology, I’m sure there will be an impact on the way finance is run in the future using this technology. It is the way the financial infrastructure is run, the underlying technology that I see as changing and the driver for change.” Roland Boekhout, Chairman of the Management Board of ING-DiBa AG, highlighted his organization’s efforts to cooperate with FinTechs, “Our goal is to be the leading digital bank in Germany. Besides developing our own digital services internally, we emphasize cooperation with FinTechs who are also developing technology and services relevant for our customers.”

A distinct honor this year, was welcoming Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, German Minister of Finance, to the podium to deliver this year’s Keynote address: Tectonic Shift – Where will finance move to? In his keynote, Dr. Schäuble addressed the UK’s possible exit from the EU saying, “I think both the EU and the UK are better served with Britain remaining,” and that, “Great Britain’s relationship with Europe should not be defined by splendid isolation, but by splendid integration.” He further explained that the future of finance is deeply seeded in the future of the EU. He lauded regulators, saying that the risk of tax payer money being used to save failing banks has fallen. He also shed light on progress that needs to be made towards strengthening the banking union. Finally, he touched on digitalization and innovation expressing that all industries must be innovative to find business models that fit to the new world. Following his address, participants enjoyed the opportunity to ask Dr. Schäuble their own questions.

The final conversation of the day between Prof. Dr. Andreas Pfingsten, Director, Finance Center Münster, University of Münster, and Diwakar Gupta, Vice President, Asian Development Bank (ADB), centered on Financial Inclusion, covering a broad area from policy making to society to digitalization. Gupta explained the challenges of financial inclusion in areas where one third of the population lives in poverty, topping the list being limited access to financial services and getting people to use them for the first time. He asserted that governments must play a central role in crafting policy to support technology that will help foster financial inclusion. The success stories of mobile banking networks in Africa evidence the need for the expansion of FinTech to support these aims.

In its sixth year, the Frankfurt Finance Summit proved again to be a great success, proven by its resonance in the media and not only the distinguished speakers and panelists, but also the high-profile participants. The Summit was also available via a Livestream which was viewed by more than one thousand people throughout the day. The complete recordings of the Summit can be viewed in the YouTube playlist below.

Study the Future: first Bachelor’s programme with concentration in FinTech

Beginning in the winter semester of 2016/17, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management will offer a new concentration, Digital Innovation and FinTech, in their Bachelor’s in Business Administration. The launch partner and initiator of this first of its kind study programme is Germany’s FinTech Group AG, who will provide 50 percent scholarships for 20 outstanding students. In return, students will receive a traineeship with FinTech Group where they can begin to gather practical industry experience.

“These IT driven innovations are creating enormous potential. Here in Frankfurt, this is especially true for FinTechs,” explains Professor Dr. Udo Steffens, President of Frankfurt School. “Now we have created the first degree programme that prepares young people to take advantage of these products and services’ opportunities. FinTech Group has proved to be a competent sparring partner in the development of this programme. The cooperation will absolutely be a benefit for our students.”

The new concentration is the concept of FinTech Group CEO Frank Niehage. He explains, “In order to secure the future of digitalisation in Germany’s financial sector, we will require committed and well educated employees, especially in Frankfurt. Only with them will we be able to realise our growth and market opportunities. We are excited to have found such an excellent partner in Frankfurt School, with whom we were able to efficient and effectively implement the concept for the first FinTech degree programme. Our larger, shared goal is to offer students diverse career perspectives and to invite other companies to participate in this.”

To provide the students even more motivation, FinTech Group plans to offer permanent positions to the top three students in each graduating class. Frankfurt School introduced the new concentration at their biannual recruiting event, Bachelor Day, where FinTech Group was also on present with an information stand.

The bachelor’s programme in Business Administration with a concentration in Digital Innovation and FinTech will last seven semesters and be offered in a three-day model. This means that students will attend lectures for three days of the week and have three days in which to gain work experience. Frankfurt School hopes to be able to pair students with additional companies as interns, work students or trainees. The programme will begin on August 19, 2016 and the application deadline is June 30. Tuition is EUR 6,650 per semester, half of which will be subsidised by FinTech Group.

