The future of investment research

The future of investment research

“The speed of change has never been faster. To keep up, both buy-side and sell-side firms must be ready to take action. But where should you focus your efforts? Together with world-leading investment professionals, [FMF member Refinitiv has] identified three themes that will shape the future of investment research.” Source:

Find out more about Refinitiv’s research on the future of investment research on

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Photo by Dan Dimmock on Unsplash.

CFS survey on the “Impacts of the Wirecard scandal”

German financial sector sees considerable need for financial regulatory reform in Germany

A survey of financial sector executives conducted by the CFS shows that over 85% of participants see it necessary to reform financial regulation in Germany. 76% of respondents are in favour of expanding the responsibilities of the regulator BaFin to ensure that all financial services fall within its remit.

The stance of the financial sector is less clear on the question of whether banking supervision, which has so far been shared between BaFin and the Bundesbank, should be performed by a single authority. 58% of those surveyed are in favour, while 36% are not keen on the idea.

The case of Wirecard also raises numerous questions about the role of auditors. Up to now, the German Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel (FREP) has supported BaFin in auditing the financial statements of publicly listed companies. Some 58% of the survey participants would welcome a move by BaFin to build up its own auditing capacities, thus becoming less dependent on the Big Four accounting firms.

Finally, a large majority of respondents (around 70%) are convinced that regulation could be made more effective through the use of new technologies (such as artificial intelligence).

“The financial sector is clearly in favour of reforming German financial regulation. The focus should be on expanding competencies and improving human and technological resources,” explains Professor Volker Brühl, Managing Director of the Center for Financial Studies.

“Despite the uproar over the Wirecard case, it is important not to rush into hasty action. Bashing the Finance Ministry and BaFin does not help anyone. The facts of the case are far from clear. Only when all the facts are known can the relevant lessons be applied in a reform package,” Brühl continues.

Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance e.V., underlines, “Despite the justified criticism in the Wirecard case, the necessary answer is not less, but more digitalization. This need applies in particular to fraud detection and prevention. The Corona crisis is an enormous accelerator of digitization. The crisis has demonstrated that the state of digitization in the German financial sector, auditing and supervisory authorities is much better than its reputation. In view of Wirecard, this is falling somewhat behind. Now we must use the momentum. From cashless payment transactions to digital promissory notes, from forensic accounting to reporting to the supervisory authorities, in the financial sector, auditing and supervision, there is still considerable digital potential.”

The results are based on a quarterly management survey in the German financial sector.

The Center for Financial Studies (CFS) conducts independent and internationally-oriented research in important areas of Financial and Monetary Economics, ranging from Monetary Policy and Financial Stability, Household Finance and Retail Banking to Corporate Finance and Financial Markets. The CFS is also a contributor to policy debates and policy analyses, building upon relevant findings in its research areas. In providing a platform for research and policy advice, the CFS relies on its international network among academics, the financial industry and central banks in Europe and beyond.

CFS Index recovers significantly

Financial sector views current situation far more positively than in the previous quarter / Financial institutions report strong growth / Service provider figures still on the decline

The CFS Index, which measures the business climate of the German financial sector on a quarterly basis, rises by 8.1 points to 106.9 points. This means that a positive growth level above the neutral line of 100 points has now been reached again. This is the sharpest rise since the index surveys began in 2007 and it immediately follows the steepest decline on record, which caused the CFS Index to slip below 100 points in the previous quarter. The unexpectedly positive current development reflects growth in revenues, earnings and investment combined with less severe job cuts at the financial institutions in the second quarter. However, the positive mood is dampened by declining revenue, earnings, investment and employment figures among the service providers. As for the current quarter, financial industry expectations as a whole have noticeably improved over the past three months.

“The financial institutions expect their performance to be driven by a V-shaped economic recovery coupled with a modest rate of credit defaults. With such optimism, the industry sees itself as part of the solution, not as an impending risk to financial stability,” comments Professor Andreas Hackethal, Director of the Center for Financial Studies.

Owing to the corona crisis, the future international importance of the Financial Centre Germany was judged to have declined sharply in the second quarter. This value now remains almost unchanged in the third quarter, falling just -0.1 points to the low level of 111.3 points.

“The CFS Index’s positive development is a result of the rapid and decisive political reactions to the Corona crisis. The numerous comprehensive aid measures and loans launched by KfW on behalf of the federal government, among others, are effective,” explains Dr Lutz Raettig, President of Frankfurt Main Finance e.V. “In addition, I expect further positive developments, when the Brexit negotiations are picking up speed again, as an agreement should be reached during the German Presidency of the Council.”

