In the media
Fit4Trading Podcast by DZBank: 9 percent - long breath pays off (in German)
Four out of five adults in Germany do not own shares or ETFs. The aim must therefore be to make shares and equity funds even more popular, emphasizes Dr. Gerrit Fey, Head of Capital Markets, in an interview with Falko Block for DZ Bank's Fit4Trading podcast.
The fear of the Germans before shares is based above all on the fact, so Fey, that most look too much at the short term price fluctuations with shares. The yield chances, which offer shares, disregard humans against it gladly. Yet long-term, broadly diversified stock investments can generate average annual returns of six to nine percent, as the yield triangles of the Deutsches Aktieninstitut show. A monthly investment of 50 euros can thus generate assets of 71,000 euros within 30 years, Fey calculates.
Deka-Podcast: Money on Her Mind (in German)
If you want to generate high returns in the long term, you can't avoid investing in equities, was one of the messages from Dr. Christine Bortenlänger, Managing Director of Deutsches Aktieninstitut, in the podcast "Money on Her Mind". In a conversation with host Tanja Heinrich and Deka economist Dr. Gabriele Widmann, she emphasized the importance of investing in equities for a solid retirement provision and successful asset accumulation. The key is to invest in equities on a long-term, regular and, above all, broadly diversified basis, for example in equity ETFs. Even with a small amount of money, it is possible to invest in shares in this way today.
According to Bortenlänger, it is also important that we address the issue of "financial education" in Germany. The topic of money should not remain a taboo subject. The best way, he said, is to introduce children to the subject of money and how to deal with it at an early age. The Aktieninstitut very much welcomes the financial education initiative launched by the German government and will continue to support it.
The podcast was published on 05.05.2023.
BOARD Magazine: The Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive - more support instead of liability (in German)
In an article for BOARD - Zeitschrift für Aufsichtsräte in Deutschland, Dr. Christine Bortenlänger, Managing Director of Deutsches Aktieninstitut, and Dr. Uta-Bettina von Altenbockum, Head of Communications and Sustainability, discuss the negotiations in the European Legal Committee on CS3D. They call on the committee to be measured and to address the problems that companies encounter in aiming to comply with due diligence requirements in value chains. Only then, they say, can the directive be effective in preventing value chain due diligence violations.
GoingPublic: Balancing act between security and transformation
In his article "Balancing act between security and transformation. European Capital Markets Law 2023: Sustainability and Capital Markets Union at the Top of the EU Institutions' Agenda", which appeared in the special "Corporate Finance Law 2023 - Capital Markets - Private Equity - M&A", Jan Bremer, Head of the EU Liaison Office in Brussels at Deutsches Aktieninstitut, gives an overview of the most important legislative projects of the EU institutions. In it, he discusses, among other things, the EU Listing Act, the EU Commission's revision proposal for the European derivatives regulation EMIR, the development of the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) by EFRAG's Sustainability Reporting Board.
His conclusion: European capital market law will continue to face decisive decisions in 2023. It is to be hoped that the Brussels players will succeed in balancing the need to ensure capital market-based corporate financing on the one hand and the transformation to a sustainable economy on the other - a Herculean task.
The article was published on 06.04.2023
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: How 250 DM became 50.000 Euros (in German)
In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Dr. Christine Bortenlänger, Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Franz-Josef Leven, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, emphasize the importance of an efficient capital market for financing global and national challenges. These include combating climate change, digitization, financing innovations and securing the prosperity of future generations.
They call on policymakers to make shares more attractive as an investment and financing instrument for a significantly larger group of people in Germany. The record shareholder figures of 2022 show that shares are becoming increasingly attractive as an investment among people in Germany. Investment in the capital market is particularly suitable as a booster for retirement provision, which is, after all, designed for the long term.
Ms. Bortenlänger emphasizes that the regulatory requirements for companies are too strict and thus tend to prevent IPOs.
