Astana Finance Days

Astana Finance Days

What are the challenges that international and regional financial centers around the globe are facing? What new trends can be observed and what new opportunities are arising that can shape the future of regional and global financial markets? Those and many other questions were discussed by global thinkers, policymakers, representatives from business, public service, and academia discussed at the Astana Finance Days in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, in July 2019. During the 4 day-long conference, the participants debated issues and opportunities related to governance, infrastructure, financial technology as well as global cooperation of International Financial Centres (IFCs).

With a shift in the balance of power between leading IFCs in Asia, North America, and Europe, that has occurred in the last decades, the role of IFCs has changed and so has their collaboration. Thus, on the second day of the conference, a panel moderated by the World Alliance of International Financial Centers’ (WAIFC) Managing Director Dr. Jochen Biedermann discussed the competitiveness of IFCs in a rapidly changing economy as well as the attractiveness of established IFCs vs. emerging IFCs. Frankfurt Main Finance’s president Dr. Lutz Raettig joined the panel “International Financial Centres: the outlook to 2025 and beyond” alongside Sandy Frucher, Vice Chairman of Nasdaq, Frederic de Laminne de Bex, Secretary-General of the Belgian Finance Club and James Martin, Deputy CEO of  AIFC.

Another theme that receives increasingly more attention was discussed by WAIFC representatives from Brussels, Busan, Casablanca, Frankfurt, London, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Moscow, Nur-Sultan, and Paris: FinTech talent development and capacity building, both of which are highly important for the success of Fintech ecosystem building. A lively panel discussion evolved around including FinTech into the curriculum of business schools, foreign education programs funded by local governments, short-term courses as well as professional certification and re-training of seasoned financial professionals.

However, global cooperation between IFCs was not just a topic during the conference: On the last day of the event, the WAIFC presented an Honorary Award to Nursultan Nazarbayev, First President of Kazakhstan, for creating the AIFC and his significant contribution to fostering global cooperation among International Financial Centres.

Frankfurt Finance Summit 2019: Navigating in Uncertain Waters

Since 2011, the Frankfurt Finance Summit has been held annually in the Financial Centre Frankfurt. Under this year’s motto Navigating in Uncertain Waters, more than 200 high-calibre personalities from the domestic and international financial world came together on 18 June 2019 to discuss the topics:

  • Financial Centre Germany: Strategies for Succeeding in Rough Times
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Finance: Superpower or Super Risk, Revolution or Buzzword
  • Connecting values: a digital finance hub for Europe
  • Post-election Europe facing Brexit: Securing stability for functioning markets

The participants represented a broad spectrum of the financial services industry – mainly decision-makers from central banks, stock exchanges, supervisory authorities, banks, insurance companies, politics, companies and academia.

Dr. Lutz Raettig, President of Frankfurt Main Finance, opened the Frankfurt Finance Summit with a warm welcome to all participants and speakers. After the welcoming speech by Dr. Philipp Nimmermann, State Secretary in the Hessian Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Housing, Dr. Jörg Kukies, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance, took the floor. Dr. Kukies referred to the need to prepare as best as possible for all Brexit scenarios. Although great success had already been achieved in the implementation of important measures, Europe had so far failed to reach a European agreement on a Sustainable Finance taxonomy. A European agreement, however, remains extremely important for a sustainable financial system.

Financial Centre Germany: Strategies for Succeeding in Rough Times

During the first panel discussion, a survey of the audience revealed that the majority of Summit participants believe that the future of the German banking sector lies in Europe. This view was also shared by the German head of BNP Paribas Paribas Lutz Diederichs. In his opinion, the German banking sector is not dependent on the domestic market, but strongly internationalised. Prof. Dr. Isabel Schnabel, Professor of Financial Market Economics at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn, also confirmed this trend. She highlighted the weaknesses of the euro structure and confirmed that Germany needed more reforms in this respect. Cornelius Riese, co-chairman of DZ Bank, spoke in favour of a more comprehensive strategy. In addition to market capitalisation, factors such as culture and stakeholder interests are essential metrics for assessing the financial system or a financial institution.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Financial Industry: Superpower vs. Super Risk, Revolution or Phrase

