CFS survey on Green Finance

In light of the growing debate over climate change and its consequences, sustainability considerations are also taking on greater importance in the financial sector. Under the headings “Sustainable Finance” or “Green Finance”, numerous initiatives have been launched to address the financial sector’s contribution to attaining climate goals. A recent survey by the Center for Financial Studies showed that the majority of the German financial industry (64%) believes that the financial sector could play a supporting role in achieving climate goals. Indeed, 17% of respondents would even attribute a major role to the financial sector. By contrast, 18% of those surveyed do not regard the financial sector as relevant to the climate goals.

“I see great opportunities for the Financial Centre Frankfurt to profit from the growing trend towards sustainable financial products as well as from trading in emission rights,” Professor Volker Brühl, Managing Director of the Center for Financial Studies, interprets the survey results.

Demand for sustainable investment products (e.g. green bonds) is on the rise. The majority of the financial industry (70%) believes that sustainability will be an important factor in how investors decide to allocate capital in the future. By contrast, 26% of respondents believe that sustainability considerations will not influence investment decisions.

On the issue of how much government influence should be exerted, the German financial industry is fairly unanimous (70%) that no government incentives such as tax relief should be offered for green bonds, nor should regulatory advantages such as lower capital requirements be granted to banks that do little or no business with companies harming the environment.

“Banking regulation should not be overloaded with climate policy goals. Firstly, the financial sector is already subject to a dense network of regulations. Secondly, looser capital requirements for environmentally friendly financing could lead to false incentives that jeopardize financial stability,” Professor Brühl adds.

Regarding the question of whether a company’s environmental impacts should be factored into banks’ corporate lending decisions (e.g. through ratings), opinions in the financial industry are rather divided. While 52% of respondents support this approach, 45% are opposed to it.

Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance e.V., emphasizes: “The results clearly show that the time is ripe and sustainable products are in demand. In addition, they show that further government incentives are not necessary. This is an encouraging sign that today, sustainable products are already competitive.”

Highlighting the importance of a truly integrated financial market in Europe

Jacqueline Mills, Managing Director and Head of the AFME office in Frankfurt

Jacqueline Mills, Managing Director and Head of the AFME office in Frankfurt

In May, AFME will be holding its first conference on the topic of supervision and financial integration – here Jacqueline Mills, Managing Director and Head of the AFME office in Frankfurt, explains why AFME decided to expand its footprint in Frankfurt and what topics will be on the agenda of the conference.

In February 2017, you opened an office in the Financial Centre Frankfurt to expand AFME’s European presence. Why did you choose Frankfurt?

AFME decided to extend its European footprint into Frankfurt two years ago by opening the local office in order to deepen its relationships with some of the key EU institutions, including the SSM, ECB, and ESRB, hosted by the city. Our focus is on ECB banking supervision since  many of our members are primarily supervised by the ECB and the ECB is also a direct supervisor for a growing number of entities belonging to our members with headquarters outside the Eurozone. As the heart of German finance, Frankfurt also provides us with a base to engage with local regulators, such as the BaFIN and Bundesbank, as well as other European organisations like EIOPA which are based here.

 What are the goals of the AFME, especially with regards to Brexit?

 As a pan-European trade association, we are dedicated to the promotion of deep and liquid European capital markets. We have well-established relationships across the EU27 and the UK. AFME aims to act as a bridge between market participants and policymakers across Europe, drawing on our strong and long-standing relationships, our technical knowledge and fact-based work. Especially our work concerning  Brexit draws on that approach. In particular, we have focussed on ensuring the decision-making community is aware of the potential cliff edge or no deal risks of Brexit.  Our work has contributed to the EU27 and individual Member States, including the UK, addressing many, if not all, of these issues. Of course, uncertainty remains, and we aim to help our members navigate this. If and when the UK’s exit becomes better defined, we will – on behalf of our members – contribute to shaping the future relationship for financial services between the EU27 and UK.

What will be the main topics covered by the conference held on May 23rd, 2019? For which target group is it suitable?

AFME members’ businesses span accross multiple global regions, thus connecting end-users with sources of capital and liquidity. Yet, the global banking industry is increasingly confronted with fragmentation along national and regional lines, which creates unnecessary rigidity and costs. At European level, the economic benefits of a truly integrated market for financial services are well understood, but progress remains slow.