Table ESG: Strengthening the position of companies in the area of sustainability (in German)
In an interview with Nils Wischmeyer, Dr. Uta-Bettina von Altenbockum talks about Deutsches Aktieninstitut's work in the area of sustainability and her new position as head of the department. In the interview, she criticizes the high time pressure in the development of the sustainability standards. These are very small-scale, too bureaucratic and very time-consuming for companies to implement, she says. The question is therefore whether the standards will ultimately provide the information needed to advance the transformation of the economy, Altenbockum said.
The interview was published on 29.03.2023.
Heilbronner Stimme: Stock investment pays off
In her guest article for the Heilbonner Stimme entitled "Stock investment pays off", Dr. Christine Bortenlänger, Managing Director of the Deutsches Aktieninstitut (German Stock Institute), reports on the attractive yield opportunities of a long-term and broadly diversified stock investment. She emphasizes the importance of investing in equities for long-term asset accumulation and private pension provision. She also addresses the fact that price declines, such as those we saw in 2022, are put into perspective in the long term with broadly diversified investments, and that low prices also offer opportunities. Exchange traded funds (ETFs) in particular are very good at representing this broad diversification into different sectors or even regions.
The guest article was published in print on March 18, 2023.
Deka Fondsmagazin, Deka Investments: „Price declines used to enter the market“ (in German)
In an interview with Deka-Investments' Fondsmagazin, Dr. Christine Bortenlänger, Managing Director of Deutsches Aktieninstitut, proposes the introduction of an investment savings account to further promote equity savings in Germany. She reports on the encouraging development of shareholder numbers in Germany and explains why countries such as Sweden could act as a role model for Germany with regard to the inclusion of shares in statutory pension provision. In the interview, she underlines the importance of economic education and calls for the nationwide introduction of an economics school subject.
The interview appeared on 20th March 2023.
Börsen-Zeitung „Relief in the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises“
In a guest article in Börsen-Zeitung, Dr. Norbert Kuhn, Deputy Head of Capital Markets and Head of Corporate Finance, and Ingo Wegerich, President of Interessenverband kapitalmarktorientierter KMU e.V. and Partner at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft, shed light on the amended practice of the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) regarding the issue of subscription rights.
This concerns the over-subscription in the case of capital increases of up to 8 million Euros. The oversubscription allows existing shareholders to buy shares that are not purchased by other existing shareholders as part of their subscription rights. The oversubscription is now possible without a prospectus or investment advice/investment brokerage. BaFin's decision to make the oversubscription prospectus-free is particularly helpful to small and medium-sized enterprises and existing shareholders.
Interview at Tagesschau24: Update Wirtschaft on 16.03.2023 (in German)
"What was your first share?" Dr. Franz-Josef Leven, Deputy Managing Director, talks about this in tagesschau24's "Update Wirtschaft" program. The topics of stock culture in Germany and the stock pension were the subject of an interview by Dr. Norbert Kuhn, Deputy Head of Capital Markets and Head of Corporate Finance, with Stefan Wolff from ARD's financial editorial department, which was conducted live on March 16 in the program "Update Wirtschaft.
In it, Kuhn analyzes the investment behavior of people in Germany in comparison with countries such as Sweden or even the USA. In Germany, many lacked positive experience with shares. The misconception that saving in stocks is risky is unfortunately still widespread. It is overlooked that a long-term and broadly diversified stock investment has generated annual returns of six to nine percent on average in the past, Kuhn said in the interview.
Kuhn welcomes the German government's plans for so-called "generation capital," but at the same time makes it clear that the initial capital of ten billion euros is not sufficient and that at least this amount would have to be invested annually.
Tagesschau24: Update Wirtschaft vom 16.03.2023 | ARD Mediathek
Der Westen: Rente - Demographic change threatens the system - what does generational capital bring?
In the second part of the interview with "Der Westen", Dr Norbert Kuhn, Head of Corporate Finance at Deutsches Aktieninstitut, explains that at least ten billion euros should be invested annually in the stock market as part of generational capital. It would be even better if two percentage points of the statutory pension, as originally proposed by the FDP, were to flow into the stock market. That would add up to more than 29 billion euros per year.