The discussion continued with a discussion on the use of artificial intelligence in the financial industry in which Prof. Dr. Martin Hellmich, Partner at Deloitte, Carsten Mürl, Director Product Management at Mastercard, Dr. Holger Rommel, Head Research and Digital Transformation at ti&m, Vahe Andonians, Senior Lecturer at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, and Chris Boos, founder of Arago, participated. First and foremost, Chris Boos, an AI pioneer from Germany, cleared up prejudices about the topic. The general fear of AI is completely unfounded. Although AI has developed even more rapidly in the last five years than the last 50 years combined, man would not be dominated by the machine in the future. Accordingly, understanding and trust are the decisive keys to the use of AI in the financial industry.

Connecting values: a digital financial hub for Europe

During the subsequent power talk between Prof. Dr. Joachim Wuermeling, Member of the Board of Deutsche Bundesbank, and Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance, the Financial Centre Frankfurt was closely examined. Prof. Wuermeling stated that after the Brexit referendum a competition was triggered between European financial centres in advertising for business, jobs and employees from London. It wasn’t just about who got a piece of the cake, but how big it was. The Financial Centre Frankfurt had to decide whether it wanted to take over a cooperative or a competition-oriented approach. His advice would be to follow the cooperative approach, since cooperation could win a bigger piece of the cake. Wuermeling also expressed confidence that Frankfurt would assume leadership in the European finance sector five years after Brexit.

Post-election Europe facing Brexit: Securing stability for functioning markets

In the concluding panel discussion, John Berrigan, Deputy Director General of the EU Commission, similarly advocated a banking union. This could increase the EU’s weight at the global level. With regard to Brexit, Mr Berrigan said that all those involved should do everything in their power to minimise the risks as far as possible. Matthias Graulich, member of the Executive Board of Eurex Clearing AG, cited the indispensability of incentives so that each individual would be motivated to contribute to stability. Felix Hufeld, President of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), drew attention to the general fatigue surrounding the issue of Brexit. Although Brexit is complex and unpredictable, he also warned against viewing the world only through the lens of Brexit. After all, it was not about London against the rest of the world. Looking back on the developments of the past years, according to Felix Hufeld it should not be forgotten that in the financial sector at the European level many important improvements were made in a very short time.

The 9th Frankfurt Finance Summit ended with a summary of the day’s keynote speeches and a closing remarks by Michael Speth, Member of the Board of DZ Bank.

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

  • Dr. PhilippNimmermann, State Secretary, Hessen Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Housing

  • Dr. Jörg Kukies, State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance

  • Prof. Dr. Uwe StegemannSenior Partner, McKinsey & Company, Lutz Diederichs, CEO, BNP Paribas Germany

  • Prof. Dr. Isabel Schnabel, Member of the German Council of Economic Experts, Professor of Financial Economics, University of Bonn

  • Frank Strauß, Member of the Management Board, Head of Private & Commercial Bank, Deutsche Bank

  • Dr. Cornelius Riese, Co-Chief Executive Officer, DZ BANK AG

  • Inken Schönauer, Editor-in-Chief, EURO FINANCE magazin, Chris Boos, CEO & Founder, arago

  • Vahe Andonians, Senior Lecturer, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Chris Boos, CEO & Founder, arago, Prof. Dr. Martin Hellmich, Partner, Deloitte, Carsten Mürl, Director Product Management, Mastercard, Dr. Holger Rommel, Head Research & Digital Transformation, ti&m

  • Prof. Dr. Joachim Wuermeling, Member of the Executive Board, Deutsche Bundesbank, Hubertus Väth, Managing Director, Frankfurt Main Finance e.V.

