Techquartier – These are the upcoming events for international FinTechs

Landing Pad

in Cooperation with KPMG.

Is Frankfurt the right place to get your startup to the top? Landing Pad is a unique opportunity to discover Germany’s FinTech hub and Frankfurt’s way of doing business – and it will happen in a matter of one week, not months!

Who? Selected fast-growing incorporated startups under 8 years old, eager to understand the German market and make first business connections.
How? Submit your pitch deck and tell us why you want to join Landing Pad.
When? 1. – 4. May. Application will close on April 1st.

 

 

Growth Con

GrowthCon is a Tech and M&A Conference and offers a deep dive into the relevant topics of today’s tech business and entrepreneurial challenges. Joining the event on stage, many well known investors and founders will discuss the hottest trends and give a picture of newest developments. As a networking platform, TechQuartier expects more than 500 technology savvy founders, digital leaders, investors and corporates to mix into an inspiring crowd. Get your ticket and more info about the agenda and the speakers here.

Pitch Battle at GrowthCon

Presented by TechQuartier in collaboration with Eintracht Franfurt, ING DiBa and WIBank, here is what the Pitch Battle is all about :

  • Seize the opportunity and present your start-up at GrowthCon to a high-level audience
  • Connect directly with high-profile investors, corporates and entrepreneurs at the Speakers’ Dinner
  • Win a investment readiness session with the experts of ACXIT and TechQuartier who will challenge your business strategy
  • All participants of the pitch battles receive free tickets to the conference

The Pitch Battles

TechQuartier is selecting 10 startups. The Pitch Battle consists of three tracks – SporsTech, FinTech and ICO. The 10 startups TechQuartier selects will present in front of the whole audience and to a selected group of expert judges from the industry and investment space.

When?  May 2nd, 12:00 to May 4th, 14:00

More Information on Techquartier.com.

 

FinTech Forum on Tour. Frankfurt Main Finance Managing Director Hubertus Väth

Building FinTech bridges between London and Frankfurt

FinTech Forum On Tour in Frankfurt

On March 22, 2018, promising entrepreneurs, investors, financial institutions and others interested in FinTech, gathered in Frankfurt for the FinTech Forum on Tour. The future cooperation between FinTechs and banks, as well as the UK and Germany were at the core of the event. Snowy weather and delicious earl grey tea created a fruitful atmosphere for discussions, startup pitches and much more.

Her Majesty’s Consul-General for Hessen, Mr. Rafe Courage, and Britain’s Ambassador to Germany, Sir Sebastian Wood KCMG, welcomed the attendees and underlined the importance of close collaboration between Germany and the UK in FinTech, especially in the coming years considering the growth of digitalization in banking and consequences of Brexit. “Scientific and technological cooperation must increase, there is no political discussions on that,” said Ambassador Wood. Hubertus Väth, managing director of Frankfurt Main Finance, elaborated on the Financial Centre Frankfurt’s role as the destination of choice after Brexit, stating that “Frankfurt is building a bridge to London for financial institutions and FinTech in particular.”

 

A major part of the forum was dedicated to startup pitches – ten FinTech companies presented their solutions for the future of banking and digitalization. Much attention was given to improving digital rights and consent management to protect consumer data. The integration of analytics systems for asset managers, secure data operations, and the role of artificial intelligence for banking were just several examples of the advancements that FinTech startups offer the finance sector in the UK and Germany.

During the panel, moderated by Dr. Martin Deckert (niiio finance group), Lucie Haß (Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen), Steffen Seeger (digitalplus), Christian Nehk (Barclays Bank) and Nektarios Liolios (Startupbootcamp FinTech) addressed questions about costs, competition, compliance and growth of FinTech and banking. All panelists agreed that digitalization in banking and the collaboration with FinTech startups has rapidly increased over last five years. However, there is still room for new solutions and innovative ideas in both markets. “Five years ago, Germany was far behind but now it is a place to be, it is a success for everybody,” said FinTech pioneer Nektarios Liolios.