Revenue, earnings, investment and employment figures are positive for financial institutions and declining for service providers in the second quarter / Financial industry is optimistic for the third quarter

Contrary to previous expectations, the surveyed financial institutions report significant growth in their revenues/business volume in the second quarter of 2020, with the corresponding index value rising by 9.5 points to 121.9 points. By contrast, the service providers have now reached a neutral level with a decrease of -8.0 points to 100.5 points. Nevertheless, a far sharper decline was predicted in the previous quarter’s survey. The financial institutions anticipate a slight decline in the third quarter, while the service providers are very optimistic once again.

The earnings of both groups developed in line with their revenues in the second quarter of 2020. The corresponding sub-index for the financial institutions climbs 4.5 points to 107.8 points, which puts it 3.4 points above the previous year’s level. The service providers report a drop in earnings growth of -8.9 points to a now negative growth level of 97.5 points. Though significant, this decline is less dramatic than previously expected. As for the current quarter, the financial institutions expect to maintain their positive level and the service providers expect their phase of negative growth to come to an end.

The growth in investment volume in product and process innovations among the financial institutions also increased in the second quarter, but not to the same extent as the revenue and earnings figures. The corresponding sub-index rises by 1.0 points to 102.8 points and is now 3.3 points below the previous year’s level. The service providers report an extreme decline in investment volume of -13.7 points to a level of 94.4 points. This drop is considerably steeper than the decline in revenues and earnings among the same group. For the current quarter, both sectors rate their situation slightly more positively.

Financial institutions: job cuts continue to ease in the second quarter /
Service providers: first job cuts since 2009

Job cuts at the financial institutions, which have been ongoing for some time, are less severe in the second quarter of 2020 than in the previous quarter. The employee numbers sub-index rises accordingly by 2.3 points to 97.5 points and is just 1.1 points below the previous year’s level. As predicted in the previous quarter, the service providers report job cuts for the first time since 2009. The corresponding sub-index falls by -6.5 points to 99.0 points and is now 13.4 points down on the previous year. Looking to the current quarter, the financial institutions anticipate a slight acceleration in job cuts. Conversely, the service providers expect their employment situation to improve again.

The results are based on a quarterly management survey in the German financial sector.

The Center for Financial Studies (CFS) conducts independent and internationally-oriented research in important areas of Financial and Monetary Economics, ranging from Monetary Policy and Financial Stability, Household Finance and Retail Banking to Corporate Finance and Financial Markets. The CFS is also a contributor to policy debates and policy analyses, building upon relevant findings in its research areas. In providing a platform for research and policy advice, the CFS relies on its international network among academics, the financial industry and central banks in Europe and beyond.

The Federal Ministry of Finance’s monthly report: July 2020

The July edition of the ministry’s monthly report is now online. Each month, the Federal Ministry of Finance publishes extracts from its monthly report in English. These extracts feature current data and information on federal budget trends, tax revenue, debt levels and guarantees, as well as key dates on the fiscal and economic policy agenda. The monthly report also includes interesting articles on topics within the Finance Ministry’s remit, a selection of which are translated into English each month.

Please find the translated abstracts of the Federal Ministry of Finance’s July 2020 monthly report at:


Text and image: © Federal Ministry of Finance

The Executive MBA at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management made it into the global top 50 in The Economist’s ranking

On 29 June 2020, the current ranking of The Economist magazine was published. The business magazine analysed 70 business schools worldwide, six of them in Germany. This year, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management took part in the ranking for the first time and came 49th.

It is already the eighth ranking in which Frankfurt School of Finance & Management has excelled this year.

“We are very pleased to have made it into the global top 50 in our first participation in The Economist’s ranking,” said Professor Nils Stieglitz, president of Frankfurt School.” This ranking confirms that we offer a high-quality, internationally recognised further qualification for experienced professionals.”

Further information on the ranking can be found here.

The Economist-Ranking is published every two years and evaluates, amongst other things, the quality of teaching and lecturers, career opportunities, networking opportunities and salary development after graduation. The internationally recognised university ranking evaluates Executive MBA programmes of business schools worldwide.

Text and image: © Frankfurt School of Finance and Management

New Leadership at the Center for Financial Studies

Andreas Hackethal and Rainer Klump replace Jan P. Krahnen and Uwe Walz. Jürgen Fitschen becomes the new chairman of the board.

As of 1 July 2020, the Center for Financial Studies (CFS) has a new academic director. The long-standing academic directors of the CFS, Professor Dr Uwe Walz (since 2010) and Professor Dr Jan P. Krahnen (since 1995) will leave the institute to devote themselves to other tasks, in particular to the establishment of the Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE, which was founded on 1 January 2020. Professor Dr Andreas Hackethal and Professor Dr Rainer Klump, both long-standing professors in the Department of Economics at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, will assume the positions as academic directors.