  • Stephan Lutz, Partner, Capital Markets Leader, PwC Germany, John Berrigan, Deputy Director General Directorates B, C, D and E, DG Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, European Commission, Maria Demertzis, PhD, Deputy Director, Bruegel, Matthias Graulich Member of the Executive Board, Eurex Clearing; Global Head of Fixed Income, Funding and Financing Strategy and Development, Deutsche Börse Group, Felix Hufeld, President, Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), Boštjan Jazbec, PhD, Member of the Board and Director of Resolution Planning and Decisions, Single Resolution Board

  • Ram Shoham, Founder of Accelerator Frankfurt and Andreas Glänzel, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance

  • Michael Speth, Member of the Executive Board, FIRM; Member of the Executive Board, DZ BANK

“Navigating in uncertain waters”

Speech by Dr. Philipp Nimmermann, Frankfurt Finance Summit, 18 June 2019

“Navigating in uncertain waters” was the title of this year’s Frankfurt Finance Summit. In his opening speech, Dr. Philipp Nimmermann, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Housing of the State of Hesse, addressed four challenges arising from this topic: Artificial Intelligence, Climate Change and Sustainability and Brexit. Read the opening speech of the Frankfurt Finance Summit 2019 below:


Dr. Philipp Nimmermann, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Housing of the State of Hesse

“The title of today’s summit, „Navigating in uncertain waters“, leaves us plenty of room for discussions. Please allow me to concentrate on three topics: Artificial Intelligence, Climate Change and Sustainability, as well as BREXIT.

Let me start with my personal political guiding principle, which helps me navigate in uncertain waters. It is an adaptation of the ethical imperative, the Austrian born Cybernetician and Physicist, Heinz von Foerster, once formulated. It goes like this: “I shall try to act always so as to increase society’s total number of choices”. But how do we keep our options open or even increase our choices? By remaining open minded and flexible, by not putting all our eggs in one basket, and by thinking in non-linear rather than linear terms.

If uncertainty is high or even increasing, if the world appears to be getting more and more complex, it probably helps to leave beaten tracks and to broaden ones mind, by using a new type of intelligence one has not used before.

So let’s talk about artificial intelligence: In my opinion, artificial intelligence is both a source of uncertainty as well as a method to navigate through uncertain waters. Yes it is true, that we cannot precisely predict how deeply machine learning and self-improving algorithms will actually change the world as we know it. But I do not think that one has to fear this development, at least as long as we share a common consensus that all technology, old or new, should always serve the people. That’s why I actually prefer the term “Augmented Intelligence” over “Artificial Intelligence”.

Machine intelligence can help us better understand big data and complex systems, e.g. by structuring previously unstructured data. By allowing so called “unsupervised machine learning” to help us identify clusters or anomalies we have not identified or thought of before, we can definitely broaden our choices.

So what is the State of Hessen, in this case, the Ministry for Economic Affairs, doing in this respect?

We initiated the foundation of the so called TechQuarter more than two years ago, as a start-up hub, especially for fintechs. This is the corner stone of our startup ecosystem-strategy. The current coalition treaty has also put a special focus on artificial intelligence and technological innovation.

Additional to expanding the TechQuarter, we want to establish a TechCampus with around 20 Professorships. With this lighthouse project, we want to help transforming the already excellent research successes in Hessen into applied technologies and startups.

Together with the TechQuarter and other interested partners, we want to establish an AI- and Big- Data-Lab, where researchers, supervisory bodies and fintech-start-ups can use big-data from various sources to develop and verify machine-learning tools. I am convinced, that this data-lab will significantly strengthen the Frankfurt financial centre.

Let me come to another source of uncertainty: climate change and sustainable development. There might be different views on whether climate change is man-made, or, on which measures are the right ones to slow down this development.

There might even be the question, whether the state should play an active role. But to all the doubters out there: Do you really want to take the responsibility for not having acted in a timely manner? What is your plan B, in case you have been wrong?

As long as we do not discover a Planet B, we should keep our options open or even increase future choices for subsequent generations. Hence, we should do everything possible to keep this planet alive and to foster an environmentally and socially sustainable development throughout the world.

Again, what are we doing in this respect?