Panelists and participants concurred that regulations may differ between countries; however, common trends apply. Large financial services companies and banks require more time to implement smart technological solutions, nevertheless the urgency for digitalization can no longer be denied as it may have been in 2013. According to Sir Sebastian Wood, Brexit and its resulting shifts in migration and trade policies does not undermine the fact that the UK is willing to cooperate with Europe, especially on FinTech IT matters. “Wir müssen Freunde bleiben,” exclaimed Ambassador Wood in German. The concluding remarks of his keynote corresponded nicely with Hubertus Väth’s position that Germany, and Frankfurt in particular, could indeed become the new bridge between London and Europe.

 

More Information: FinTech Forum On Tour

Andreas Dombret – Living with Fragmentation: Post-Brexit Realities in Financial Services

Keynote at the AIMA Global Policy and Regulatory Forum in Dublin on March 20, 2018

Introduction

Ladies and gentlemen

Thank you for the kind introduction. It is a pleasure to be in Dublin and at the 2018 AIMA Forum.

“Managing a fragmented world” is, in my view, a well-chosen topic. Most economic policymakers currently have their hands full trying to escape the doom loop of a trade war and a potentially hard Brexit. At the same time, banks, investors and most other firms have to prepare for these worst-case scenarios – not least, because supervisors urge them to.

And of course such fragmentation in financial services and its regulation may cause nightmares for many in the industry as well as for policymakers. And I do understand that – because it implies a great deal of uncertainty.

But we should not, I believe, panic: greater fragmentation seems inevitable after Brexit. Though, repercussions will not be as bad, as some fear, when we succeed in managing this greater fragmentation constructively – that means without resorting to nationalism that would just be destructive for all of us.

My topic today, then, is to look at the estimated extent of fragmentation in regulation of financial services after Brexit and what we should do about it.

Brexit and financial services

In Brexit negotiations common ground still seems hard to find. Even the basic principles of a new partnership remain vague. Given that and because time for preparation is running out for firms, uncertainty among businesses weighs heavier every day.

From an economic and financial market perspective, the two most important questions probably are:

  • Will there be a free trade or a comparable agreement?
  • Would a possible free trade agreement also include financial services?

In my view, there is substantial scope for a general free trade agreement. The main question to me is therefore how far-reaching can this future relationship be. For example an agreement without tariffs would be of high value and is possible. Another, less clear and highly complicated question is how to deal with non-tariff barriers like product standard regulations.

However, with a view to the financial services sector, a far-reaching free trade agreement is rather unlikely given the UK’s aspired exit from the single market and the customs union.

Likewise, I am rather sceptical about the approach via mutual recognition or about similar approaches based on regulatory harmonisation through technical committees and independent arbitration mechanisms.

Approaches of this kind could well undermine the ability of jurisdictions to set their own rules and the ability to safeguard financial stability.

The options that remain on the table are a “no deal” scenario or one with quite limited freedoms for financial services, as in the case of CETA. What would such scenarios mean to financial transactions between the UK and the EU?

First, the “no deal” scenario would mean that the EU and the UK would trade under rules set by the World Trade Organization – where services sectors are only thinly covered.

Service providers would then have to apply for comprehensive licenses in both jurisdictions and have all the necessary elements of a fully functioning bank ready in both places.

And second, even a CETA-like deal would most likely not mean far-ranging freedoms to provide financial services in the respective foreign jurisdiction.

Living with fragmentation

Therefore, it is – like it or not – quite likely that we will see greater fragmentation in financial regulation and supervision in Europe. What exactly that will mean is, however, unclear up to now.

It is this uncertainty about the exact nature of fragmentation post-Brexit that makes it so hard to assess the costs and benefits of more fragmentation.

Financial firms highlight that fragmentation is likely to mean organisational inefficiencies and higher organisational costs. And there can be no doubt that at least the transition to a new regime and new organisational structure will be costly. However, these costs may be less substantial in the long term – once firms have adapted to the new regime, clever managers will find new organisational solutions that integrate new compliance realities with organisational efficiencies.

Significant as these costs may be, politicians, regulators, and supervisors nevertheless have to take a broader perspective, one that is in line with the changed democratic preferences.

