“It is good to rub and polish our mind against that of others” (Michel Eyquem de Montaigne). Frankfurt am Main, as a city, always offers sufficient reason for rubbing and polishing. On the one hand, against the background of topics such as Brexit, ECB policy, and the financial industry, the importance of the business location is given priority; on the other hand, the city is often wrongly accused of lacking attractiveness in areas such as culture and quality of life. Controversial views invite dialogue, so far so good. Frankfurt’s qualities as a central location and multiplier are undisputed when it comes to topics such as financial communication and financial industry events. In addition to well-known formats such as the BVI Asset Management Conference, Institutional Money Congress, or formats such as the German Equity Forum, there are a large number of lesser-known, smaller events. What are the differences between certain formats? When and where in spring will value investing fans enjoy and enjoy the exchange of ideas in the Main metropolis?
Formats of events
1. education & networking
Some events serve the exchange of ideas from industry to industry. Here the focus is more on expanding know-how and networking with participants from the financial industry. Especially for sponsors of such events, it is important at the beginning to sort out the exact character of these formats. Otherwise, the normal impression is created here: “More hunters than a game”. An investor then sits, so to speak, between three sales employees of product suppliers. A dialogue-free of compulsion and open to results often cannot develop here. One feels the intention and is upset. This is one of the reasons why many “real” investors increasingly stay away from such formats. A problem that many classic event organizers, not only in Frankfurt, have to struggle with. It is an unfortunate trend, as many of these formats offer very high-quality lectures and panel discussions. For sponsors who like to exchange ideas in the industry or who are looking for more visibility, these formats offer a good platform. The professional audience can be grateful if a “public-interest” task (diffusion of knowledge) is taken on by financial market players here, so to speak.
A disadvantaged group of sponsors is often foreign companies that have not thoroughly screened the market here and in the end unintentionally spent a substantial part of their marketing budget on large-format educational events, although they wanted to invest in business development. Visibility and market research seems to be less in demand for many of these addresses. What seems more interesting to these providers is the targeted, direct contact with investors, who are expected to sign “tickets” in the foreseeable future, once a relationship of trust has been established. This is a purpose for which many of the large events are not actually intended and with which the organizers can generally be overburdened. The support of “formats with a high scattering loss” is no problem for major players from abroad, companies with boutique character will lack the sustainable financial strength after a while to be able to pursue a market entry strategy in the long term. To be fair, it has to be said that most organizers of this event category emphasize the educational character and pure networking orientation of the event, at least in marketing materials. Perhaps one explanation for the suboptimal selection of formats among suppliers can simply be that the sales and marketing departments have not yet been sufficiently coordinated. The objectives of marketing / PR and sales managers do not necessarily have to be the same for structural reasons (example: criteria for measurability of success – internal discussion: press clipping, page impression versus “tickets”, sales, business development).
2. education & business development
Small, specialized events are a popular format for developing direct investor contact. These are organized by the product providers either internally or with external support. These formats are often invitation-only and participants are pre-filtered. In contrast to the above-mentioned “educational events”, which have a greater scattering loss with a purely business development objective, these events usually pursue the purpose of maintaining existing customers or acquiring new customers. Of course, there is always a core educational element and also the goal of gaining multipliers for your concern (business development). For many investors, the charm of such formats lies in the fact that you will find many professional colleagues at these events, with whom you can then exchange views on specialist topics on a small scale. All participants are also aware that the speakers want to present products or services. However, since it is often known from experience that here investors also exchange ideas directly with investors in a pleasant atmosphere, this is gladly accepted – as long as the sales staff of the product provider show sufficient tact in communication.
Spring 2018 – Value Investing, joy and the cultivated exchange of ideas
Examples of different formats dealing with Value Investing in spring: Prof. Dr. J. Carlos Jarillo of SIA Funds AG covers the topic “Strategic Investing, Value Investing & Fund Boutiques” on 19.4. (Transparency – MH-Kurzintro, “bias”). Topics such as the differences between private equity funds and classic liquid investment funds and family office long-term thinking will also be discussed. Dr. Hendrik Leber and his team from ACATIS Investment will organize the ACATIS Value Conference, a classic for value investors, on May 25. Frank Fischer from Shareholder Value AG will give the keynote speech at the Equity Forum spring conference (14.-15.5.), quoting the format: “Listed companies present their current business figures and outlook for the following financial year to selected investors, analysts, financial journalists, and other capital market players”. It is interesting to note that in the value investing sector, many product packages/approaches often complement each other, that there are variations, different worlds come together: The areas of the liquid and non-liquid investment world have many common intersections, at least at the “edges” (decision-making processes of investors, product selection, asset allocation, etc.).
The Value Investing Meeting of value DACH will take place in Frankfurt on 23.5., at the end of the event a completely different format for the professional exchange of ideas of people interested in value investing, in the organizer’s own words: “At the meetings, we will exchange ideas with each other in a relaxed atmosphere. We are out and about in various restaurants in different parts of the city of Frankfurt. In doing so, we also broaden our culinary horizons”. Coincidentally, the season for the Fressgassfest in Frankfurt begins on the same day, traditionally one of the first and best-known street festivals of the season – for friends of sun, wine, and conviviality a highlight of the year, not only for the financial industry. To begin with, let’s take up the remarks about an often seemingly critical metropolis – Frankfurt am Main, enjoyment, thinking outside the box and a cultivated exchange of ideas are by no means mutually exclusive!