With the Ministry for Economic Affairs being responsible, both, for implementing the so-called “Energiewende” in the State of Hessen and for Frankfurt’s role as a leading financial centre, we took an active role in the formation of the Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany.

This cluster is a very important element of our strategy to transform this region in a truly green and sustainable financial centre, by helping to develop a common taxonomy and by defining common standards.

And we have already seen some success:

On a European level, two members of the cluster were selected to be part of the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, which supports the EU Commission in the implementation of the Action Plan.

On a national level, as recently as two weeks ago, the inaugural meeting of the advisory council on sustainable finance to the German federal government took place, chaired by Karsten Löffler, who is one of our cluster‘s executive directors.

And a few weeks ago, the majority of the state secretaries of the Länder Ministries of Economic Affaires voted in favour of a resolution, introduced by Hessen, which asked the federal government to develop general guiding principles for a sustainable finance sector in Germany.

We are looking forward to further developments in this direction and perhaps Jörg Kukies can elaborate on that subject later on.

Last but not least, there is the BREXIT. Or is it? We are all eagerly awaiting who will lead the UK out of the European Union. But we are prepared: Right after the BREXIT vote, we started an intensive exchange with the financial institutions and the non-financial corporates in Hessen. We traveled abroad to promote Hessen as an excellent business location, supportet by local stake holders and federal representatives such as Jörg Kukies, Sabine Mauderer and Joachim Nagel. Thank you very much again, for your support. I do not think we can do much more on that front. Life after BREXIT is difficult to predict.

But to keep our options open, we should keep our communication channels open and start discussing with our old and new partners in the UK, on how we all can manage the new situation for our mutual benefit.

Before that, I would like to wish you all an inspiring summit and fruitful discussions, which will certainly help us all to navigate in these uncertain waters.”



Titel photo: © HMWEVW – Oliver Rüther.

Photo of Frankfurt Finance Summit: © dfv Euro Finance Group GmbH I Photographer: Axel Gross

FinTech Financial Centre Frankfurt

The Financial Centre Frankfurt has great chances to become the European Capital of Financial Technologies

A European consortium of universities and FinTechs is working to promote knowledge-sharing between banks, FinTechs, regulators, and financial supervisors on the risk management of financial technologies. Since 2019, the financial technology company Firamis GmbH has been part of this consortium. In an interview, Dr. Jochen Papenbrock, CEO and founder of Firamis, discusses the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in managing risks of financial technologies and its significance for the Financial Centre Frankfurt.

Dr. Jochen Papenbrock, CEO and founder of Firamis Gmbh

Dr. Jochen Papenbrock, CEO and founder of Firamis GmbH

What are the risks of FinTech’s increasing importance for the financial sector?

We understand the term FinTech to comprise of much more than start-ups using financial technologies such as Big Data Analytics, AI, and Blockchain. Traditional banks and insurers use new financial technologies as well and might face similar challenges as start-ups do, especially with regards to risk management. In addition, banks and FinTech start-ups are increasingly cooperating – more outsourcing relationships are emerging as a result of the continuous break-up of value chains. At the same time, many banks are invested in start-ups. As systems, data, and processes become increasingly intertwined, banks are equally affected by the risks of financial technologies. Therefore, we are currently observing a growing need for discussion between the industry, regulators, and supervisory authorities.

Against this background, Fintech Risk Management and model/data governance are of particular importance. While traditional banks most certainly have gained more experience in regulatory and supervisory practice, it is new territory for many FinTech start-ups.

Can you explain this in more detail?

Complex, non-transparent, and biased models and data pose a problem to new financial technologies. Several supervisory bodies have decided to reject black box models – i.e. non-transparent machine learning approaches such as multi-layered artificial neural networks (deep learning) – in production-critical processes.

We are currently working on these and other topics as part of a larger EU project on Fintech Risk Management. The exchange of knowledge between banks, FinTechs and regulators takes place throughout Europe over a period of two years. Standards are being developed that ensure the use of financial technologies in secure financial products and enable FinTech business models in Europe to be scaled as efficiently as possible. Our Fintech-AI-B2B-start-up Firamis is part of the consortium and member of the Executive Board. We are working to build an EU Research Sandbox and establish requirements for a Trustworthy AI. The EU also runs several programs on related topics.