Thus, from the UK perspective, a far-reaching free trade agreement for financial services – and services in general – could be considered an obstacle to taking back legal and regulatory power.

At the same time, from the EU perspective, we cannot accept a liberalised common market, without a common supervision. Otherwise, as a supervisor, I would be concerned about financial stability. It seems therefore that some degree of fragmentation is almost inevitable.

But, should we simply wait for the end of EU-UK financial relations? Should we simply hope for the best?

Of course not. We have to manage fragmentation constructively –  we have to find innovative approaches for a new reality.

But let me make one thing very clear: this must not result in a race to the bottom. Fragmentation should not lead to competition through lax regulation or supervision. Such policies may seem to be in the best national interest, but ultimately they represent special interest politics. We must expose these policies for what they really are: threats to financial stability.

And that is why politicians, firms and supervisors have to deliver on three crucial points: first, a transition agreement; second, pragmatic supervisory cooperation; and third, managerial innovation.

Let me take each of these briefly, starting with the transition – or implementation phase, as it is now called.

The need for a transition phase

A transitional deal between the UK and the EU was agreed yesterday on negotiators’ level. During the implementation phase, which is to last until end 2020, EU rules would continue to apply in the UK and the exact terms of the future partnership shall be worked out. It is of utmost importance in order to give firms more time to adjust to the new realities.

It furthermore can reduce the long-term costs of Brexit. Firms can weigh up their options and decide which markets they want to serve and with which organisational design. They have now time to re-arrange their organisations on the basis of an analytical and forward-looking approach, rather than an approach of simply minimising uncertainty. The inefficiencies and potentially higher costs of financial intermediation can be reduced with this agreement.

I am confident that both sides have apparently recognised the importance of a transition phase in making Brexit less abrupt and, in the long run, less painful.

Despite all this positive news, it is still too early to lay back. Many issues are still to be discussed and the transitional period is still not fully guaranteed. It remains to be subject to a successful conclusion of an Article 50-deal within the next twelve months. For instance, the Irish question – i.e. keeping the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland invisible – needs to be resolved. Hence, the recently widely used phrase that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” still holds true.

Managing financial firms in a fragmented world

But even after a transition phase, Brexit and fragmentation would mean two things. First, future access to financial services markets would be more like the access given to a third country. Second, a successful conclusion of the Brexit negotiations is not guaranteed as it depends on whether a fully-fledged long-term agreement is achieved and ratified.

This is why I see no alternative to timely preparation, and to preparing for the worst-case scenario of a hard Brexit without any free trade agreement.

Looking at banks, proper preparation would include establishing at least basic entities in the other economic area – that is, the EU27 or the UK – in order to continue doing business there. The concept of a “basic entity” is not easy to define. As far as we are concerned, I can repeat that we will certainly not accept empty shells or letterbox companies where the business effectively continues to be run from London. For critical functions such as management, controlling and compliance, qualified personnel need to be present at the EU entity at all times. We expect any branch or subsidiary to retain chief responsibility for its business.

And banks have to begin implementing their plans and submitting their license applications no later than at the end of the second quarter of 2018. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to prevent a cliff edge.

Firms have a lot to complain about with regard to Brexit, and I do not mean to play this point down. But if the UK and the EU are attractive markets, I think there is something to be said for innovative approaches to comply with this new regime. That’s why firms will have to find new, efficient organisational strategies. For example, I am convinced that profitable business models can be organised with two independently licensed entities.

Managing regulation and supervision in a fragmented world

But don’t get me wrong: regulators and supervisors, too, have to be pragmatic and innovative to achieve our goals of efficiency, stability, and ensuring the real economy is provided with credit.

With financial sector firms relocating their business between London on the one hand and Frankfurt, Dublin and other cities on the other hand, close supervisory cooperation becomes even more important, especially over the coming years when we have to break new ground in supervision.

The cooperation between the EU and the UK authorities will have to be put on a new foundation. We will need to ensure information exchange, and of course we will have to think about how we can reduce unnecessary burdens from double licensing.

Whatever political decision is taken, bank supervisors will not only do all they can to make the transition to a new regime as smooth as possible; they will also, in the long run, try to reduce unnecessary inefficiencies where possible.