The conference, which is our first one held in Frankfurt, will therefore address the interplay between the EU’s various Banking and Capital Market Union projects.   Furthermore, we discuss how moving forward with these initiatives is key to having a truly integrated financial market in Europe. The conference will also identify practical suggestions for achieving the European supervisory framework necessary to support these mutually reinforcing goals and consider how to enable greater cross-border supervisory cooperation. We hope that the event will provide food for thought for the next Commission’s mandate.

Among the highlights on the agenda are keynote addresses from Dr Jörg Kukies, State Secretary, German Ministry of Finance and ECB Vice President, Luis de Guindos. We also have a vast range of speakers, including representatives from the FSB, EBA, ECB, UK PRA and the US Federal Reserve Board in addition to industry leaders from a variety of capital market businesses around Europe.

You can register to attend the conference here.

 

Interview with Andreas Lukic about the 2019 FinTechGermany Award

Andreas Lukic, CEO of ValueNet-Capital-Partners GmbH

Andreas Lukic, CEO of ValueNet-Capital-Partners GmbH

In an interview with Frankfurt Main Finance, Andreas Lukic, CEO of ValueNet-Capital-Partners GmbH and jury coordinator of the FinTechGermany Award (FTGA), explains how the award has evolved in recent years and why the “Golden Garage” should be awarded monthly.

What inspired you to establish the FinTechGermany Awards as an annual event?

In the ’90s and around the turn of the millennium, I worked in the USA and England. Upon my return, I noticed that the start-up ecosystem in the Rhine-Main region was rather small. Moreover, there was a lack of private investor networks or other initiatives bringing start-ups, investors, and clients together. Thus, I decided to join a small Business Angel Club in 2002 and became chairman of the Business Angels Frankfurt Rhein-Main in 2006. By now, we review about 900 start-ups a year and invest in about 20 to 30 – furthering the start-up ecosystem is an important factor.

With the end of the financial crisis, interest in founders grew substantially. Initiatives such as the FinTech Dialogue forum – which later initiated the TechQuartier and the FinTechGermany Award the “Golden Garage” – were formed. The award allows us to draw attention to the internationally renowned Financial Centre Frankfurt as an attractive location for founders. We cannot say “We are the coolest, the most creative and have been on the market the longest.” However, what we can say is “We are a Financial Centre – with capital and financial market competence” and we have been for more than 100 years. Furthermore, the investor-driven award demonstrates that we can evaluate to what extent start-ups are financially viable, scalable and likely to provide feasible exit options.

How has the event evolved over the years?

Approximately 180 start-ups are nominated for the FTGA every year. However, interested start-ups can also hand in applications. With about 200 participating companies, start-ups from every market segment are represented. Today, we are established enough to award the Golden Garage, with this year’s ceremony taking place in the Eurotheum. An open jury session also took place as part of the Finanzplatztag.

Which challenges were FinTechs facing in Germany during the early days of the FinTechGermany Award?

First of all, FinTechs are nothing new, but the growing public awareness is. Back in 2005, we would not have been able to initiate such an award – all the necessary resources were not accessible in one place.  However, by now it is standard practice in the financial sector to use new technologies and FinTechs are well-established.

Whereas a few years ago start-ups needed to explore new ideas and enter untapped market segments to position themselves, start-ups nowadays need to successfully become established. They have to penetrate the market to a much greater extent and be able to handle customers, competition, and profit equally well. While fewer start-ups are founded these days, we find a lot of FinTechs that are “partially or fully financed”. That is what has changed.

You have kept track of the progress previously winning companies have made to this day. Have the founders and their companies gained increased attention from investors after winning the FinTechGermany Award?

Yes, founders and entrepreneurs receive greater attention from the public after the award. The attention grows proportionally with the increasing importance of the FinTechGermany Awards.

FinTechgermany Award 2018

FinTechgermany Award 2018

A start-up – whether at the Seed/Early Stage, Late Stage or Growth Stage – always needs unique selling points. Everyone makes a lot of noise. Thus, every competition, every price and every chance of access to partners and networks is an essential aspect for a start-up. However, this effect also works the other way around: The Financial Centre and the players draw benefits from it – by forming a cooperation or increasing their number of clients.

