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Annual Reception 2015

Annual Reception 2015

CEO Dr Reto Francioni, Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, Chairman of Deutsche Börse AG Dr Joachim Faber (f.l.t.r.)

19 Jan 2015
The Cube Eschborn
Deutsche Börse AG

The Group welcomed some 900 guests to its headquarters in Eschborn on 19 January 2015 to kick off the year in style. German Chancellor Angela Merkel returned as guest speaker for the second time, having first spoken at the 2007 reception.

In his opening speech, Deutsche Börse Supervisory Board Chairman Dr Joachim Faber stressed the importance of the capital market in financing economic growth and for future tasks in both mature industries and start-ups. However in relation to the strength of its economy, Germany had only a small capital market largely carried by foreign investors, Faber noted. He cited the lack of a capital market culture as well as insufficiently receptive institutional investors as potential reasons.

Reopening the insurance industry's investment structure to larger equities portfolios would be one way to change this. “The fact that we have equity ratios of 5 to 10 percent in the insurance industry is not justified in terms of risk aspects, nor is it clever in terms of returns,” Faber explained. He believes a second means of change would be a significant increase of capital coverage in retirement provision. This is a “generational project: creating well secured old-age provision and increasing the breadth and depth of our German capital market.” One basis for accomplishing this can be found in a country's financial infrastructure and thus its stock exchange organisation

Pressure on competitiveness in Europe

In her speech, Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel outlined the social, political and economic challenges facing Germany and Europe in 2015 and the years to come. Competitiveness was one of the main topics in her speech. Along with high debt, she cited the lack of competitiveness as a reason for the European sovereign debt crisis. Political leaders faced this crisis determinedly. “Many decisions have been made in a short period of time. If the need is great enough, the EU is able to decide quickly, which is a good sign,” she noted. At the same time, Merkel defended the many regulations in the financial sector as necessary if further systemic crises was to be avoided in future. Merkel underlined the importance of the planned free trade agreements between Europe and the USA. Europe's prosperity was the focal point. Ninety percent of global growth, at present, was outside Europe and that gap needed to be reduced, she said. Europe must be strengthened by means of investment, for example in the European internal market as well as in the digital sector, the keyword being “Industry 4.0”. In context with the bond-buying plans of the European Central Bank Merkel said: “The pressure on European competitiveness has to be maintained,” and garnered a round of applause.

Deutsche Börse supports capital markets union
In his closing words, Deutsche Börse AG CEO Dr Reto Francioni particularly stressed the importance of Asia and the global financial industry. Deutsche Börse Group had taken major steps in Asia this past year, for example in its strategic alliance with Bank of China and the creation of a clearing house in Singapore. By expanding its activities in Asia, the company had addressed the distribution of economic power and growth, said Francioni. Measured by purchasing power parity, China surpassed the United States in 2014 and would make further inroads to continue its occupation of the top spot.

For Francioni, Europe's primary concern should now be to generate economic growth and jobs. The capital markets union that the President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, is aiming for would play an important role. “Deutsche Börse AG will rigorously support this plan wherever it can,” emphasised Francioni. The outgoing CEO also took this opportunity to wish his successor Carsten Kengeter the success Deutsche Börse deserves.

The guests then turned their attention to the celebratory part of the evening and engaged in lively conversation on the floor of The Cube.

Annual London Reception

Around 300 financial market participants, representatives of the regulatory community, trade associations, diplomats, many of the world's leading media organisations and other finance sector professionals met on Deutsche Börse's Annual London Reception.

In his welcome address Deutsche Börse Deputy CEO and CEO of Eurex Andreas Preuß told the audience that the world continued to “live in financial times”.

Keynote speaker this year was Simon Walker, director general of the leading UK business advocacy group, the Institute of Directors. In his speech, Walker set the scene for the UK general election in May, the result of which was impossible to forecast.

Turning to the UK referendum on the EU Walker said that it would be small business not the big multinationals which would suffer if the UK ever left the EU. But it was not just the UK-EU relationship which urgently needed reform but Europe itself.

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