Cairo Financial Industry meets Frankfurt to discuss options post Brexit

More than 1.2 trillion USD in assets will need to be relocated after Brexit. Frankfurt is poised to gain more than 800 billion USD. Frankfurt Main Finance, representing the Financial Centre Frankfurt, with the support of the Central Bank of Egypt, informed the Financial Industry in Cairo on the most recent developments on 25 March 2019, at the Diplomatic Club Cairo.

The event brought legal and regulatory experts together the financial industry to discuss Frankfurt’s increasing role as a financial hub in the wake of the United Kingdom’s impending exit from the European Union, not just for continental Europe, but also the larger MENA region.

“As the financial centre of Europe’s leading economy, Germany, and the home of the European Central Bank, Frankfurt is in the pole position to benefit post Brexit. 48 Financial institutions, mainly from the US, Europe and Asia have decided to relocate all or part of their European banking business to Frankfurt,” explains Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance e.V.

“We now see a second wave coming from the MENA region.” Yusef Ahmed, Founder and Managing Director of FIC Frankfurt International, notes. “As companies and banks finalize their Brexit contingency plans, Germany is committed to supporting Frankfurt’s key position in the new landscape of Europe’s financial industry.”

From a legal perspective, regulatory issues faced by banks moving to Frankfurt have been discussed in the context of new political conditions. Brexit also hosts opportunities for Frankfurt to establish itself as an M&A centre as well as a transaction-financing hub,” says Dr. Nicolas Bremer, Partner at the international law firm Alexander & Partner.

Dr. Rüdiger Litten, Partner at the international law firm Fieldfisher, who supported the Kuwait Finance House in establishing their fully licensed bank in Frankfurt, adds that “in the past months, we have experienced an increasing number of banks and financial institutions from the MENA-region seeking our advice on opening shop in Frankfurt.”

 

Fifth visit of FMF delegation to South Korea and Hong Kong

In January 2019, a German delegation, headed by Dr. Lutz Raettig, President of Frankfurt Main Finance, traveled to South Korea and Hong Kong.

Seoul

In Seoul, the delegation attended the FinTech & Blockchain Forum at Sogang University at which Korean and German companies were presenting their business models. Moreover, the group met with Suk Heun Yoon, President of the Korean Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) to discuss Britain’s exit from the European Unit as well as the potential implications for European financial markets and the Financial Centre Frankfurt. Furthermore, the World Alliance of International Financial Centres (WAIFC) was discussed with representatives of the city council – a global strategic alliance of which both the Korean financial centre Busan and FMF are founding members.

Busan

On the second day, the delegation took the KTX high-speed train to Busan  – the second largest Korean city and partner of FMF. After meeting with the Busan Economic Promotion Agency (BEPA) and a warm welcome by Chairman Dr. Ki Sik Park, the delegation went to the United Nations Memorial Cemetery –  a burial ground honoring United Nations Command soldiers who fell in the Korean War (1950-1953).

Thereafter, the delegation was welcomed at the Busan city hall by Jae-soo Yoo, Deputy Mayor. Mr. Yoo and Dr. Raettig emphasized the close collaboration between the two financial centres following the signing of the cooperation agreement in 2013, which will be further strengthened by the joint WAIFC membership. Back in Seoul, the delegation met with Korean politicians, companies as well as with Prof. Sooyong Park, Head of the Global FinTech Research Institute.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the delegation participated at the Asian Financial Forum (AFF) – titled Creating a Sustainable and Inclusive Future and held under the auspiece of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).

Asian Financial Forum 2019

The stall of the International Financial Centre Frankfurt, jointly organised by FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH, Hessen Trade & Invest and Frankfurt Main Finance, attracted many visitors who were interested in Brexit related topics as well as Frankfurt’s thriving FinTech scene.

In her opening address, Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, highlighted the success of FinTech in Hong Kong. Moreover, she emphasized how important the Greater Bay Area initiative, implemented by the Guangdong province, Macao and Hong Kong, are to the government of Hong Kong.

While the members of the delegation with a background in the banking sector listened to interesting presentations, the Frankfurt-based FinTech company AsiaFundManagers presented itself to a number of potential investors at the so-called Deal Flow Matchmaking Session of the AFF. At the final meeting with Dr. Raettig on the last day of the trip, the two participating managing directors of AsiaFundManagers voiced their satisfaction with the results of the talks.