Furthermore, the increasing use of financial technology may create systematic risks. If several FinTechs use the same technology, they will react quite similarly to certain market phases. In addition, the risks of a domino effect are rising due to the increased interconnectedness of value chains. The supervisory focus will continue to shift from individual companies to the entire value chain.

What regulatory framework is needed to keep risks under control?

We believe that risks can be managed by focusing on model validation as well as the entire model risk management process and data/model governance. Black box models will have a hard time with more intensive regulatory reviews by national and international supervisory authorities. On the other hand, the use of financial technologies will continue to increase due to competitive pressure. So the question of which modification of the technology is needed to meet the requirements remains.

Are there solutions to make these approaches more accessible and understandable for regulators and supervisors?

XAI (Explainable AI or Interpretable AI) is one of those approaches. New approaches, technologies, and data visualization are used to make the models more explainable. XAI is also one of the core competencies of our start-up Firamis, and we are currently expanding our resources in response to those developments. AI thus is implemented to, for example, explain black box models automatically. This is especially important for customers who want to know, for example, why they received a certain credit score or why they are assigned a certain risk profile by their Robo Advisor and how they can improve.

The question of how these regulatory controls should be implemented in practice is exciting. Several models are conceivable, ranging from independent control by supervisors to outsourcing to third parties. We will observe a certain degree of standardisation and also something like a technical inspection for financial algorithms.

What does the dynamic development of AI / Machine Learning mean for the FinTech industry in Frankfurt?

Current developments in financial technologies show that Financial Centres compete with each other. The game is changing due to disruption. The Financial Centre Frankfurt has great chances to become the European capital of financial technologies. (Central) banks, technology companies, FinTech ecosystems, supervisors, and regulators are already presented. AI may hold more potential for the Financial Centre Frankfurt than Brexit and Blockchain do.

So there’s still a lot to do. In 2017, we launched the annual Summit on AI, Big Data and Network Analysis in Financial Services with other partners. In addition, we founded the association  AI in Financial Services e.V., in which anyone can become a member who is interested in advancing AI.

Episode Two: Live and Learn

Companies and banks based in FrankfurtRhineMain have long appreciated the region’s numerous locational advantages: Short distances, excellent transport and a pronounced internationality. Outside the region, however, it is often not known that, in addition to its undisputed economic strength, it is also an excellent place to live. For this reason, BBC hosts Billie JD Porter and Alhan Gencay have been sent on a discovery tour through the region. Both had never been to Frankfurt Rhine-Main before and didn’t know what to expect.

Episode Two

How long should you wait for a high-five from a toddler? Is Harry Potter an acceptable subject to study? Billie JD Porter and Alhan Gençay go head-to-head as they discover the real Frankfurt Rhein-Main and the characters that live and work in the region. In this episode the two Filmmakers explore the parks, apartments and state-of-the-art schools that make the region such a popular destination for expats to live and work.

Episode One: Pork and Apple

Companies and banks based in FrankfurtRhineMain have long appreciated the region’s numerous locational advantages: Short distances, excellent transport and a pronounced internationality. Outside the region, however, it is often not known that, in addition to its undisputed economic strength, it is also an excellent place to live. For this reason, BBC hosts Billie JD Porter and Alhan Gencay have been sent on a discovery tour through the region. Both had never been to Frankfurt Rhine-Main before and didn’t know what to expect.

Episode One

What’s the tastiest frankfurter? Is it appropriate to talk sausages with Frau Schreiber and is 11.30am an acceptable time to get drunk on apple wine? Billie JD Porter and Alhan Gençay go head-to-head as they discover the real Frankfurt Rhein-Main and the characters that live and work in the region. In this Episode, two London film makers, challenged to uncover the soul of Frankfurt Rhein-Main, hit the food markets and orchards on a journey to see just what makes this region, and the people that live there, tick.

