Consultant Markus Hill reflects on Frankfurt, a city that divides opinions
‘Mainhattan’, ‘Trench-City’ or ‘Banksters’ Hell’ – some of the less flattering descriptions of Frankfurt am Main, Germany’s financial heart. But Frankfurt is a ‘polarized’ city.
On the other hand, it is the birthplace of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, it is a vibrant and modern economic metropolis, and it has an age-old tradition in Äpplewoi – the local apple wine, which is an acquired taste.
These are just some of the more appealing reasons that inspire visitors to come to this central location for business.
Other reasons are the multi-national companies with an international flair, and numerous professional networks in the asset management industry.
What is the appealing about such financial industry network ‘hubs’?
Professional networks in Frankfurt work efficiently, across a broad range of businesses, and mostly through a variety of professional events.
It is hardly surprising, that the mutual fund industry has solid foundations in Germany here.
The BVI (Federal Association of German Investment and Asset Management Companies) or the Verband unabhaengiger Vermoegensverwalter (German Association of Independent Wealth Managers) are also here.
Then there are examples of well-known educational institutions such as the Frankfurt School of Finance or the Goethe University.
A broad range of consulates and international organisations provide a fertile ‘communication infrastructure’, with the possibility of yielding up valuable information from nothing more than a casual exchange.
There are also a great number of sales-orientated events that take place for asset management firms – some highly technical, others truly unpleasant sales experiences that might actually discourage investors from investing.
The industry has seen them all in recent years, and also in the areas of alternative investments and hedge funds.
It has been recognized by practitioners in Frankfurt that a product’s worth is not always determined by just being a ‘good idea’, but rather by having good performance, robust risk management, backed by solid reputation, and a number of other key factors.
Frankfurt also has many representatives of the private label fund industry to offer, with platforms introducing different approaches to fund management.
Universal Investment, Alceda, AmpegaGerling and many other organisations also offer professional stakeholders and investors various events with a possibility of having individual interviews with well-known entities such as Dr. Jens Ehrhardt, Acatis (Hendrik Leber), Johannes Führ and other representatives of boutique funds.
Frankfurt is a must for people looking for different approaches to investing and managing wealth, and who would like to speak with the ‘hidden champions’ in person.