Professor Dr Andreas Hackethal: “The dialogue between the actors in the financial market and academia is becoming increasingly important in times of rapid environmental changes and growing uncertainty. We hope to support this dialogue in a targeted manner with tried and tested, as well as new formats.”

Professor Dr Rainer Klump: “I am very pleased to be able to help shape CFS, this established and successful brand in the Financial Centre Frankfurt, in the coming years. We will examine the effects of digitalisation, climate change and other global challenges for the financial system, develop new perspectives on these issues and present viable solutions for discussion.”

In addition, the term of office of Dr Rolf-E. Breuer (since 1986), who has been Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors for many years, will end. Throughout his over 30 year tenure, Dr Breuer played a decisive role in shaping the further development of CFS and made it an important part of the financial centre.

Mr Jürgen Fitschen, former Co-Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors of Deutsche Bank AG, was elected to the Board of Managing Directors of the Gesellschaft für Kapitalmarktforschung e.V., with effect on 1 July 2020. The election as Chairman of the Management Board will take place at the end of this year.

Jürgen Fitschen: “I have known CFS for many years and greatly appreciate the institute’s work. The importance of the contributions of independent research institutes to the debate on economic and socio-political issues will continue to grow in the future. Therefore, I am very pleased to be able to support the work of CFS from within the board of directors.”

Continuity is ensured by Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Otmar Issing as President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the CFS. The managing director, banking expert Professor Dr Volker Brühl, who has been in office since 2013, also remains with the CFS.

The executive board, board of trustees, members, and the employees of CFS would like to thank Dr Breuer, Professor Dr Jan P. Krahnen and Professor Dr Uwe Walz for their enormous services to CFS and wish them all the best for their future.

The Center for Financial Studies (CFS) is an independent, non-profit research institute at the Goethe University Frankfurt, which, since 1967, conducts internationally oriented research on all important topics in the field of finance. The CFS is mainly financed by renowned institutions of the financial industry. The institute currently has about 60 institutional members. For years, the main sponsors include Deutsche Bank, DekaBank, Deutsche Börse, DZ Bank, Hessische Landesbank and the Bundesbank. The CFS serves as a forum for dialogue between academia, politics and the financial industry. It also offers a platform for top-class research of importance to the European financial sector. The academic network of Fellows and Senior Fellows includes more than 90 renowned academics from Germany and abroad.

FMF Virtual Food for Thought with José Manuel González-Páramo – Digital Innovation & Data in the Financial Sector

José Manuel González-Páramo, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of European DataWarehouse and former member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank and former Executive Board Director, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A., spoke about “Digital Innovation and Data in the Financial Sector” at the “Food for Thought” online event of Frankfurt Main Finance on 8 July 2020. In addition, Dr. Christian Thun, CEO European DataWarehouse, gave a brief insight into the monitoring of the impact of COVID-19.

Read more

Metzler Asset Management: Franz von Metzler appointed Managing Director

With effect from 1 July 2020, Franz von Metzler has been appointed Managing Director of Metzler Asset Management GmbH, which he now manages together with three other Managing Directors. In his new position, he is responsible for the department Institutional Client Relationship Management. Gerhard Wiesheu, personally liable partner of the bank, is responsible for the core business division Asset Management, one of Metzler Bank’s four core business divisions.

Franz von Metzler joined Metzler Bank in 2014 and has worked in various departments since then. In 2019, he became Head of the Asset Allocation & Fixed Income team, where he had been responsible for multi-asset mandates and asset allocation in his role as Portfolio Manager since 2018. Prior to this, Franz von Metzler worked for two years in the core business division Capital Markets in the Fixed Income/FX department as a FX Sales Trader. From 2014 to 2015, he was a member of the Portfolio Management Equities team in Metzler’s core business division Asset Management.

Read the press release at: Franz von Metzler appointed Managing Director

B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. KGaA, Germany’s oldest private bank with an unbroken tradition of family ownership and more than 345 years of experience, focuses on individual capital market services for institutions and discerning private clients in its four core business divisions Asset Management, Capital Markets, Corporate Finance and Private Banking.

Eschborn offers innovative ideas and drive – Location Magazine 2020

This year’s bilingual business location magazine Eschborn for Business 2020, published annually by the Frankfurt Main Finance member, pays attention on the topic of change management. It focuses on how to deal with accelerated change, as in the case of the current crisis situation with the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, a popular AI champion for the pharmaceutical industry will be presented and Deutsche Börse’s commitment to the region will be outlined.