 

Frankfurt Main Finance at the Toronto Global Forum: “Fintech and the Future of Money”

With a strong start-up culture, a globally-leading Fintech cluster, proximity to established banks and thus access to potential clients and funding, the Financial Centre Frankfurt has a thriving FinTech ecosystem. Therefore, Frankfurt Main Finance’s Managing Director, Hubertus Väth, was invited to share the views and perspectives of the Financial Centre Frankfurt in a panel discussion on Fintech and the Future of Money at the Toronto Global Forum.

The Toronto Global Forum is an international conference fostering dialogue on pressing economic issues with the most recent conference being titled “Navigating a World in Disruption” and held under the auspices of the International Economic Forum of the Americas (IEFA). Heads of states, central bank governors, ministers and global economic decision-makers as well as industry experts partake at the conference. With 3.000 participants and 170 speakers, it’s a good opportunity for all stakeholders involved to leverage business synergies and engage in discussions with actors of the global economy.

The conferences first forum Fintech and the Future of Money addressed the impact of rapidly developing technology on financial services and traditional banking. The forum moderated by Alexandra Posadzki, Financial Services Reporter at The Globe and Mail featured the speaker Hubertus Väth, Managing Director, Frankfurt Main Finance, Al Goldstein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Avant, Shuman Ghosemajumder, Chief Technology Officer at Shape Security and Rafael Funes, Executive Chairman of LOVIS.

The panellists discussed how the financial sector will look like in a few years, what impact new technologies are having on financial services and in what ways regulation can support innovation and promote confidence between consumers and financial institutions. During the debate, Hubertus Väth highlighted that while Technology has changed or even fundamentally replaced some forms of traditional financial services, established financial institutions are at times losing sight of, or under-investing in potentially industry-changing trends such as Artificial Intelligence, Big data, Blockchain, cloud storage –  all of which are technologies that may have a disruptive character for the financial industry and may revolutionize future pricing, trading, clearing, settlements.

Strengthening Relations with the City of Toronto

During the latest visit to Toronto, Frankfurt Main Finance met with Thomas Schultze, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany to Toronto and Michael Thompson, Deputy Mayor of Toronto to further the collaboration between the two financial centres, adding Artificial Intelligence to areas of cooperation.

Building a strong international network

Frankfurt Main Finance (FMF) is highly engaged in strengthening the financial centres’ international position and providing dialogue platforms. An integral part of those efforts are high-level delegation trips to partner cities. As such, FMF representatives recently travelled to Qatar and Kuwait to share best practices with representatives of the respective financial centres and to foster the dialogue on an international level.

As part of the latest visit, Frankfurt Main Finance met with representatives of the Qatar Financial Center (QFC) Authority. The organisation manages and maintains the QFC legal and tax environment, and licenses firms to conduct business in or from Qatar. Moreover, it develops relationships with the global financial community and other key institutions, both within and outside of Qatar.

Furthermore, Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance, conducted an exclusive interview with the television channel Al Jazeera English, which focused on the consequences of Great Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. “London will remain one of the world’s leading financial centres,” said Hubertus Väth. However, as Väth stated, London will lose its passporting rights to the EU27, which currently allow the selling of financial products throughout the entire Union. Moreover, he emphasised FMF’s stance: “Brexit is neither good for the European Union nor is it good for Great Britain.”

This trip is an excellent example of FMF’s efforts to establish a vast international network of financial centres, which continuously grows and within which Frankfurt Main Finance represents the interests of the Financial Centre Frankfurt. Just in July 2018, FMF representatives travelled to the Global Finance Forum at Kazakhstan’s capital Astana, at which they discussed the challenges and changes in a globally interconnected financial industry with well-renowned industry experts and politicians.

Frankfurt Main Finance is a founding member of the World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC)

In an era of breakthrough technologies and rapid social change, Financial Centres are key to sustaining economic growth. Thus, the objective of the Word Alliance of International Financial Centers is to create a transparent network that facilitates cooperation and sharing of best practices to further the understanding of the importance of international financial centres for national and international economies as well as social development.