“Frankfurt for Beginners” – A tour through Frankfurt with Matthias Arning and Eva Feuchter

“Frankfurt for Beginners” – A tour through Frankfurt with Matthias Arning and Eva Feuchter

The book “Frankfurt für Anfänger”, published in spring 2018, takes its readers on a journey through Frankfurt’s districts, passing along the city’s sights. Author Matthias Arning is a journalist and former chief of the local news section at Frankfurter Rundschau. The Frankfurt guide, published in English and German, contains by illustrations by Eva Feuchter.

Thera are usually two reason for living in Frankfurt:  professional fate or coincidence. The author explains this fact in the books preface as following: “Because who would ever move to Frankfurt by free choice – the way you relocate to Berlin or settle in Munich? People often end up in Frankfurt by chance – or to make money. It tends to start as unromantically as that. However, once they get over the initial shock, most realize: Life in Frankfurt is not just about work, it’s about enjoying a great place”.

“Frankfurt for Beginners” serves as a guideline for living in the metropolis. Frankfurt is no longer believed to be uninhabitable. Over time, the city has developed into a green, family-friendly home to more than 736,000 people – another 25,000 are expected to relocate to the centre within the next two years. The city is considered to be the centre of Europe, with a great network of motorways and Germany’s largest airport – but still is a city with short distances, ideal for cyclists.

The author moved to Frankfurt at a young age. He studied political science at the city and later in Berlin. In this declaration of love, he shows the entire world around the city he grew up in.

The city tour is divided into six chapters: Frankfurt Classics, Landmarks, Small Escapes, Milestones, Fotsam and Jetsam and Views of Frankfurt. In addition to illustrations, historical backgrounds on the individual topics account for the great reading experience.

“You have to get used to it, like you do to your first Handkäs – this Frankfurt specialty also tends to be love at second bite.”

Just like your love for Frankfurt, happiness must be conquered in this city, it doesn’t fall into your lap.

How to get to know the city is upon the reader. Frankfurt for Beginners gives readers the freedom to explore the city as they please – the book does not present a fixed order that should be followed.

In 210 pages, Matthias Arning takes the reader on a unique. Filled with insider tips, localities, landmarks and much more, the book is not only suitable for newcomers, but also for experienced Frankfurters, allowing for the rediscovery of the city.

Book details

Frankfurt for Beginners

210 pages

Edition Frankfurter Ansichten; Edition: 1000 (January 14, 2019)

Language: English

ISBN-13: 978-3000616198

Illustration: Eva Feuchter www.evafeuchter.de

 

 

 

 

Von: Tonia Sanner

Eschborn for Business explores an interesting range of topics – Location Magazine 2019

The 2019 edition of the magazine Eschborn for Business has been published. This year’s bilingual magazine, published annually by the Frankfurt Main Finance member, focuses not only on the title topic Pharmacy and Life Science as a growth industry in Eschborn, but also on the changes in the job market. Trainee marketing and the aspirations of the start-up scene play an important role here.

Pharma & Life Science: an efficient Health System for a balanced life

The importance of pharmacy and life science is growing – the healthcare sector has long been one of the main drivers of technological innovation. In this issue, you will find out why Eschborn is a key business location for pharmaceutical and life science activities in Hessen and what makes it particularly attractive for companies like Kaneka Pharma or Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics GmbH. “Hessen is one of the most efficient regions in Europe and is therefore also well ahead in international competition,” says Dr. Rainer Waldschmidt, CEO of Hessen Trade & Invest GmbH. The aim is to maintain and expand this innovative and fast-growing image of the region. Additional interesting interviews, reports and events on this title topic and the advantages of the city of Eschborn can be found on pages 6 through 9.

In addition to the ever more important health sector, marketing to junior staff and especially trainees are decisive factors for future-oriented transformations. This and the effects of economic networks are discussed in more detail in the section “Economy” (pages 20 to 37). The start-up economy is also attracting more attention. How the city of Eschborn, a Frankfurt Main Finance member, supports young companies and employers is also addressed in this section.