Der Westen: Share pension - Isn't that too risky, what the state is doing?
In an interview with "Der Westen", Dr. Norbert Kuhn, Head of Corporate Finance at Deutsches Aktieninstitut, talks about the potential returns of a long-term and broadly diversified equity investment. The share pension is a sensible investment for the future and can significantly relieve the existing pay-as-you-go system in the statutory pension.
Fortunalista – Der Finanzpodcast: Is it still worth investing in your mid-50s? (in German)
In the podcast with Fortunalista host Margarethe Honisch, our Executive Director, Dr. Christine Bortenlänger, answers current questions about the capital market. The conversation focuses on the areas of responsibility of Deutsches Aktieninstitut, the importance of economic education in promoting economic literacy, and the importance of a high-performance capital market. In the podcast, Christine Bortenlänger also addresses the question of how the German government can future-proof the pension by introducing a stock pension.
GoingPublic.de: "Many new shareholders have taken advantage of the price correction to enter" (in German)
Dr. Gerrit Fey, Head of Capital Markets, answers five questions on the record high shareholder figures 2022, which were published on January 17. In his view, equity savers have learned to take advantage of entry opportunities and react calmly to the ups and downs on the stock market. Fey is confident that the equity culture in Germany is on a more stable footing than in 2000.
hr-Info: Losing for the first time - How do young people fare on the stock market?
In an interview with hr-Info, Dr Gerrit Fey explains why more young people have discovered the stock market for themselves in 2020. Technical achievements, social media and Corona were important factors for this. In addition, more and more young investors are realising that shares are an attractive form of investment in the long term, despite the ups and downs on the stock markets. Investing in shares is not a sprint, but a marathon.
The interview is published by hr-Info in the ARD-Audiothek.
Vz news: "Investing in shares is not a sprint"
In an interview with VZ Vermögenszentrum, Dr Christine Bortenlänger underlines the superiority of shares as an investment. In phases of high price increases, shares as fixed assets offer good protection against inflation and they generate high returns in the long term. In view of the high earning power of long-term share investments, it would therefore be desirable for German politics to integrate shares more strongly into old-age provision.
The interview was published in vz news 67/July 2022 and Online.
Update Wirtschaft: Interview with Dr Gerrit Fey
Anne-Catherine Beck spoke with Dr Gerrit Fey about the reasons why shares are an attractive investment and why more and more young people are investing in them. In addition to uncomplicated access to share trading through the smartphone, the young generation has recognised the necessity of private provision with shares, according to Fey. The time of entry is not decisive if long-term saving is in the foreground, since a broadly diversified stock investment then has a yield advantage over other forms of saving.
The interview in the programme "Update Wirtschaft" appeared in the ARD-Mediathek.
FAZ insert: Even in phases of weak stock markets, it pays to keep investing (in German)
The war in Ukraine has changed the environment for shares. Nevertheless, assets such as shares have not become less attractive, emphasises Dr Christine Bortenlänger in an interview. The returns on the stock market are attractive enough not only to compensate for the high inflation, but also to build up assets with their help. The important thing now, she says, is for investors to remain calm and let their savings plans run their course.
The interview appeared as a special supplement in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Online.
Going Public: Better through the crisis with employee participation (in German)
Employee share ownership, old-age provision and the tax framework for equity investment - these are urgent issues for the future that must not be pushed into the background despite the current geopolitical challenges, demands Dr Norbert Kuhn in his contribution. The key points of the so-called Zukunftsfinanzierungsgesetz presented at the end of June offer important impulses for shares and the capital market.
The guest article appeared in Going Public in the special section on employee share ownership.