Collaborating in times of crisis

Protecting citizens’ health while mitigating the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This great challenge has generated great ideas and energy in Eschborn: from a shopping tour in the car, the first lifestyle drive-thru, to a shopping aid initiative “I want to help” launched by Mayor Adnan Shaikh, to bundled information about local companies and offers.

Through the websites of the city, the business development agency and the newly established website “”, not only is the recommendation “Stay at home” made, but practical options are also presented according to the motto “Be loyal – buy local”.

Let’s change – Turning Eschborn into a Smart City

“Digitalisation is at the service of humans, not the other way around,” says Eschborn’s new mayor Adnan Shaikh. This applies all the more in times of a pandemic as we are currently going through. Smart City is a project that is particularly close to his heart. What exactly is behind it?

In an interview, Mayor Shaikh reveals his vision of far-sighted urban development. As a so-called Smart City, administrative processes can be simplified and accelerated, making the service more accessible to citizens. The intelligent use of digital technologies of the future can also save costs and conserve resources.

AI champion for pharmaceutical research

Innoplexus AG started around ten years ago as a start-up in Eschborn and created a platform that structures all publicly available knowledge from the life sciences and makes it searchable according to relevance by using block chain technology. This kind of “supergoogle” enables an assessment of how promising a research project on a new medical substance is. Today, the company is the European leader in the development of artificial intelligence – and is in great demand on the stock exchange.

The 37-year-old founder of the high-tech company, Gunjan Bhardwaj, already decided on Eschborn as a suitable location in 2011: “It only takes me twenty minutes to get to the airport from here, which offers great connections to New York and India. The proximity to Frankfurt as a finance hub and pharma companies such as Merck are an added bonus. There’s a lot of e-commerce in Berlin, but the ‘real’ tech companies tend to be in Munich or Frankfurt.”

Committed to the region

One of the world’s top player celebrates its 435th anniversary: The German Stock Exchange. Ten years ago, the company moved its headquarters to Eschborn. An assessment of this by board member Hauke Stars.

Stock exchanges are of particular importance for the economic development in their respective home countries and are also hubs of global financial flows. “By extending its tenancy of “The Cube”, the head offices of Deutsche Börse Group in Eschborn, until 2038 and through the on-going redevelopment of the Frankfurt stock exchange, transforming it into an event and experience area in the heart of Frankfurt for customers and the general public, we are demonstrating our commitment to the region and are grateful for the good relations of trust and partnership.”

The diversity of the city of Eschborn

The magazine offers further complex topics:

    • “Attract and win young talent”
    • “Car sharing: Transparent, efficient and easy”
    • “Ökoprofit: Sustainable cost reduction”
    • “Infrastructure and Modernization”

The Eschborn for Business 2020 issue also covers the topic of leisure activities: Learn more about going out or sports tips in the following articles of the current edition:

    • “Events in Eschborn”
    • “A stone’s throw from the nature reserve”
    • “Sporty at the start”

We wish you an exciting read.

Download the 2020 edition of Eschborn for Business.


Together under the umbrella of the big “Eagle Family”

With the start of the new 2020/2021 season, the women’s footballers of the 1. FFC Frankfurt will compete in the Adler jersey of Eintracht Frankfurt. From late summer, Eintracht Frankfurt football fans can look forward to matches in the highest German league in both men’s and women’s football.

For the 1. FFC Frankfurt, the merger makes sense because the demands on financial strength and infrastructure, for example, have increased significantly with professionalisation. Thus, in today’s women’s football in Europe, it is almost exclusively men’s licensed clubs that play at the top, while purely women’s clubs have now become the exception.

Under the umbrella of Eintracht Frankfurt, the success story of women’s football in Frankfurt will be revived with a new spirit. With an optimal structure, we are jointly striving for new goals. The 1. FFC Frankfurt emerged in 1998 from the women’s football department of the district club SG Praunheim. The Frankfurt women’s team is one of the most successful women’s football clubs in Europe. The club has won seven German championships, nine DFB Cup victories, four UEFA Champions League titles and first place in the All-Time Women’s Bundesliga Table.

For Siegfried Dietrich, manager of the 1. FFC Frankfurt, the clubs are “not only in line with the trend of the times with the merger, but also take advantage of the FrankfurtRhineMain location.” Axel Hellmann, member of the board of Eintracht Frankfurt, pointed out the advantages for his club. “As the largest and economically strongest club in the region, we also have a responsibility for Frankfurt as a sports location and want to keep women’s football at the top level. This step will particularly help us in the internationalisation of Eintracht.”

In the future, 1. FFC Frankfurt will continue to play home matches at their traditional location, the Brentanobad Stadium in Frankfurt’s Rödelheim district.