International Network FMF

Financial Centre Frankfurt, World Alliance of International Financial Centres,

World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC) launched

On October 1st, 2018, eleven global Financial Centres have launched the World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC). The new international non-profit association, registered in Brussels, was first proposed by the Financial Centres Frankfurt (Germany), Moscow (Russia) and Paris (France) in December 2016. By 2018, 7 Financial Centres have joined to establish the WAIFC with the aim to facilitate cooperation, exchange best practices across Financial Centres and to foster greater exchange with Public Authorities at the international level.

Who are the founding members of WAIFC?

The WAIFC is comprised of the following founding members:

What are the objectives of the Word Alliance of International Financial Centres?

In an era of breakthrough technologies and rapid social change, Financial Centres are key to sustaining economic growth. Thus, the objective of the Word Alliance of International Financial Centres is to create a transparent network that facilitates cooperation and sharing of best practices to further the understanding of the importance of international financial centers for national and international economies as well as social development.

Moreover, the WAIFC will be project-driven, focusing on the following areas:

  • Data on Financial Centres
  • Contribution of Financial Centres to Green investment & infrastructure
  • New FinTech developments
  • The role of Financial Centres in the financing of the economy

How will the WAIFC be governed?

The newly established World Alliance of International Financial Centres will be headquartered in the Financial Centre Frankfurt. The first General Assembly will be held around December 2018, with the participation of the founding members and additional Financial Centres. The WAIFC’s Board of Directors is composed of the following senior leaders from the founding members:

  • Abdullah Al Salmi, The Capital Markets Authority Oman
  • Arnaud de Bresson, Paris EUROPLACE
  • Said Ibrahimi, Casablanca Finance City
  • Kairat Kelimbetov, Astana International Financial Centre
  • Frederic de Laminne, Belgian Finance Club
  • Jennifer Reynolds, Toronto Finance International
  • Young Ho Park, Busan International Financial City Promotion Center
  • Philippe Richard, Abu Dhabi Global Market
  • Tom Theobald, Luxembourg for Finance
  • Hubertus Vaeth, Frankfurt Main Finance
  • Alexander Voloshin, Analytical Centre Forum Moscow

Arnaud de Bresson, Paris EUROPLACE is the first elected Chairman of the body. Frederic de Laminne, Belgian Finance Club, will take on the role of the Treasurer and Jochen Biedermann, Frankfurt Main Finance, will act as the Managing Director of the newly founded association.

Find more information here.

IFF Paris Europlace le 12 juillet 2018 à Paris au pavillon d'Armenonville

WAIFC – New global strategic alliance to facilitate cooperation and economic growth

Financial Services Leaders Announce Establishment Process of World Alliance of International Financial Centers

Financial services leaders from around the globe assembled in Paris on July 12, 2018, to announce their strategic alliance under the newly formed World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC) – a global organization created to facilitate cooperation and exchange of best practices across financial centers – and to finalize WAIFC’s common objectives ahead of the signing of WAIFC’s Charter and Statues by all members in September.

A financial center is a kind of a service infrastructure for investors and corporates to manage savings and to finance entrepreneurial risk to trigger economic growth in a sustainable environment. Financial centers are known for their clustering effect, they bring together financial institutions (banks, insurance companies, asset managers …), regional headquarters of multinational companies, professional services providers.

WAIFC was proposed by the financial centers of Frankfurt (Germany), Moscow (Russia) and Paris (France) in December 2016 to explore cross-fertilization opportunities and facilitate cooperation and the exchange of best practices among financial centers to help contribute to economic growth. They were joined in Paris by the financial centers of Abu Dhabi (U.A.E), Belgium, Casablanca (Morocco), London (UK), Luxembourg, Astana (Kazakhstan), Busan (South Korea), Tokyo (Japan) and Toronto (Canada).

Initially, WAIFC will focus on the following objectives, subject to approval by WAIFC’s Board of Directors:

  • Data on Financial centers
  • Green investment & infrastructure
  • FinTech
  • The role of financial centers in financing the economy

WAIFC will be incorporated as a Belgian association with its head office in the Financial Centre Frankfurt in Germany. Its first General Assembly is planned for the last quarter 2018.

Why WAIFC is Important

Financial centers are key to sustainable economic growth. They provide the infrastructure for investment and savings which go onto facilitate entrepreneurial endeavors and economic growth throughout industries and communities.

Financial centers are not identical in size or scope of activities but cross fertilization among centers can be useful to leverage collective and individual efficiencies and best practices, and thus increase competition and growth.

Find the official Joint Communique here.

