© Maryna Yazbeck on Unsplash

08 May 2019

Made in Germany: Plan your Finance Event in the Heart of Europe

Where suits meet sneakers to maximum effect

When you think of financial services in Germany, Frankfurt is probably the first destination that comes to mind. And for good reason. With hundreds of commercial banks, the European Central Bank, Deutsche Börse (German stock exchange) or the German Central Bank it’s “suits galore” in the city on the Main – albeit increasingly mixed in recent years with sneakers and a budding fintech community. This mix of old and new expertise plus the geographical spread of financial hubs and expertise across the country provides meetings planners with the perfect setting for insightful events.

© visitfrankfurt, Holger Ullmann

Economic might and financial power

Being Europe’s largest economy provides Germany with equally strong credentials as a financial location and several important banking and stock market centres including Munich, Hanover, Stuttgart, Berlin and, of course, Frankfurt. Alongside London and Paris, the latter is one of the three financial hubs in Europe and home to more than 260 banks plus various leading national and international financial institutions, such as the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) or the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA). Add to that branches of all the world’s largest banks, global commercial law and auditing firms and a whole array of banking association and you’ve got pretty much the whole finance sector covered.

Finance in Frankfurt: collaborative, innovative and cutting-edge

More importantly, Frankfurt is not resting on its long tradition in banking and finance but a vibrant and constantly evolving destination – which makes it more than worthwhile for meeting planners looking to be at the cutting-edge of developments in finance. The fact that the city is a leader in financial research and education, hugely contributes to that: Apart from the local Goethe University and the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, various initiatives put innovation in the finance sector centre stage, such as the House of Finance as an interdisciplinary research and teaching institute on a mission to evolve into a leading European and global centre for financial research or the E-Finance Lab as a partnership between academia and the banking world to make the business processes of the financial service industry fit for “Digital Finance 2.0”.

Start-ups add tech know-how and community spirit

Speaking of which and coming back to the sneakers, it’s worth mentioning Frankfurt’s growing start-up scene and how a community of “old” and “new” players is emerging that provides ample know-how for meeting planners to tap into: Since 2016, Deutsche Börse’s FinTech Hub, for example, has provided work spaces and a support network for fintech start-ups. In spring 2019, the initiative entered its next stage, announcing a cooperation with Frankfurt’s TechQuartier community of start-ups, corporate, investors and mentors to bring together fintechs specialising in technologies for the capital market in the city’s Ostend district. Initiatives such as this add a new dimension to Frankfurt’s top standing as a finance destination which regularly draws major events such as Euro Finance Week, the Frankfurt Finance Summit or the Frankfurt International Banking Evening to the city on the river Main. Not to forget, Frankfurt’s compact size makes getting around super easy and the city’s cosmopolitan flair coupled with quirky places full of local charm mean that no finance events needs to be a dry and boring affair.

Watch out for Germany’s regional finance hubs

Moving away from the city on the river Main, there is a range of other German cities to consider when planning meetings in the finance sector. A mere hour further south, the annual “FONDS Professionell KONGRESS“, attended by thousands of investment professionals, has found a home in Mannheim and the splendid Rosengarten congress centre as a major meetings and congress venue in south-west Germany. Moving further south, anyone in the insurance business will find lots to work with in Munich as German’s top insurance location and home to industry giants such as MunichRe or Allianz Group. After Frankfurt and Munich, Düsseldorf complements Germany’s trio of top financial sector locations. As a traditional centre of industry and commerce, the city has its own stock exchange (interesting site visit!), strong credentials as a finance hub and is Germany’s second biggest location for banking after Frankfurt. Further regional finance hubs can be found in Stuttgart, Hamburg, Hanover and Berlin. No matter where you plan your finance sector event, there is one thing you can count across the board: a wide range of state-of-the-art venues and long-standing finance expertise in combination with innovative developments and networks that add value for your attendees.