The Germany Conference

Over 270 policymakers and financial market players gathered on 27-28 April in Berlin for the 12th Euromoney Germany Conference, held under the auspices of the Federal Finance Ministry.

Jens Spahn, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Finance Ministry, opened day one of the conference with an introduction to financial policy making in the current challenging, and unprecedented economic and political climate, setting the scene for the rest of the discussions. 

The European Central Bank’s monetary policy was a key theme raised in many sessions over the course of the two days.  Aspects of this included the interaction of low interest rates with the ageing German population’s increasing reliance on pension income and the impact of the monetary policy on the German banking and insurance system, in particular those smaller institutions who have abundant, but currently expensive, positive cash balances.

The political environment was also frequently referred to as a key topic for the economy next year. With federal elections due in 2017 and given the recent regional election results, it was clear that political uncertainty within Germany could be an area of volatility in the near future. External political events including Brexit, the shock results of the recent Austrian presidential elections and the US election were also frequently mentioned.

Keynote interviews with Klaus Regling, Managing Director, European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and Chief Executive Officer, European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF); Spencer Lake, Group General Manager and Vice Chairman, Global Banking and Markets, HSBC; James Quigley, Executive Vice Chairman, International Corporate and Investment Banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; and Tammo Diemer, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Germany Finance Agency were interspersed with workshops, roundtables and panel discussions on green bonds, insurance, corporate financing, and investment opportunities for German investors.

Our second panel of the first day focussed on the dominant theme in the market for German public sector funding - the ECB’s purchase programme, in particular on how this distorted market conditions and influenced the funding choices that they made. The panel considered the modus operandi of the ECB and its impact on the new issue market and, in particular on the need for new issue premia. Other topics covered by the panel included the use of non-euro funding, the recent behaviour of swap spreads and the costs and benefits of green funding.

The second day was opened with an interview with Professor Joerg Rocholl, President, EY Chair in Governance and Compliance at the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), on the changing nature of the relationship between Berlin and Brussels. Professor Rocholl discussed German views on the European Union and the extent to which events in Greece and the migrant crisis had impacted this and what the repercussions might be for the German political landscape. He also discussed the possible impact of Brexit on the structure of the European Union and how German politicians would view this.

The final three panels of the conference looked at key issues in the German banking system, environmentally and socially responsible funding and corporate governance, and trends in the asset management industry – European sovereign risk pressure points, market outlook, the low interest rate environment, regulatory constraints, new asset classes and illiquidity.

Euromoney Conferences would like to thank the Federal Finance Ministry, KfW and all the sponsors for making the 12th Germany conference the success it was. We hope to see you all again next year.

Wed 27 - Thu 28 Apr 2016

Hotel Adlon, Berlin