New location, new concept - the Federal Association of German Equity Investment Companies (BVK) broke new ground with its 19th German Equity Day, which took place in Berlin on 14 July. After seven years of taking place at the Jewish Museum, the annual conference moved to Deutsche Telekom's representative office in the German capital and offered a wide-ranging program on several stages.
Opening Speaker René Obermann, Board Member of the Internet Economy Foundation and Managing Director at Warburg Pincus, started the conference day by answering the question of whether digital Europe is more tech leader or Disneyland. He also presented the new venture capital study at the annual conference entitled "Fuel Venture Capital - How we fuel innovation and growth". Together with the Internet Economy Foundation and Roland Berger, the BVK examined the role of venture capital for the German and European market and proposed recommendations for action. Obermann stressed: "In Germany there are a large number of investment barriers that are interrelated and form a kind of vicious circle. There is a lack of investment opportunities for major investors. This cycle must be broken."
Another highlight of the BVK annual conference was the so-called theme corner for medium-sized businesses and the venture capital scene, which took place in parallel so that the conference topics could put together their own individual thematic focuses. In the afternoon, the conference participants gathered at the main room to follow the power talk on artificial intelligence and the panel with, amongst others, Dr. Immo Querner, member of the Talanx Board of Management, where discussions were held on equity capital and current investment strategies of institutional investors. For the Limited Partners group, an LP workshop has also been offered for the first time. "We would like to integrate the Limited Partners more strongly into our association and also address the topics of interest to this particular group at the Equity Day", explained Ulrike Hinrichs, Managing Director of the BVK. She was enthusiastic about the new location and the individual programs: "As a modern association, we have set ourselves the goal of also offering modern events."
However, some of the traditions were also upheld: In the afternoon there was a political panel discussion, during which the current developments on the economic market in the USA were also discussed. "In his speech, Dr. Rolf Bösinger shifted between continuity and change". The State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance spoke about the current accents of German financial policy.
Change in the BVK board of directors
At the general meeting, Joachim von Ribbentrop, spokesman of the board of directors, resigned from the board in regular rotation after five years. "I would like to thank the board members with whom I have been able to work in recent years and who have provided valuable support for our topics to their specialist groups," von Ribbentrop looks back on his time on the board and stresses: "Ulrike Hinrichs and her team do an excellent job at the office and support the interests of our members every day". Von Ribbentrop represented the association's work to the outside world at the side of CEO Wilken von Hodenberg and last year together with CEO Regina Hodits.
Dr. Christian Stoffel, who has been a member of the Board since 2015, will succeed him as spokesman of the Board: "In recent years I have got to know the work of the association better and made a contribution. As CEO alongside Regina Hodits, I would like to communicate the role of equity capital for the German economy to politicians and the press and show that investment companies are important sparring partners for the local companies".
Max W. Römer, founding partner of Quadriga Capital, has also joined the board. He is a member of the board for the second time now, and has witnessed the founding period of the BVK and the changes in the industry. "In recent decades, we have managed to raise awareness of the equity business as an important growth engine at national and European level among business and politics in an impressive manner," says Römer, who is looking forward to "further expanding and consolidating the leading role of the BVK in this context. The BVK is to remain the first German contact point for investors, equity fund managers and consultants, for stakeholders of employers' and employees' associations as well as for decision-makers from financial and economic policy".
The picture gallery of the 19th German Equity Day can be found here.
The picture gallery of the dinner party in the evening at the China Club can be found here.