Said Ibrahimi, CEO of Casablanca Finance City and Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance signed the Memorandum of Understanding at the Conference of Montreal.

Casablanca Finance City Authority and Frankfurt Main Finance e.V. commit to long-term cooperation

In a Memorandum of Understanding, Frankfurt Main Finance e.V. (FMF) and the Moroccan Casablanca Finance City Authority (CFC) agreed on a long-term cooperation. Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance, and Said Ibrahimi, CEO of the Casablanca Finance City Authority, signed the memorandum on 11 June 2018, at the Conference of Montreal.

The agreement focuses on current issues facing the financial industry such as green and sustainable finance as well as fintech start-ups. Moreover, the memorandum emphasizes the commitment of both financial centres to promote business opportunities in their respective economic regions, namely the Eurozone and Africa. Additionally, the agreement aims to foster the development of an effective cooperation via joint programs, financial trainings, research activities, workshops, publications and study trips.

Frankfurt Main Finance’s Managing Director Hubertus Väth declared, “Africa offers many opportunities for the financial industry. Inclusion and sustainability are important keywords. We look forward to working with Casablanca, a young yet leading financial centre on the African continent.”
Said Ibrahimi, CEO of Casablanca Finance City, stated, “We are delighted to sign this memorandum of understanding with Frankfurt Main Finance, the leading financial centre in the eurozone. The partnership will undoubtedly reinforce the business cooperation between the Eurozone and Africa in the fields of green/sustainable finance and Fintech.”

In the upcoming weeks and months, Frankfurt and Casablanca will implement their joint plans and thus, strengthen their positions as leading financial centres.

Fourth FMF delegation visit to South Korea and Hong Kong

Under the leadership of Dr. Lutz Raettig, President of Frankfurt Main Finance, a German FinTech delegation, traveled to South Korea and Hong Kong from January 11 to 16, 2018, as in previous years.
In Seoul, a meeting with Heungsik Choe, the President of the Korean financial regulator FSS was on the agenda. Topics of the discussion were the latest developments in FinTech, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies.
At the FinTech & Blockchain Forum at Sogang University in Seoul, Korean and German companies were presenting their business models. From the German side, the Frankfurt company blockchain HELIX and Firamis as well as the Stuttgart FinTech FINVAX were pitching. Dr. Jochen Papenbrock, Founder and CEO of Firamis, explained his innovative approach of using artificial intelligence in the financial industry.
At the next morning, the delegation travelled with the KTX high-speed train to Busan. Busan and Frankfurt Main Finance are linked by various cooperation agreements and work closely together. The delegation was officially welcomed by Ki-young Kim, Vice-Mayor of Economic Affairs at the Busan City Hall. Afterwards, the Busan-Frankfurt-FinTech Roundtable took place on the 52nd floor of the landmark BIFC building, which is a strong symbol for the dynamic development of the second-largest Korean city.
Back in Seoul, the delegation met with Korean politicians, companies as well as with Prof. Sooyong Park, the head of the Global FinTech Research Institute.
In Hong Kong, the delegation participated in the Asian Financial Forum (AFF). By means of a joint booth between FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH, Hessen Trade & Invest and Frankfurt Main Finance, Frankfurt presented itself as an attractive international financial center to the Asian financial community – not only in the Brexit context.
In her opening address at the AFF, Carrie Lam, the new head of the Hong Kong government, made clear the importance of Fintech and Blockchain for Hong Kong. Blockchain technology is expected to support Hong Kong’s contribution to the Chinese One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative.
Later at the same day, Oliver Naegele, founder and CEO of Frankfurt-based Blockchain presented at the Fintech O2O International Fintech Pitch Evening in Cyberport, Hong Kong’s state-owned tech center for FinTechs and other tech companies. In his pitch, he had the opportunity to convince the audience of his unique digital identity solution running on a Blockchain. A lot of applause and many positive comments in the aftermath showed that he was quite successful in doing so.
The second day of the Asian Financial Forum was almost completely dedicated to the startups. In addition to numerous pitches, international experts discussed the FinTech ecosystems in China, Hong Kong and Asia in various so-called “Innotalks”.
Further discussions were held with the Hong Kong FinTech Association and the newly established Hong Kong Blockchain Center (HKBCC). Frankfurt Main Finance intends to work closely together with both organizations in the future.