With regards to investors: We must show that Frankfurt is worth locating to. Not just because of the networking opportunities but also because of the start-ups. Actually, we need something like the FintechGermany Awards to happen every month (laughs).

The name “Golden Garage” refers to the early beginnings of technology pioneers such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Larry Page. Are those career paths we can still observe today?  Or are FinTechs already moving away from garages and bedrooms to FinTech hubs and offices around the world?

The garage symbolizes the unconventional founding of which Hewlett-Packard is a prototype. There even is a museum in Silicon Valley called “the old garage”. And yes, this original founding continues to occur.

Three characteristics define a start-up hub:

1. Founding Landscape

When looking at Silicon Valley, it becomes evident that only a few founders were born there.

Hence, there is no “founding gene” that one region has or has not got. It is upon us to establish an attractive start-up landscape. This a consistent factor and the Rhine-Main region has caught up significantly over the past few years.

2. Educational Landscape

This includes universities, but also cultural institutions such as museums. The educational landscape in the Rhine-Main region has a strong focus on start-ups and their founders.

3. Finance Chain
A financing landscape must be created in which start-ups are able to get access to all forms of investments – from 1,000 to 10,00 to 100,000 Euros. That is why I always emphasize the investor-driven award and the jury’s capital market competence. Financing is our future topic. A golden garage is characterized by the fact that it a place where I can get settled while also getting my company financed. When looking at Facebook and Co.: at some point, someone gave them between one hundred and five hundred thousand dollars. At the same time, that business angel had an idea of where the start-up was heading. In the FinTech sector, we are on the right track today.

 

Andreas Lukic is the founder and managing director of ValueNet-Capital-Partners GmbH, a private equity and consulting company founded in 2000. The company focuses on investing, financing and M&A transactions in management buyouts/buy-ins as well as company successions, occasionally invests in growth-oriented companies from the corporate, SME and start-up sectors and supports their corporate development. Mr. Lukic is a member of several advisory boards, CEO of Business-Angels FrankfurtRheinMain e.V. and has been an active business angel since 1999. In addition, he supports renowned and ambitious artists as part of Schirn Zeitgenossen, Frankfurt. Please find more information on Andreas Lukic here.

The FintechGermany Award is the ideal platform for knowledge sharing

Interview with Philipp Sandner on the FinTechGermany Award 2019

“Regulation is probably still one of the biggest challenges for young FinTechs in Germany,” says Philipp Sandner, Head of the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center. In a Frankfurt Main Finance interview, he discusses how the FinTechGermany Award can support young FinTechs to overcome regulatory challenges.

What is especially important to you when judging applicants for the FinTechGermany Award?

The primary focus is on their business model. With regards to FinTechs, the degree to which the idea is innovative is of utmost importance. The implementation of the business model, its cost-effectiveness and especially the integration of new technologies, such as Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence, are decisive factors for whether a FinTech can survive on the market. Among other things, the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center advises and assists young, highly innovative companies using these new technologies to implement and commercialize their products. We firmly believe that Blockchain technology will have a significant impact on the financial industry, and of course on the prospects of success of FinTechs that are applying for the FinTechGermany Award.

What are the biggest challenges for FinTechs in Germany? How can start-up companies better supported? What can platforms like the FinTechGermany Award do to help?

Regulation is probably still one of the biggest challenges for young FinTechs in Germany. Due to the interaction with the financial market, BaFin often requires FinTechs to adhere to strict regulations. However, due to cost pressure and a lack of staff, it is more difficult for start-ups to meet those requirements than for large financial institutions. Hence, it is crucial to provide young entrepreneurs with know-how and to show them ways in which, for example, they can adapt their business model so that the need to meet BaFin’s standards is reduced or even rendered obsolete. Platforms like the FinTechGermany Award foster that knowledge transfer.

How will the German FinTech ecosystem evolve in 2019? In the next 5 years?

Within the next year, a continued or even extended application of Bafin regulation to FinTechs might lead to a market consolidation and force some FinTechs to retreat from the market. Despite the potential for consolidation, I believe FinTechs will continue to have greater significance – unlike banks or other large financial institutions they can more readily and agilely make use of innovation and new technologies. Banks need to be prepared for serious competition from smaller companies, weakening their monopolistic position. Therefore, banks should be encouraged to work more closely with FinTechs in order to foster innovation and keep pace with new technologies. Thus, it can be expected that large financial institutions will increasingly cooperate with FinTechs in the upcoming years. In the meantime, topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Crypto Assets will be of crucial importance and likely to determine whether a business model can survive on the market.