In December last year, the PRA published a draft proposal for a post-Brexit supervisory approach. I very much appreciate the spirit behind this approach. It reflects a solution-oriented, pragmatic, yet stability-oriented stance. In the same vein, the SSM has developed quite pragmatic, cooperative policy stances on many of the relevant issues. I am confident that this cooperative style can make an important contribution towards a smooth transition.

Conclusion

Ladies and gentlemen, greater fragmentation will most likely be an inevitable result of Brexit.

Instead of wishing to do away with what is beyond our control, we should set about finding pragmatic and at times innovative solutions to managing Brexit and the ensuing fragmentation constructively.

However, such a constructive approach will take time, because it means many complex answers have to be developed – which is why we need a sufficiently long transition phase.

And I have to say that I was really facilitated well and truly relieved when I heard the news yesterday that a transition phase had been agreed, because this could make Brexit less abrupt and, in the long run, less painful.

During that phase, supervisors will have to find solutions that enhance financial stability without undermining economic efficiency.

And financial firms will have to find innovative and pragmatic ways to comply with the new demands while maintaining their efficiency and profitability.

For all the bullet points on our to-do list, we need an honest dialogue – if unnecessary problems and burdens arise, firms and investors should always come and talk to us. Brexit is both too complex and too important to muddle through.

Thank you for your attention.

Source

Dombret, Dr. Andreas. “Living with Fragmentation: Post-Brexit Realities in Financial Services.” Speech, Dublin, Ireland, March 20, 2018. Deutsche Bundesbank. https://www.bundesbank.de/Redaktion/EN/Reden/2018/2018_03_20_dombret.html

 

CEo Theodor Weimer

Theodor Weimer: Why we are championing Frankfurt

Deutsche Börse is championing Frankfurt – and this supports the city as a financial centre. And it also helps Deutsche Börse. Because these initiatives enable us to also strengthen ourselves as a listed company on the global competitive stage. However, this works the other way around too. Frankfurt as a financial centre relies on Deutsche Börse’s strength to enable it to seize the opportunities currently available on the European financial market.

One example is euro clearing. With the forthcoming Brexit, the most important and, in terms of volume, predominant clearing house for interest rate swaps to-date would lie outside the EU. However, the EU will need to be strong enough to keep the systems so vital to its provision of financial instruments under its own jurisdiction without the British and without London.

Sounds complicated? Let me put it more simply: having just a single central clearing house for euro interest rate swaps is neither good nor is it in line with market requirements. Having a single such central clearing house – that is outside the EU, is just not on. Deutsche Börse has been very successful thus far with its offering to clearing customers. Customers see this matter the same way that we as the central financial service provider see it. We are ready, and in my opinion, the euro products clearing business should come to Frankfurt. Both the city and Deutsche Börse stand to profit. We should regard the decision to relocate the European Banking Authority (EBA) to Paris as a warning sign. We must all make an effort now; and I am sure that we will make an effort.

Our offer for the euro clearing operations, which nearly all major banks and financial service providers have meanwhile subscribed to, benefits us and simultaneously strengthens Frankfurt as a financial centre. By establishing a competitive, extremely efficient second trading point, we are promoting both the transparency and the robustness of the international financial markets. The volumes concerned are vast; our partnership programme achieved an average daily volume of €35 billion in the off-exchange interest rate segment in January 2018. Strengthening Frankfurt strengthens efficient and secure markets – and this is Deutsche Börse’s aim.

Frankfurt needs Deutsche Börse as a strong partner in order to be able to seize opportunities. A second example: regulation. We have positioned ourselves much more broadly here too and developed offers that efficiently implement regulation.

Regulation is, in a sense, a double-edged sword, as it is designed to create security without stifling motivation or creativity. I personally believe that regulation in the last ten years since the financial crisis has done a great deal to make our markets more secure and our banks more robust. I say this as CEO of Deutsche Börse, but also as someone who still remembers very well some nine years I spent as head of a major bank. I know banks, and I know the stock exchange – better and better. While regulation and its unintended consequences should be subject to regular review, regulation itself is a success.

