FINANCIAL CENTRE FRANKFURT: “For the fund industry Frankfurt unlike Luxembourg is the location par excellence especially for product development, fund management and distribution” (Interview – Thomas Richter)

Frankfurt is the central location for the professional exchange of ideas in the fund industry in Germany. Events such as the BVI Asset Management Conference on the 6th of October are offering this year again the opportunity, to stay informed of all the current developments in the industry. Markus Hill spoke in the name of FONDSBOUTIQUEN.DE to Thomas Richter, CEO of The German Fund Association BVI, about the conference topics, current affairs and as well about the special “charm” the city Frankfurt has to offer as a venue.

Hill: Mr. Richter, on the 6th of October the BVI Asset Management Conference takes place in Frankfurt. What distinguishes this industry event from other formats? Which topics are this years priorities?

Richter: The BVI Asset Management Conference is meanwhile an industry gathering/networking of the year. It gives an overview on current developments at the capital market and about the regulatory and strategic challenges the industry is facing. It is not a trade fair, rather a non-commercial platform. This year, among others ex-constitutionalists Udo Di Fabio, Head of Asset Management at the European Commission Sven Gentner and Consumer Protection Chairman Klaus Müller are among the guests. The topics range from the current challenges in Europe about the risk management of pension funds right up to cyber security and digitalization trends in fund sales.

Hill: Frankfurt is an attractive location for sharing and exchanging expertise in the fund industry. Many fund companies have their headquarters here. What is it in your eyes that makes the “Main metropolis” so attractive to many industry peers? With the BREXIT in mind is there still additional potential for this location?

Richter: Frankfurt can build on many strengths. The city plays an important role in Europe in regard to the monetary policy and financial market regulations. It has evolved in recent years to the home of national and international financial organizations and regulatory agencies such as: ECB, Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), German Central Bank and the EU insurance supervisory EIOPA which all are already here. Whether Frankfurt attracts more financial companies from the Thames to the Main after the BREXIT, remains a question. The density is already high: Nowhere else in Germany are more companies from the financial industry located than in Frankfurt. For the fund industry Frankfurt unlike Luxembourg is the location par excellence especially for product development, fund management and distribution.

Hill: At present which topics are your main focus? What is the focal point of your activities in the next 12 months?

Richter: The topics on pension plan and retirement arrangements are highly up to date. After the summer break the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) intends to submit a pension policy concept. That should be exciting, because for the promotion of occupational pensions, BVI receivables such as the opting out or the target pension are currently being discussed in politics. At EU level, the financial market policy MiFID II and the PRIIPs-
Regulation are perennial favorites.