How can Frankfurt become one of the leading Fintech hubs in Germany or Europe?

First of all, places must be created where young companies can creatively test their ideas and obtain needed advice. Such platforms not only provide for the exchange of information, but also allows them to get in contact with potential investors and partners. Unfortunately, there are far too few opportunities in the Financial Centre Frankfurt. This infrastructure is much better established in other European countries and the rest of the world. In Germany, enough funding to provide for a sufficient number of facilities for young companies needs to be granted by the federal government and federal states. At the same time, knowledge transfer is indispensable. Many decision makers are not yet prepared for the imminent paradigm shift that is to come in the financial industry. This is unfortunate as it threatens their business model and hinders the utilisation of increased financial strength to further innovation in partnership with FinTechs. The Frankfurt School Blockchain Center contributes to the transfer of knowledge and regularly organizes seminars, events and large-scale conferences to focus on new developments and raise awareness of issues like blockchain.

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.”

 

From the garage to the Financial Centre Frankfurt

Accelerator Frankfurt was founded in 2016 by Ram Shoham and Maria Pennanen, based on their first-hand experience working for corporates that struggled to form partnerships with start-ups. Their unique go-to-market program accelerates B2B software startups in the fields of Fintech, Regtech, Cybersecurity, Insuretech, Proptech and Blockchain. The startups receive mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs and investors, consulting and professional services, in addition to a co-working space. “We wanted to set up this program as an interface for corporates and startups,” says Ram Shoham, co-founder of Accelerator Frankfurt. The program focuses on FinTech because of their professional backgrounds and Frankfurt’s draw as a financial centre, but also accepts startups in Cybersecurity, Blockchain, RegTech and more. Accelerator Frankfurt also powers the Blockchain Labs, which help corporates get access and education to blockchain technologies.

We asked Ram Shoham in an exclusive Interview: What does the path from the Garage to the Financial Centre Frankfurt look like?

Accelerator Frankfurt in 2 sentences: What makes the success of Accelerator Frankfurt GmbH?

We are the gateway to Germany’s financial sector for start-ups. We help advanced stage start-ups, who have paying customers and products break into the German market through our three-month, sales-focused acceleration program.

What impresses you the most when talking to young founders?

We have accelerated thirty startups since 2016 and screened thousands of founders before accepting anyone to the program. The founders we work with, all have one thing in common: Passion. We only select founders who love what they do. Running a startup is very stressful and intense. You must love what you do if want to achieve great things.

What is the typical path from the garage to the Financial Centre Frankfurt? Is there a single path? What hurdles must start-ups master?

There is not one typical path. Some start-ups are disruptive, some are complementary. We primarily focus on Business-to-Business (B2B) solutions. This means that for our start-ups to succeed, partnerships with the banks must be formed. For this, one needs perseverance because the sales cycles can be quite lengthy, but the rewards also quite great.

Frankfurt has become a FinTech hub, above all due to its proximity to established banks. How would you describe the current FinTech ecosystem in Frankfurt?

When we first established Accelerator Frankfurt, there was hardly a start-up ecosystem in the city. We were the first accelerator in Frankfurt and certainly the first to attract international start-ups to the city. Nowadays, we are delighted to see the network effect this has had on the city. There is certainly more vibe, more complementary programs and hopefully, in the near future, more Venture Capital funds investing in Frankfurt’s start-ups.

What future challenges face the Frankfurt FinTech ecosystem? And what opportunities arise from this?

The main challenge for Frankfurt is banks becoming more open to new innovations. FinTechs are gaining traction in the financial world, especially blockchain solutions. Still, there remains huge potential for banks to work alongside these innovative start-ups.

Do you have a favourite start-up? 😉

I do not have favourite start-ups. I have favourite entrepreneurs, and those are the people who inspire me every day. So far, the biggest lesson in my career is that hard work puts you, where good luck can find you. There is some element of being in the right place at the right time.

Why is Frankfurt the ideal location for (FinTech) start-ups?

