CEO Becky Wong in Frankfurt EKF 2019

  • 14 Jan, 2020

The happening of the financial community: a look back at the German Equity Forum 2019

December 4, 2019 / in Aktuell , Finanzplatz / by Press

Don’t worry: The annual gathering of companies, investors and service providers has little in common with action art from the 1960s. The unplanned interactions with the audience usually remain peaceful – for example, if the film layout in the handout does not match the structure of the verbatim speech, the advertising film shown meets little favor among investors or the one or other takeover candidate simply forgets out of sheer excitement, for example better understand its current shareholder structure. The German Equity Forum, which took place in Frankfurt am Main from November 25th to 27th, 2019 has nevertheless happening qualities. Or – in the words of Holger Clemens Hinz, Head of Capital Market Business at Quirin Privatbank AG:

Over 7,000 individual interviews requested

“As a long-time head of investor relations, I always seek and use every opportunity to get in touch with investors, even long before MiFID II. Conferences are welcome because they minimize the effort for both sides. The Equity Forum is the most valuable conference in Germany for this, ”explains Dr. Joachim Fleïng, Head of Investor Relations at 3U Holding AG. Whether it is due to the effects of MiFID II or not, the 2017. This year, 250 mostly small and mid caps have registered, including almost 30 growth companies that presented themselves on the venture stage. Peter Alex, Head of Investor Relations at Energiekontor AG, sums up the benefits: “An absolutely must-have event for small companies!” This is due in no small part to the intensive support during program design. The organizers put together individual conference plans from over 7,000 individual discussions, so that in the end far more than 4,000 high-quality meetings took place. The quality is also reflected in the assessment of the investors: “The one-on-ones are perfect, that helps with investment decisions and follow-ups,” praises Jens Große-Allermann, CEO of Investment AG, the organization team.

Increased investor interest from the Benelux and Eastern Europe

With around 1,100 investors and analysts, the lending side was also strongly represented. About a third came from abroad, and interest is increasing particularly in the Benelux countries and Eastern Europe, especially Poland. The conference language English also makes the participation of investors from much more distant locations attractive. Becky Wong, co-founder and CEO of Globex Capital Partners, based in Hong Kong, London and New York, made the long journey once again: “EKF 2019, this is my 4th year of coming for this summit. I always find it worthwhile to make a trip here. I heard good presentations of so many SME companies and have chances to meet the CEOs or senior executives to have some interactive discussions. ”For them, the professional exchange with other investors also plays an important role:

“The German Equity Forum is one of the most important capital market conferences in Europe, which has again shown the high level of interest among investors and companies. Almost 4,500 one-on-one meetings took place this year, a new record, ”says Falko Weinert, Key Account Manager Pre-IPO & Capital Markets at Deutsche Börse AG and project manager for the event. “The supporting program of lectures and panel discussions in turn offered exciting experts such as Commerzbank chief economist Dr. Jörg Krämer, who reported on the “Cold Trade War” and its consequences. It also dealt with investor relations work, the importance of ESG for venture capital investors and the path from a growth company to a listed company. ”

The focus is on networking

Deutsche Börse has been organizing the Equity Forum since 1996 and has thus created one of the largest information and networking events on corporate 􀃕nance. With a sponsorship program for selected partners, capital market specialists can also stand out and increase their visibility. “This is where the who’s who of the capital market in Germany meets with an increasing number of participants on the part Corporate Brokerage at Mainfirst Bank, about her company’s commitment, it is the ideal platform to get in touch with the corporate and investors to talk to them about exciting topics of the capital market.

Female experts outnumbered

The only downside: Becky Wong and Silke Schlünsen were two of the very few female capital market experts on site. Although the equity forum was opened by Hauke Stars, CEO of Deutsche Börse, and Ingrid Hengster, board member of KfW Bankengruppe, these remained exceptions. In some company presentations, the audience could be counted on one hand in the fully occupied auditorium. This disparity was so striking that it also became a topic of conversation for the gentlemen present. Here, the industry, which increasingly declares ESG topics and diversity as its main investment criteria, should work on itself urgently.

From: Dr. Charlotte Brigitte Looß