It is important to me to expressly state that. This is the viewpoint that we, as Deutsche Börse, submit to the debate. At the same time, we offer solutions that facilitate implementation of regulations for our customers and that help to accurately process reporting requirements. This position means we enjoy technological leadership and set the pace for the entire sector as well. This competitive advantage will enable us to hold our own at the top with new initiatives.

Frankfurt is, therefore, a regulatory centre; important institutions are based here – first and foremost, the European Central Bank and the Deutsche Bundesbank, with a BaFin representative office as well. Then we have the most important and largest German banks, and what I consider a definite advantage to Frankfurt – many international banks. And not forgetting us – Deutsche Börse. We are reinforcing our company with offerings that turn the tomes of rules and accompanying manuals into efficiently functioning systems. There is also a need for this. Three very important regulations have gone into effect this year: MiFID II, the Benchmarks Regulation, and the European Central Securities Depositories Regulation (CSDR). The MiFID II text alone numbers 25,000 pages.

Frankfurt needs Deutsche Börse in order to be able to seize opportunities. Example number three: IPOs. In this regard, we face a good, possibly an excellent year. This is good for the real economy, good for Frankfurt as a financial centre, and good for Deutsche Börse.

We want this trend to continue and we are doing what we can to also make Frankfurt an attractive location for IPOs. Our various initiatives that support companies long before their IPOs are part of that. With our offering of location, funding, and business environment, we address the start-ups and creative individuals that we so urgently need in Germany. Frankfurt has caught up considerably here but we need to become better still. Our Scale segment and the Venture Network will help Frankfurt to become considerably more visible across Europe in this regard.

We are now investing a lot of money in a major renovation of the stock exchange building in Frankfurt city centre – with a focus on three aspects of improvement.

Firstly, a visitor’s centre, intended to bring especially young people closer to stock exchange activity and financial market functions. It is particularly important to me that the next generation knows and understands what our sector is all about. The stock exchange up close. This knowledge, referred to as “financial literacy”, makes many things a lot easier – from personal retirement savings to a broad public discussion about economic relationships. I believe that this century will be marked by these issues.

Centre for IPOs

Secondly, we are building a conference centre that we will also offer for use to others. The stock exchange is an ideal forum for debates and disputes. The architecture of our stock exchange building in Frankfurt actually invokes the agora of ancient Greece, the marketplace. A conference centre in a stock exchange is therefore not a strange thing that we made up. It belongs there.

Thirdly, we are constructing a new centre for IPOs. We can and want to do more for our customers in this regard and we are, of course, doing it wherever possible starting now. As part of the expansion, we are creating an appropriate physical space as well. IPOs serve first and foremost to raise capital. But they also always have a communicative function. They attract more attention – and that applies especially to SMEs. Attention to the right message — that applies to all companies, even large ones. This is because an IPO is pretty much a one-time chance for companies to make themselves known to a broader public. They will be even more successful if they use our new IPO centre – at least that is our plan. We want “Listed in Frankfurt” to become a seal of quality.

The renovation of the stock exchange – in the building owned by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with whom we have a long-term lease – strengthens Frankfurt as a financial centre and thus also Germany as a business location. Our sector needs Deutsche Börse to be strong, to be able to make good offers for raising capital. And one that promotes a vibrant system of young and small companies that (hopefully) demonstrate how we want to achieve prosperity in 20 or 30 years.

So, why is Deutsche Börse strengthening Frankfurt as a financial location? Because we need a strong European financial centre that can efficiently perform vital functions for our sector, such as euro clearing. Because Frankfurt is the centre of clever regulation with a sense of proportion, and because regulators and our customers have an interest in market-oriented implementation of those rules. And because Frankfurt is Germany’s most important stock exchange location and therefore the leading stock exchange of the largest European economy.

After Brexit, Frankfurt will become more important in all these aspects. Let’s all work together so that Frankfurt can utilise its strengths.