Over 240 banks. Good airport. Rich environment. Good universities and talent.

 

 

About Ram Shoham

Ram Shoham is to Fintechs what George Martin was to the Beatles. He is the Founder of Accelerator Frankfurt with 16 years of international corporate experience in finance and general management before becoming an entrepreneur. Ram is also the Founder of the Blockchain Labs, which is focused on building an ecosystem for promoting blockchain technologies and education in this sector.

 

Photo: Jonas Ratermann

”Welcome to the German Capital Market“ – new video lecture for capital market professionals from abroad

Deutsche Börse’s Capital Markets Academy announced in a press release that it is offering a new video lecture for bankers and other capital market professionals from abroad. In 150 minutes, the participants are made familiar with the market structures and the legal framework of the German capital market.

The international markets share many similarities, nevertheless, each domestic market has its own special characteristics. The Capital Markets Academy’s new e-learning programme takes this up and is aimed at capital market professionals who are experienced in their home country but not familiar with the specific German conditions and regulations.

“Our video lecture offers a compact but precise introduction to bankers who are new to Germany and want to gain a good overview of the market structure as well as its rules and regulations,” explains Ulf Mayer, Head of Capital Markets Academy at Deutsche Börse.

The video lecture in English can be watched flexibly and independently of time and place. The content is divided into two parts: 1) market structure in Germany and 2) capital market law and regulation. The lecture lasts about two and a half hours and consists of ten chapters. The corresponding handouts can be downloaded. A certificate of attendance will be provided in the end.

Further information on the video lecture is available at www.academy.deutsche-boerse.com/e01.

The Capital Markets Academy is the training provider of Deutsche Börse Group. It offers first-hand stock market knowledge in interactive classroom events with a high practical relevance and digital learning formats. With a focus on trading, clearing and settlement, it is geared to the products and services offered by Deutsche Börse Group. Other financial market topics, such as the functioning of capital markets and new technologies such as blockchain, round off the offering.

“Frankfurt has great potential for many major companies.”

Kirsty Sharp, Headteacher of King’s College – The British School Frankfurt

At the beginning of the year, we welcomed King’s College – The British School of Frankfurt as one of our newest Frankfurt Main Finance members. In an interview with Headteacher Kirsty Sharp, we discuss why they joined the Financial Centre Initiative and where she sees the strengths of the Financial Centre Frankfurt.

Why join FMF as a supporter of the Financial Centre Frankfurt?

King’s College – The British School of Frankfurt was opened as the 10th school of the King’s Group in August 2018 in Friedrichsdorf, 20 km north of downtown. Our schools have historically worked closely with international companies, diplomatic missions and institutions to learn more about educational needs locally. Across its schools, the King’s Group currently has students from more than 80 nations, providing us with a wealth of experience in teaching students from different cultures and backgrounds. Relative to the forthcoming Brexit, as a member of FMF we would offer support to families interested in British curriculum arriving new to the region.

How does Kings College contribute to the development of the Financial Centre Frankfurt?

A British school is present in most major cities and is an integral part of an international educational culture. A wide range of internationally oriented schools is vital to the attractiveness of a metropolis in providing a convincing infrastructure for global companies, their employees and families. With King’s College Frankfurt, the city now offers a British school of international renown, with sufficient capacity for up to 600 students in a state-of-the-art campus easily accessible to the Financial Centre and residential areas.

Where do you see the strengths of the Financial Centre?

Frankfurt – a strong economic area and centre of European monetary policy – is a very attractive location for international companies, especially banks. Due to the international airport, its geographical location as the cosmopolitan heart of Europe and the close-to-nature surroundings, Frankfurt has great potential for many major companies.

As a Spanish/British company recently established in Germany, the King’s Group finds the often cited ‘German thoroughness’ and interaction with public, fiscal and infrastructural official facilities very positive, transparent, and requirements are easy and quick to implement. We have received excellent support from many sources in all areas, so that in a very short time, our institution and all employees here in the Frankfurt Rhine-Main region feel welcome and as part of the community

FinTechs need to highlight their unique selling points

What challenges will young FinTechs be facing in the future and how can the FinTechGermany Award help in overcoming them? Lucie Haß, Managing Director at Helaba Digital and jury member of the FinTechGermany Award 2019, discusses these questions in an interview with Frankfurt Main Finance.

