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In the same boat

05 Sep 2018

In the same boatWelcoming Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the future of the German financial marketplace

An ever-changing European market landscape may trigger a variety of opinions. However, during the discussion on 4 September on the German financial marketplace at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with approximately 300 guests, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Hessian Minister President Volker Bouffier and our CEO Theodor Weimer all agreed that notwithstanding the era of change, there’s no strong country without a strong economy − and a strong financial services industry as the backbone of both.

Theodor Weimer, CEO Deutsche Börse AG

“Politics and Finance are in the same boat” − what was coined so fittingly by Theodor Weimer described best the topics that dominated all speeches, held by him, Volker Bouffier, and Angela Merkel, as well as the subsequent panel discussion: Brexit and the digital transformation are currently the main topics that define the agenda both in Berlin and in Frankfurt.

“We regret their decision, but now that it is done, we might as well profit from it,” said Bouffier about the UK’s Brexit move, strongly promoting the advantages Frankfurt has to offer to banks − and business − moving from the island to continental Europe. While the Chancellor agreed that some parts of the business would find a more natural home within the EU − such as euro clearing − she reiterated that both UK and EU would need one another in the years to come. At the same time, Merkel promised strong support for Hesse in creating attractive conditions for a strong German financial centre.

Angela Merkel, Chancellor

Support that all parties did not see limited to Brexit-related shifts in business, but also when it comes to the digitisation of the financial services industry and associated challenges. “When I look at Asia, the curiosity about new technology is much bigger than it is here in Germany,” said Merkel; keeping pace with the speed of innovation would be a key mandate. “Technologically, we’ll be left behind,” cautioned Weimer, “If we don’t provide a strong market economy to support the digital transformation that is ahead of us.”

F.l.: Theodor Weimer, Angela Merkel, Volker Bouffier

Digital transformation and political uncertainty − opportunities at hand for the German financial marketplace, but also bringing about their very own challenges for business and politics.

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