By Theodor Weimer. The article was first published in the Börsen-Zeitung, “Finanzplatz Frankfurt” supplement

Financial Centre Frankfurt

Consistent interest in Financial Centre Germany from Brexit banks

  • Germany is an attractive location for the international financial industry
  • The new federal government can, however, increase its attractiveness even further
  • Internationally agreed and harmonised regulatory frameworks guarantee international financial stability

“We see an unbroken interest in the German financial centre among banks that are considering relocations due to Brexit. Supervisors and politics have already done a lot over the past 18 months and are well positioned, but we must continue to work,” says Stefan Winter, Chairman of the Board of the Association of Foreign Banks in Germany (VAB) at today’s press conference. Among other things, there is a need for action to limit severance payments to high earners in the banking sector and to internationalise the law. For example, German law is often not agreed upon internationally in framework agreements, because German courts also examine these in commercial transactions as well as all general terms and conditions for consumers. “As a result of the Brexit, we expect about 20 banks to expand their presence here. This will involve up to 5,000 new jobs in the next two to three years, many of which will be hired locally. Much will of course depend on whether there will be transitional periods. In fact, everyone agrees that there must be transitional arrangements. But no one can say for sure today whether there will be any. Our members are therefore still planning to have fully operational units in Germany on 29 March 2019 so that they can continue to provide financial services for their customers,” Winter emphasises.

Silvia Schmitten-Walgenbach and Guido Zoeller, the two vice-chairmen, emphasise the stable number of employees in the member institutions, which are also attributable to the good framework conditions and the still prosperous German economy. In addition to the economically stable situation, the foreign financial industry has also benefited greatly in recent years from international harmonisation, which is also an advantage for international supervision. The ECB has taken on an important role in this respect and further developed a level-playing field in the euro zone. Schmitten-Walgenbach adds: “In the interest of international financial stability, national recentering and a softening of internationally harmonised financial market regulation should therefore be avoided.”

As the financial centre becomes more international, Zoeller points out the impact on the work of the Association: “We will provide even more information in English and set up English-speaking working groups.” As the international importance of the financial centre grows in the next few years and institutions increasingly choose the place as a starting point for their financial services in other EU states, the association must also address new issues. “So far, we have tended to have an inbound view, but this will change. We will be prepared for this and we are looking forward to it,” summarizes Winter.

The complete speech can be found in the internet at www.vab.de.

Costs of Brexit for EU27 exporters is around £31billion and for UK exporters is around £27billion. Source: Oliver Wyman

New Report Estimates Brexit ‘Red Tape’ Will Cost EU27 and UK Exporters £58 Billion a Year

  • The annual ‘red tape’, or tariff and non-tariff, costs of Brexit for EU27 exporters is  around £31billion and for UK exporters is around £27billion even after initial steps to mitigate costs have been taken. This is proportionately 4 times larger for the UK as a percentage of Gross Value Added (GVA ).
  • 70 percent of the aggregate impact falls in just five sectors in both the EU27 and UK.
  • Disproportional impacts in specific regions such as Bavaria in Germany and London in the UK.
  • A future customs arrangement equivalent to The Customs Union reduces the EU27 impact to around £14billon and the UK impact to around £17billon. Mitigating the costs of Brexit are non-trivial and impacted firms need to be taking steps now. Small firms will be least able to mitigate these costs and in turn pose risks to their supply chain.

BRUSSELS and LONDON, 12 March 2018 – In a unique assessment of the business costs of Brexit, Oliver Wyman and Clifford Chance have partnered to calculate the impact of tariffs and non-tariff barriers on companies if the EU27 and UK reverted to a World Trade Organisation (WTO) trading relationship with each other.

The ‘red-tape’ cost of Brexit estimates that the direct costs will total around £31billon for EU exporters and around £27billon for UK exporters, with non-tariff barriers accounting for more of the effect than tariffs. The report focusses only on the direct impacts of the UK’s exit from the EU which are of immediate importance to companies for Brexit planning. It does not model additional impacts such as migration, pricing changes or third country Free Trade Agreements, which are likely to increase the overall impact.