FinTech delegation travels to South Korea and Hong Kong

As in recent years, in January a FinTech delegation will be traveling under the leadership of Dr. Raettig to Hong Kong for the Asian Financial Forum (AFF). The Asia Financial Forum is the most important meeting of the Asian financial sector and will be held for the eleventh time on January 15 and 16, 2018. AFF’s topics include financial innovation and technology, AI and robotics, green finance, insurance technology, Fintech, Blockchain and banking innovations.

Frankfurt Main Finance will present itself with a joint stand with FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH and Hessen Trade & Invest to the Asian financial community as an attractive international financial center – not only in the Brexit context.

For years Frankfurt Main Finance has maintained close ties with the FinTech community in Hong Kong, among others with HKTDC, Invest.HK, the FATHK and Cyberport and Metta as leading FinTech Hubs in Hong Kong.

The FinTech delegation will travel to South Korea already on January 11, 2018, where it will present itself at FinTech events in Seoul and Busan. Frankfurt Main Finance is closely linked to both South Korean financial centers through a number of agreements, among others in the areas of FinTech and Blockchain. For several years there has been a regular exchange at the level of the financial centers as well as the supervisory authorities. South Korea is an important partner for Frankfurt and also a regular destination for delegation trips of the state of Hesse.

About the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong

For the eleventh time, on January 15 and 16, 2018, top-class international representatives of the financial and business world will meet at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong. During the two days they will discuss developments and trends in the dynamic markets of Asia and over and above that. The event, organized by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), has this time the motto: steer growth and pave the way for innovations, both in Asia and around the world. In 2017, the Forum had over 2,900 participants, including more than 100 internationally renowned speakers. There was also a great interest in the Deal Flow Matchmaking Sessions, where more than 490 projects were discussed with investors in over 600 conversations. Overall, the organizer has already arranged 3,800 meetings with more than 1,800 companies since the start of these sessions.

Among the contributors in 2018 are Jacob J. Lew, US Secretary of the Treasury until 2017, David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance of Luxembourg, Hu Huaibang, Chairman of China Development Bank Corporation, and Takehiko Nakao, President of the Asian Development Bank. From Germany comes Dr. Andreas Dombret, board member of the Deutsche Bundesbank. Speaker at the Keynote-Luncheon on January 16 is this year the expert for AI and Robotics, Professor Daniela Rus, Director of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Professor for Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the MIT.

The AFF visitors are also offered to have pre-arranged meetings for participants with common interests, the InnoVenture Salon for Startups, who want to present their business ideas to international investors, a free financial and service advisory zone and sessions with project owners, presenting their projects to potential investors.

To the HKTDC homepage: http://bit.ly/2kpfT38

More articles on the topic:

o “Think Asia, think Hong Kong” in Germany

o FinTech Breakfast with Invest Hong Kong

o Leading Korean FinTech companies visit the Frankfurt financial center

o Delegation from South Korea visits the financial center Frankfurt

 

Contact: Dr. Jochen Biedermann

The Financial Centres Frankfurt and Astana intend to work more closely together

Frankfurt Main Finance e.V. (FMF) and the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) from Kazakhstan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation between the two financial hubs on Friday, 17.11.2017.

The AIFC Governor Kairat Kelimbetov and Dr. Lutz Raettig, President of Frankfurt Main Finance signed the MoU agreement on the premises of the company Economic Development Frankfurt in the presence of the Kazakh Ambassador Bolat Nussupov, City Councillor Markus Frank, Managing Director of Frankfurt Economic Development Oliver Schwebel, and Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of FMF.

An AIFC delegation visited Frankfurt am Main last week. In addition to holding several meetings with Frankfurt Main Finance and FMF members such as German banks, the delegation attended the Astana International Financial Centre Forum within the framework of the Euro Finance Week, where Kairat Kelimbetov and his team presented their extensive plans for the years ahead.

“Astana is a young and ambitious financial centre, with which we have enjoyed a close and friendly relationship for many years,” as Frankfurt Main Finance President Dr. Lutz Raettig described the links to the Kazakh financial centre.

Hubertus Väth sees great potential in the new agreement that has been reached: “There are many different opportunities for collaboration in the fields of infrastructure, training, or internal and external financial centre marketing.”

Frankfurt and Astana will be implementing their joint plans over the next few weeks and months and will thus be making a contribution together towards strengthening their respective financial centres.