Frankfurt is the central location for the professional exchange of ideas of the fund industry in Germany. Formats such as the BVI Asset Management Conference on October 1 will again offer the opportunity to find out about current developments in the industry. Markus Hill spoke on behalf of FONDSBOUTIQUEN.DE with Thomas Richter, Chief Executive of the German fund association BVI, about conference content, current topics, and the special “charm” of the city Frankfurt as a venue.
Hill: Mr. Richter, the BVI Asset Management Conference will again be held in Frankfurt on October 1. What makes this conference different from other events?
Richter: The BVI Asset Management Conference has developed into the industry meeting of the year. It provides an overview of current developments in the capital market and of the regulatory and strategic challenges facing the industry. It is not a trade fair and as a non-commercial platform, it regularly convinces with its programme and speakers. This year, for example, ECB Chief Economist Peter Praet, BaFin President Felix Hufeld, Hessian Economics Minister Tarek Al-Wazir, and EU Member of Parliament Burkhard Balz are among the participants. We are expecting 500 participants again.
Hill: Frankfurt is an attractive location for the exchange of ideas in the fund industry. What do you think makes the Main metropolis so attractive for many colleagues in the industry?
Richter: Frankfurt can build on many strengths. In recent years, the city has developed into the home of national and international financial organizations and supervisory authorities. Whether ECB, BaFin, Bundesbank, or the EU insurance supervisory authority EIOPA – Frankfurt plays a decisive role in Europe concerning monetary policy and financial market regulation. Nowhere else in Germany are there more companies from the financial sector than in Frankfurt. In 2014, around 200 banks were based here, plus 34 representative offices of foreign institutions – not to mention Deutsche Börse as one of the world’s leading exchange and settlement operators. The investment companies are also strong here. More than half of the BVI members are based in Frankfurt. Over 70 percent of the 2.6 trillion euros that the fund industry manages for customers in Germany are managed from here. In contrast to Luxembourg, where funds are launched, Frankfurt is the location for product development, fund management, and sales.
Hill: What topics are you currently working on intensively?
Richter: The investment tax reform, Solvency II and MiFID II are the current topics. The latter regulates, among other things, commission consulting. The debate on systemic relevance is also a constant issue. Indeed, FSB and IOSCO have now realized that the business of asset managers is more relevant than their size or that of their funds. But the issue will remain on the regulatory and political agenda.
Hill: Thank you very much for the interview.