FinTechGermany Award Honors Best FinTechs

The Financial Centre Frankfurt will soon honor outstanding FinTech companies with the FinTechGermany Award. FinTech and InsurTech companies with successful and promising business models will compete for the prize. The annual award, presented by Frankfurt Main Finance, Business Angels FrankfurtRheinMain and WM Gruppe (Börsen-Zeitung), will spotlight the German FinTech community and hopefully attract further investment. Top sponsors of the award are Deutsche Bank and Deutsche Börse. This coming September, the jury of FinTech experts and prominent representatives of the financial sector will evaluate applicants in four categories, seed/early stage, later stage, growth stage and foreign new entrant to Germany. The most important criteria considered will be financial viability, scalability and exit strategy.

Jury member and Executive Chairman of Frankfurt Main Finance, Dr. Lutz Raettig, welcomed the announcement of the award, “This award is the perfect addition to the Financial Centre Frankfurt’s FinTech landscape and the forthcoming FinTech Hub will also profit from attention from domestic and international investors. Frankfurt is an international Financial Centre that offers FinTech companies the optimal conditions for successful development and growth.”

Heading the jury is Andreas Lukic, Chairman of Business Angels FrankfurtRheinMain, who explains that the FinTechGermany Award is a positive signal in the context of the Frankfurt FinTech Center initiative. He explains, “The award creates the optimal environment for our efforts. Additionally, we have the opportunity to ease access to institutional capital and subsidies; as well as hopefully mobilizing private capital for FinTech companies.” The founder’s award will give provide FinTech and InsurTech companies access and visibility to investors at all levels as well as relevant feedback on the feasibility of their business models.

Business Angels FrankfurtRheinMain e.V. is the central forum for growing companies seeking investors and for mentoring private investors from across Germany. The organization sees itself as a patron for the youngest generation of businesses, particularly in the Rhine-Main Region and attempts to close the wide funding gap for innovators. Therefore, the network is active in politics, commerce and the community in order to strengthen Business Angels’ role as an integral supporter of entrepreneurs.

Contact Info for Business Angels FrankfurtRheinMain

Andreas Lukic, Chairman, alu@valuenet-capital.de
Frank Müller, Managing Director, info@ba-frm.de
+49 (0)69 21 97 15 91, Börsenplatz 4, 60313 Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt Finance Summit 2016: Challenges of Digitalization

The countdown is running! The 6th Frankfurt Finance Summit takes place on May 12th, 2016 under the motto On the Move – the Future of Finance. In advance of this extraordinary conference, a short look at some of the topics with three of our renowned speakers.

Dr. Lutz R. Raettig, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Frankfurt Main Finance

“It’s a real game changer: We may be talking about tectonic moves or tectonic changes. We are all invited to discuss with prominent practitioners, with central bankers, with politicians, among all is our Finance Minister, Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble. So we are looking forward to go through a very interesting and exciting program with you.”

Carl-Ludwig Thiele, Member of the Executive Board, Deutsche Bundesbank

“Yet, we are at the beginning of a very interesting development. And right now, we are only just beginning to understand its impact on the financial system and the way we bank in the future.”

Roland Boekhout, Chairman of the Management Board, ING-DiBa AG

“Digitalization, the Internet of Everything and Industry 4.0 – they offer massive changes to all kind of industries, including financial services and banking in particular. Massive challenges to move along, but also massive opportunities to offer more convenience services to our customers.”

Frankfurt Finance Summit: Digitalization in Focus

The second panel at the Frankfurt Finance Summit On the Move on May 12, 2016 covers the theme Digitalization – The Dawning of FinTechs.

Topics include:

  • FinTech: a regulative legal black hole?
  • Where can newcomers seriously threaten the big players?
  • Do the FinTechs want to cooperate with or attack the banks?
  • How does the digital bank of the future look like?
  • What are the downsides of digital in banking, e.g. cyberrisks?

Schedule:

Keynote (1:00 – 1:20 p.m.):

Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner Digital Economy & Society European Commission

Conversation (1:20 – 1:50 p.m.):

  • Caroline Hyde, European Business Correspondent, Bloomberg Television
  • Gottfried Leibbrandt,CEO, SWIFT

Panel Discussion (1:50 – 2:40 p.m.):

  • André M. Bajorat, CEO, figo GmbH
  • Roland Boekhout, Chairman of the Management Board, ING-DiBa AG
  • Dr. Markus Pertlwieser, CDO Private Wealth & Commercial Clients, Deutsche Bank AG
  • Hauke Stars, Member of the Executive Board, Deutsche Börse AG
  • Carl-Ludwig Thiele, Member of the Executive Board, Deutsche Bundesbank

The conference is held in English. Follow along on Twitter or over our live stream on May 12th beginning at 1:00 p.m. at frankfurt-main-finance.com/stream