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

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

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

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

The Future of Finance

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

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

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

The Dawning of FinTechs

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

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

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

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

Frankfurt Finance Summit 2016: Challenges of Digitalization

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frankfurt Finance Summit: Digitalization in Focus

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

Topics include:

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


Keynote (1:00 – 1:20 p.m.):

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

Conversation (1:20 – 1:50 p.m.):

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

Panel Discussion (1:50 – 2:40 p.m.):

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

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

Frankfurt Finance Summit: Top-level Panelists

The 6th Frankfurt Finance Summit will be held on May 12, 2016. The first panel discussion titled Redefining Banking – Regulatory and Economic Challenges will follow a conversation with Carsten Kengeter, CEO Deutsche Börse AG


The panel will address the following:

  • What kind of finance industry does Europe want?
  • Capital market union – state of the affairs
  • Long-term financing and refinancing revised
  • Increasing procyclicality as a result of regulation
  • The role of insurance and pension funds in substituting bank balance sheets



Conversation (10:20 – 10:50 a.m.):

Carsten Kengeter, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Börse AG and
 Dr. Uwe Stegemann, Director, McKinsey & Company, Inc.


Panel Discussion (10:50 – 11:50 a.m.):

Dr. Uwe Stegemann, Director, McKinsey & Company, Inc.

Gabriel Bernardino, Chair European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority

Andrea Enria, Chair European Banking Authority

Felix Hufeld, President Federal Financial Supervisory Authority

Benoît de Juvigny, Secretary General Autorité des Marchés Financiers

Sylvie Matherat, Member of the Management Board Deutsche Bank AG

Frank Westhoff, Member of the Board of Managing DirectorsDZ BANK AG



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


Claudio Borio, Diana Rutzka-Hascher und Lutz Raettig

5th Financial Centre Breakfast: Challenges for the Global Economy

A decade after the financial crisis: economy is incapable of balanced growth

The long-term productivity growth in the real economy suffers a considerable degree from the effects of the financial crisis, according to recent research from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). At yesterday’s Financial Centre Breakfast, BIS’s chief economist, Claudio Borio, revealed challenges faced by the global economy and actions that must be taken.

Frankfurt Main Finance and the Association of Foreign Banks in Germany hosted the breakfast in the Hessian branch of the Deutsche Bundesbank. The speaker for the event was Claudius Borio, who provided answers to the question why almost a decade after the financial crisis, the global economic system is incapable of returning to sustainable and balanced growth. “The analytical focus is often misaligned, and that is one reason why we are where we are now,” said Borio on situation analyses. He proposed several appropriate measures for dealing with today’s challenges.

The basic prerequisite is that financial cycles not be ignored. This is demonstrated in the results of recent research of BIS: “We have observed that financial cycles have become larger since the 80s. This is, inter alia, due to the financial liberalization and globalization of the real economy. Policymakers have done too little to limit financial upswings. And following the crises too much emphasis was placed on crisis management and too little on sustainable crisis solutions.”

As early as 2003, Borio warned of instability in the global financial system; thus, predicting the financial crisis. Since 1987, he has held various positions at BIS and is regarded as one of the most interesting and provocative economists dealing with monetary policy. In his 2014 publication “The Financial Cycle and Macroeconomics: What have we learned?” he warns of a new financial crisis and makes proposals for a new academic agenda.

The complete presentation of his speech at the Financial Centre Breakfast is available here.

Frankfurt Finance Summit: On the Move

The 6th Frankfurt Finance Summit will take place on May 12, 2016. This year’s theme is On the Move – the Future of Finance and renowned experts will be on location to deliver Keynotes and participate in moderated panel discussions. Amongst those attending are German Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble and Günther Oettinger, the EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society.

The themes of the panels are:

  • Redefining Banking – Regulatory and Economic Challenges
  • Digitalisation – The Dawning of FinTechs
  • Tectonic shift – Where will finance move to?

The conference will be help in Kap Europa at the Frankfurt convention center. The programme can be found here.

FMF sponsors panel discussion at Finanzplatztag 2016

The 9th annual Finanzplatztag (Financial Centre Day) took place on March 3, 2016 in Frankfurt. Held at the German Stock Exchange in the Financial Centre, this year’s the two day conference covered themes including investment, the Financial Centre, and IT and services. Content was based on the extremely positive response to topics from past events and the conference once again served as a key communications platform for the German financial sector as well as Frankfurt as a Financial Centre. Read more

Anstoss am Finanzplatz

Kick-off in the Financial Centre: money doesn’t score goals, but top-level football still needs solid finances

On the first day of the football conference Kick-off in the Financial Centre, Dr. Lutz Raettig, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Frankfurt Main Finance, emphasised the close link between Eintracht Frankfurt and the financial centre. “Financial institutions dominate Frankfurt. Similarly, Eintracht, a club rich in tradition, is a giant in Frankfurt – Frankfurt is the leading financial centre in Germany, the Eintracht is the leading football club in the financial centre.” Read more

Frankfurt Main Finance Cup

Frankfurt Main Finance Cup: Eintracht Frankfurt defeats F.C. Tokyo 3:2

Frankfurt am Main: In front of some 50,000 spectators, Eintracht Frankfurt defeated F.C. Tokyo with a score of 3:2 to with the “Frankfurt Main Finance Cup”. The Cup was played as the Eintracht-season opener for the second time since 2014. “Football brings together people and markets,” says Dr. Lutz Raettig, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Frankfurt Main Finance. “After all, Eintracht Frankfurt has two players from the Japanese National Team, Makoto Hasebe and Takashi Inui, on its squad. The game highlights the ties between football and financial centres, Frankfurt and Tokyo, as well as Germany and Japan.” Read more