Boxing investor Klitschko takes a swing at the financial world

The Fonds Professionell Kongress invited world boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko as a ­keynote speaker – and his words left guests completely knocked out.

World boxing ­heavyweight ­champion ­Wladimir Klitschko caught his two ­interviewers, at the recent Fonds ­Professionell Kongress in Mannheim, Germany, totally unprepared – but not with a right hook or uppercut.

Before their keynote speaker arrived on stage, the interviewers joked with the ­audience, made up of about 1,000 financial industry workers: “The plan is, one of us will hold him down.”

They then called him to the podium: “Meine damen und herren… Wladimiiiiiiiiirrrrrr Klitschkoooooooo!”

The boxer – all 198 centimetres of him – then began: “If you get financial advice, you have to listen in order to come to the right decisions and understand all the ­material. Because often you can get advice from banks, then wonder why a product went down 20% in a year, because there are risks you might recognise or not.”

Klitschko and his elder boxing brother Vitali most recently showed an interest in alternative investments by backing the documentary Klitschko(www.klitschko-film.de), which made its debut at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

They are clearly interested in distribution, too, as the younger Klitschko repeated during his interview that the film was now available in both Blu-Ray and DVD.

“It is about boxing, but it is also about me and Vitali as brothers, so it is a story about family as well,” he says.

Klitschko’s opponents typically recognise the risk of ­suffering a KO in round one. And at the Kongress, his words left his interviewers speechless – a verbal KO.

Klitschko on the financial industry

“I am excited by the financial industry because it is interesting. You can act in a certain way and see the results.”

On FX rates

“I have just seen the euro/US dollar exchange rate, and looked at the DAX. I talk a lot about the euro/dollar rate because boxing matches can occur all around the world and you see how the rates in FX react. As a result, you can earn more or less.”

On advisory mandates

“There are advisers, I know. But I think it is better if I am my own adviser, and it is better to make mistakes with money, not with your health. Sorry, I took your jobs, but you have to be prepared.”

On surviving matches – and financial crises

“You have to get back up again and push yourself further to become victorious – that is what counts. I am more an optimist than a pessimist, and in a crisis you can really do something positive for the future. With investments, it is better to buy at the lowest point, of course, but it can be difficult to know when that lowest point is.”

On fighting in financial markets

“You must have a certain killer instinct. It is the same in financial industry – you have to knock the opposition flat. You need to know exactly what your opponents can do and what they cannot do, and go for their weak points. It’s like that in life, as well. In various areas, like democracy, technology and financial markets, you always try to push yourself to be better.”

On property investments

“Be very careful buying real estate because that was the first thing that was hit in the crisis. But then again, ­‘location, location, location’ they say, so there are always opportunities there.”

On possible private equity investments

“There is a company called Bioengineered in Germany. Their golf clubs beat every other golf club. The work is so precise. They make the clubs personally with your name on them and no one else can play with the club because every golfer has their own personal swing.”

Klitschko is out now, more info on www.klitschko-film.de

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