Lucie Haß, Managing Director at Helaba Digital and jury member of the FinTechGermany Award 2019; © Stefan Krutsch Photographie

What is especially important to you when judging applicants for the FinTechGermany Award?

Does the start-up idea solve a real problem? Is it scalable? Those questions are always the first ones coming to my mind when assessing FinTechs. Furthermore, I take into consideration whether we know the founders and trust them with implementing their idea and overcoming any obstacles that may arise.

What are the biggest challenges for FinTechs in Germany? How can start-up companies be supported more? What can platforms like the FinTechGermany Award do to help?

By now, the B2C FinTech market is filled with digital finance solutions. This makes it rather difficult to succeed in a highly competitive market and highlight USPs. However, the range of solutions that are offered is much smaller in the B2B sector. The biggest challenge here is to find partners who recognize the potential of the solution and are willing to implement it in their own company. The resistance is clearly noticeable, when B2B FinTech solutions are focusing on core processes of banks rather than just “scratching” the surface. To overcome this, you need power and partners who believe in you. Platforms such as the FinTechGermany Award help to highlight FinTechs, bring them together with companies and thus overcome the first hurdles of cooperation.

How will the German FinTech ecosystem evolve in 2019? In the next 5 years?

I expect more progress to occur in the B2B FinTech market. In addition, we can observe that German Venture Capitals and companies are increasingly investing in start-ups. However, we still observe a lack of cooperation between FinTechs and companies. I do hope that in the upcoming years, companies and banks will recognize the potential of start-ups even more, part with their reservations and engage in cooperation.

How can Frankfurt become one of the leading Fintech hubs in Germany or Europe?

There are very different approaches to this. In cooperation with the State of Hesse, the TechQuartier – of which we are a sponsor – has developed an action plan, which covers the entire spectrum of measures needed to build an ecosystem. Furthermore, banks play an essential part: The more they are open to innovations, the more likely start-ups are to settle nearby. Financial expertise and capital are both concentrated in the Financial Centre Frankfurt. Thus, we must promote the attractiveness of the city and existing cooperation to appeal to German and international founders. I believe this works best when we draw attention to the many advantages the city has to offer.

Football in the heart of Europe – FMF and Eintracht host Frankfurt’s newest bankers

An exciting game, an impressive choreography, rousing atmosphere and great conversations. Frankfurt Main Finance and Eintracht Frankfurt invited Brexit newcomers for football in the heart of Europe: an event with the aim not only to introduce the newcomers to the financial centre community, but also to convey a piece of Frankfurt’s attitude to life, to demonstrate the city’s pragmatic approach, its willingness and its ability to perform.

The first leg of the UEFA Europa League round of sixteen brought Eintracht against Inter Milan for an exciting 90 minutes. The Frankfurt side was particularly convincing in the second half, with several close chances to take the lead. The exciting atmosphere was certainly not reserved to just the pitch or the singing choral of fans packed into Commerzbank Arena’s northwest curve, but soon also overtook the newcomers at the event, which was held in the arena’s Business Club for the second time in this format.

The first edition of the event, held in November 2018 when Eintracht faced off against Marseille, was a complete success – on and off the pitch. Therefore, the sponsors for the second event quick to find. The second round featured many of the same as the first, which shows how well the format was received. Frankfurt Main Finance and Eintracht Frankfurt would like to thank Deutsche Börse AG, White & Case LLP and Drooms GmbH and Meltwater Deutschland for their commitment and support in making this event possible.

“Predominantly rational reasons have persuaded companies to relocate to the Main Metropolis. As an Eintracht family, we try to bring the people behind these institutions together and to inspire enthusiasm for our region. The electric atmosphere in the stadium is exactly the right backdrop for this. This turns the head’s decision into the heart’s decision for Frankfurt. Because Eintracht Frankfurt plays in the heart of Europe,” says Axel Hellmann, member of the board of Eintracht Frankfurt Fußball AG.

Hubertus Väth, Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance and himself a lifelong member of Eintracht said, “Football and the Financial Centre Frankfurt belong close together. We want to show how easy it is to arrive in Frankfurt and belong to it. Frankfurt is cosmopolitan. It is the city of short distances, communicative and full of joie de vivre.”