Diversity of the City of Eschborn

The magazine offers additional complex topics. How the compatibility of family life and career can be shaped in Eschborn and which improvements Mayor Mathias Geiger sees in the new exit off the A66, are examined more closely on pages 36 through 47.

The 2019 issue of Eschborn for Business also covers the various leisure activities. Find out more about restaurant recommendations or sports tips in the following articles.

  •  “Sports events for the whole family” – keeping the whole family on their toes
  • “Cosy Places, Ideas for Lunch Break” – Interesting Locations, Delicious Food
  • “With the job bike. Without traffic jams” – A cheap high-tech bicycle, also for leisure time
  • “Spectators from all over the world live” – The cycling classic Eschborn-Frankfurt

We hope you enjoy reading!

FinTechGermany Award 2019

FinTechGermany Award “Golden Garage” honours outstanding FinTech companies in the Financial Centre Frankfurt

With the leading investor award for start-ups, the Financial Centre Frankfurt honours outstanding FinTech companies in six different categories. The jury’s vote went to AUTHADA GmbH in the Seed/Early Stage category and to Barzahlen – Cash Payment Solutions GmbH in the Late Stage Category, while solarisBank AG received the prize for the best FinTech in the Growth Stage category. TransferWise Ltd. was voted the Best Foreign FinTech on the German market. The special prize for the best PropTech was awarded to Exporo AG, while Wefox Germany GmbH was honoured in the special InsurTech category.

The organisers, Börsen-Zeitung (WM Group), Business Angels Frankfurt RheinMain, Frankfurt Main Finance and TechFluence, have now presented the FinTechGermany Award to high-potential FinTech companies for the fifth time. “Our ‘Golden Garage’ award offers young entrepreneurs, in particular, the opportunity to enter into dialogue with FinTech insiders and financial centre representatives and expand their network. We are pleased to be able to offer this platform for the fifth time,” says Dr. Jens Zinke, Managing Director of the Börsen-Zeitung. Andreas Lukic, Chairman of Business Angels Frankfurt RheinMain comments: “We award the prize to the best FinTech, InsurTech and PropTech companies, whose innovative business models and new technologies create value and transform the financial sector. At the same time, the Financial Centre Frankfurt offers the entire financing chain for start-ups – from their foundation and time of growth until they become established.” Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance says: “Cooperation between FinTechs and the established players in the financial centre is the key to future success. The FinTechGermany Award creates the platform to make this possible.” And Michael Mellinghoff, Managing Director at TechFluence UK, adds: “In awarding this prize, we above all support start-ups with promising FinTech concepts, while at the same time increasing their visibility on the German market.”

The focus of the sixteen-strong jury was on the companies’ financial viability, scalability and exit capability. Among other things, they evaluated the business concept, competitive advantages, positioning, financial plan and management. The “Seed/Early Stage” category comprises FinTechs with no or only initial revenues, and with no or only a basic prototype. Companies with at least cumulative six-digit revenues were able to apply for the “Late Stage” category. The prerequisites for an award in the “Growth Stage” category were a more than seven-digit turnover and international expansion. Günter Rothenberger, the founder of Günter Rothenberger Industries GmbH and inventor of the R-System, donated the six perpetual trophies in the form of gold-plated water pump pliers mounted on American oak.

Andreas Plies, managing director of AUTHADA GmbH, stated: “The prize is not just for us alone, but for the entire company. It’s nice to have your work recognised.” Ulrike Czekay, Head of PR & Marketing at Barzahlen – Cash Payment Solution GmbH, aims to begin with the payment infrastructure and “dispel customers’ fear of digitisation and offer new possibilities.” Jörg Diewald, Chief Commercial Officer at solarisBank AG, announced, “Our Sales division is growing, and we are desperately looking for new employees to meet our customer needs.” Thomas Adamski, European PR Manager at TransferWise Ltd, was delighted with his trophy, “Our foremost concern is to help people and enable them to drastically reduce the cost of foreign bank transfers. Especially in such a large and active market as FinTech, I am immensely grateful that the scene is very open to new alternatives. I am delighted to be here and get to know all the nice people from the different areas.” Botho von Hülsen, Senior Manager at Exporo AG, commented that “A lot of construction is taking place in Germany, and fund packages can also be purchased from us in the form of products consisting of existing properties.  Our digitalisation rollout is initially planned for France and the Netherlands, as the economic performance of these countries can be easily assessed.” John Shewell, Head of Group Marketing & Communications at Wefox Germany GmbH, felt honoured by the golden garage trophy and expressed that “It is a privilege to be here tonight. At the same time, it is also an honour for all tech start-ups to have the opportunity to transform the financial industry. We want to make insurance easy and convenient for our customers.”