In the EU27 the hardest hit sector will be automotive, where the direct impact will be around 2 percent of current GVA.  Country level differences will vary considerably, with Ireland’s agricultural sector’s exposure to UK consumers, for example, a particular pinch point. In Germany, four of the sixteen states – Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden –Wuerttemberg, and Lower Saxony – will shoulder around 70 percent of the country’s direct impacts as a result of exports to the UK that arise from their leading global positions in automotive and manufacturing.

In the UK the Financial Services sector will take by far the biggest hit, incurring around a third of the extra ‘red-tape’ costs. However, there are very significant impacts in other sectors where firms are highly integrated into European supply chains – for example in the automotive, aerospace, chemicals and metals and mining sectors.

Kumar Iyer, Partner, Oliver Wyman, says: “There will be both winners and losers from Brexit. In order to navigate the uncertainty companies should be thinking about impacts under different scenarios both operationally and strategically. We see the best prepared firms taking hedges now based on the direct impacts on themselves, their supply chains, customers and competitors. Unfortunately we see that small firms are least able to take these steps at present.”

The impact assessment also reveals that the ability to mitigate the impacts of post-Brexit trade barriers will vary by sector and company size. Before designing their response, firms need to think through the impact on different levels: operations, supply chains, customers and competitors. Small firms will find this particularly challenging especially where they have no non-EU trade experience and may be rendered uncompetitive as they seek to make the changes needed. Automotive and aerospace industries will be able to localise supply chains and take advantage of domestic suppliers in some areas but with the loss of “passporting” financial services will require relevant front and back-office staff to relocate to the EU.  However, even within each industry individual impacts and the appropriate response are highly variable. The differences will depend on things like the mix of goods and services the business sells, where it is based, where its customers are, and how complex its supply chain is.

Jessica Gladstone, Partner, Clifford Chance, says: “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Given the difficulty of knowing exactly what turbulence lies ahead many businesses are putting Brexit in the ‘too hard’ box. However, exporters that understand exactly what Brexit’s risks and rewards could be for them will be able to implement the right plans at the right time to ensure that they are one of the winners rather than one of the losers.”

Access the full report: The Red-Tape cost of Brexit

Source: Oliver Wyman

Global Startup Ecosystem Report. Quelle: TechQuartier Frankfurt

Global Partnership Forms to Study Vibrant Frankfurt Startup Ecosystem and Identify Growth Drivers

In partnership spanning three continents, organizations will analyze conditions for startup success and what steps can boost growth, drawing lessons for other regions

In a unique global partnership, a 28-year-old Chinese serial entrepreneur, Startup Genome, Goethe University, and TechQuartier have come together to identify key factors in the success and growth of startup ecosystems. The project will focus on the fast-growing startup ecosystem in Frankfurt, Germany, and will generate findings that can be applied to regions across the world.

Yi Shi has built up one of Asia’s unicorn startups, DotC United Group, and has extensive international experience with large companies and startups. Studying at Goethe University motivated Shi to invest into this research initiative on the German startup ecosystem.

“I’ve been travelling between different continents (America, Europe and Asia) regularly and discovered different mindsets which impact the final approach and methodology in building a new business. And my intention to support this study, together with my alma mater, is to systematically analyze the macro and micro economic factors of building a successful startup ecosystem, in order to get a deep understanding of which measures could be done better by different stakeholders inside of the system.”

The study will use the Frankfurt Rhine-Main region and the German ecosystem as a basis for comparison with other global startup landscapes, identifying decisive framework conditions and growth drivers. A particular focus will be on the so-called scale-ups— i.e., young, fast-growing companies. A newly developed index will include growth conditions and success factor, and provide actionable insights for the German startup scene.

Startup Genome has been selected as the organization providing the international context of this project. The San Francisco-based company is the world leader in startup ecosystem assessment, delivering analytics and advice to innovation policy leaders in 30 countries to support the development of thriving startup communities. “The problem” explains CEO JF Gauthier, “is that four cities in three countries produce more than 70 percent of Exit Value in the Tech sector. We work to identify success factors so more cities and countries can benefit from the economic value generated by startups.”

Goethe University Frankfurt and TechQuartier will bring research experience and the latest scientific findings on the topic of entrepreneurship. Their growing experience with German startups will allow them provide the Startup Genome team with additional data and resources required for the project.

“We definitely need a better understanding of what makes talented youngsters transform into entrepreneurial leaders—whether they start their own business or innovate within existing firms. The study will test our hypothesis and then pave the way for tailor-made offerings of Goethe University to its students,” said Prof. Andreas Hackethal, dean at Goethe University and Academic Director of the Goethe-Unibator startup center.

Dr. Thomas Funke, Co-Director of TechQuartier, observed, “Startups alone will not save the German digital economy. Scaleups have the potential to do so. Therefore we are focusing in particular on scaleups, all startups that are characterized by continuous growth (20 percent growth over the last three years). They deserve special attention because they are an undisputed important element for the whole economy.”

New and reliable insights into the startup scene are important to clarify the key performance indicators and the success factors that are essential to a new company’s performance. This project will generate relevant data-driven insights, clarify which measures need to be implemented next, and identify how stakeholders can significantly contribute to improve the ecosystem. The study is scheduled to be published in June 2018.

Source: Pressrelease TechQuartier, March 12th 2018

Frankfurt Main Finance grows: three new members pledge their support for Financial Centre

The Financial Centre initiative Frankfurt Main Finance is proud to welcome three new members. With the addition of SDG Investments GmbH, niiio finance group AG and Vendôme Associés, the initiative now has more than 50 members. The young companies niiio finance group and SDG Investments join as FinTech members, and Vendôme Associés as a sustaining member.

The association’s members are representatives from research institutes, the financial sector, public administration and the emerging FinTech sector. Through their membership and engagement, they all demonstrate their close relationship to Frankfurt and desire to position Frankfurt amongst the top national and international financial centres. Frankfurt Main Finance leverages the influence of its members to advocate for the Financial Centre Frankfurt and provide high-calibre dialogue platforms.

“We are delighted about the new members and their commitment to the Financial Centre Frankfurt,” say Dr. Lutz Raettig, President of Frankfurt Main Finance. “The growth strengthens the association and lends more power to our voice – a benefit for all members. In turn, we also provide fast, direct access to a prominent industry network.”

Since Brexit discussions began in 2016, Frankfurt Main Finance has been an in-demand conversation partner for the media, reaching more than eight billion potential contacts with its messages. Publications in 93 countries have either conducted interviews with representatives of the initiative or published statements and comments released by Frankfurt Main Finance. In addition to promoting the Financial Centre Frankfurt as a home for financial services affected by Brexit, Frankfurt Main Finance is also an outspoken advocate for the Frankfurt Rhine-Main Region’s emerging FinTech-ecosystem.

Founded in 1987, the new sustaining member Vendôme Associés specialises in the direct recruiting of leaders and experts as an independent HR and Executive Search Consultancy. Headquartered in Paris, they continue to strengthen their presence in Germany, opening a Frankfurt office in 2014. “We are thrilled to join Frankfurt Main Finance and to actively support the promotion of this future-oriented and promising city,” says Anne von Bredow, partner at Vendôme Associés. “We believe Frankfurt can attract even more talents from other European countries once people realize how much the city has to offer in terms of career possibilities, infrastructure and cultural life.”

Digital services for the digital future of banking – that is niiio finance group’s speciality. “Our goal is to position niiio finance group as a strong member of the FinTech Ecosystem in Germany’s leading financial centre and thanks to our membership in Frankfurt Main Finance, hopefully develop valuable synergies with cooperation partners,” says Johann Horch, CEO of the Niiio Finance Group. In addition to the robo-advisor, the young FinTech offers a community platform, API banking tools, tailored consulting and development services, and operating models.

SDG Investments operates a matching platform for financing and investment products based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “We became aware of Frankfurt Main Finance through the SDG Fintech Initiative,” explains Frank Ackermann, director and managing partner at SDG Investments. “From our point of view, Frankfurt, as the most important financial centre in continental Europe, is the right location for our activities. Since we are aimed at institutional investors, we achieve the highest degree of efficiency here. We hope that we will find many supporters among the members of Frankfurt Main Finance.” Through the platform, registered professional and institutional investors will find sustainable investments that meet their individual investment criteria.