 

Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration and Frankfurt Main Finance e.V. sign Memorandum of Understanding

Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration and Frankfurt Main Finance e.V. strengthen their cooperation. From May 9th to May 10th, 2019, a Chinese delegation with 11 representatives from the Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration and some Guangzhou local state-owned enterprises visited the Financial Centre Frankfurt to conduct a two-day business visit. During these two days, the delegation had meetings with various financial organizations and several agreements on bilateral cooperation plans were achieved.

On the first day of the visit, the Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration and Frankfurt Main Finance (FMF), committed to a long-term cooperation in a Memorandum of Understanding. Dr. Lutz Raettig, President of Frankfurt Main Finance e.V., and Qiu Yitong, Director of the Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration, signed the agreement at Frankfurt’s city hall, the Römer. Dr. Nargess Eskandari-Grünberg, Deputy Mayor of Frankfurt, also greeted the delegation with a welcome speech. The partnership is an important milestone in the bilateral cooperation of both financial Centres and will guide the future implementation of a series of joint projects between both organisations.

The agreement focuses on many key issues facing today’s financial industry such as Green Finance, FinTech, and Cross-border Finance. The agreement aims to foster the development of an effective cooperation via joint programs, financial trainings, research activities, workshops, publications and study trips. Moreover, both parties will further explore the establishment of a Guangzhou-Frankfurt Financial Alliance.

Qiu Yitong, Director of Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration, stated, “Guangzhou is the only city in China’s history that has never closed its door to trading with to the rest of world – and Guangzhou would like to open its door even wider in the future. We hope that we can learn more from Frankfurt about how to develop into a leading Financial Centre.”

Frankfurt Main Finance’s Managing Director Hubertus Väth declared, “We are delighted to sign the MoU with the Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration today. We look forward to the fruitful cooperation in the future.”

During their two-day visit of the Financial Centre Frankfurt, the Guangzhou delegation also visited the CEINEX (China Europe International Exchange), the BaFin and Deutsch Bank. As many enterprise representatives from the delegation stated, Guangzhou is one of the most active trading cities in China. Participating in an international capital market is an important step for all enterprises pursuing an international development strategy. Frankfurt, as the “financial heart” of Europe, is a very good choice for these enterprises as they can benefit from the proximity to the banking sector, various stock exchanges, and regulatory authorities. Moreover, Guangzhous local enterprises are keen to attract financial institutions from Frankfurt and to foster cooperation.

Front (from left): Dr. Lutz Raettig, President Frankfurt Main Finance e.V. and Qiu Yitong, Director Guangzhou Municipal Local Financial Supervision and Administration. – Back(from left): Liu Xianchang, Director Economic Development and Finance Bureau of Guangzhou Aerotropolis Development District, Gao Shudong, Director Guangzhou Development District Bureau of Financial Affairs, Deng Xiaoyun, Director China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone Nansha Area of Guangzhou and Guangzhou Nansha Economic and Technological Development Zone Bureau of Financial Affairs, Dr. Nargess Eskandari-Grünberg, Deputy Mayor of Frankfurt, Hubertus Väth, Managing Director Frankfurt Main Finance e.V., Eduard Hechler, Director International Affairs City of Frankfurt and Dr. Jochen Biedermann, Senior Advisor Frankfurt Main Finance e.V.