Capital Online: An Annual General Meeting is not a Zoom Conference
The government draft on the virtual general meeting (AGM) is far from what is practicable and in the interest of shareholders and companies. As a result, the government draft on the virtual AGM shifts all the deficits of the traditional face-to-face meeting to the internet instead of developing both formats further, criticise Dr Christine Bortenlänger and Dr Daniela Favoccia, partners at the law firm Hengeler Mueller. In the interest of Germany as a business location, the authors call for the draft to be revised with a view to the challenges of a digital age.
The guest article appeared on Capital Online.
FOCUS-MONEY: "It's better to speculate than not to invest" (in German)
Interviewed by Heike Bangert from Focus Money, Dr. Christine Bortenlänger spoke about topics related to shares. She emphasised that we in Germany have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to saving for shares compared to countries such as the USA or Great Britain. One approach to introduce people to investing in shares would be to integrate shares as a fixed component of our old-age provision.
The interview was published by Focus-Money.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: Saving the virtual AGM (in German)
The government draft on the virtual general meeting follows the idea of transferring the analogue general meeting one-to-one into the digital world, criticises Dr Christine Bortenlänger. However, when anchoring the virtual AGM as an option in the company law, it is important to consider the special technical and organisational challenges of such a general meeting. The current government draft is far from what is practicable and in the interest of shareholders and companies.
The guest article appeared in the FAZ.
BOARD: Designing legal regulations for virtual general meetings in a sensible way (in German)
The legislator has presented a draft bill on the introduction of virtual AGMs of public listed companies, with which the government wants to create a seamless transition in time from the regulations on virtual general meetings under the Covid legislation. In their contribution, Dr Christine Bortenlänger and Sven Erwin Hemeling welcome the draft. However, in order to create an equivalent alternative to the presence general meeting, the special features of the new format must be better addressed.
The guest article appeared in BOARD - Zeitschrift für Aufsichtsräte.
Going Public: Developments in Capital Markets Law - Keeping an Eye on the Overall Burden for Companies
What 2022 has in store for companies in the area of capital market law was outlined by Dr Uta-Bettina von Altenbockum and Dr Gerrit Fey in their contribution to GoingPublic's Corporate Finance Law Special. In addition to the EU Listing Act and a consultation on the quality of financial reporting, the topic of sustainability plays a major role at the European level. The taxonomy, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive with the standards to be developed as well as the European Supply Chain Act ensure that there is no room for boredom.
The guest article appeared on Going Public.
Ideas: Shares give people a share in the success of the economy - Interview with Dr. Franz-Josef Leven, Deputy Managing Director of Deutsches Aktieninstitut
What is the state of the equity culture in Germany? In an interview with the ideas magazine of Société Générale, Dr. Franz-Josef Leven talks about the questions of whether dividends are the better interest rate in times of high inflation rates, whether Germany is on the way to a new shareholder culture and why shares are so important in old-age provision.
The interview appeared in the ideas-Magazine.
Ntv podcast "What the finance": Meaningful shopping on the stock exchange (in German)
What are shares actually, how many shareholders are there in Germany, what is the best way to invest and "are women at some point too old to buy shares"? In an interview with Sabrina Marggraf, Dr Christine Bortenlänger talks about the share culture and the money mindset in Germany - and reveals from which company she bought her first shares.
The podcast interview was published by Brigitte.
Badische Neueste Nachrichten: "It's a marathon" (in German)
In an interview with Dirk Neubauer, Dr. Christine Bortenlänger emphasises that building up wealth with shares is a marathon with ups and downs. What is important at the end of the day, she says, is that investors feel comfortable with their strategy when building up wealth and stick with it. However, if influencers from the internet or stock market letters promise quick wealth, investors should be on their guard.
The interview appeared in the Badischen Neuesten Nachrichten.
Echtgeld.tv (Youtube): Discussion on the virtual AGM (in German)
On the occasion of the draft bill of the Federal Ministry of Justice on the virtual general meeting, Dr Christine Bortenlänger talks to the Youtube hosts Tobias Kramer and Christian W. Röhl about the planned regulations. The central topic of the conversation is shareholder rights and whether these will be curtailed by the draft law. Bortenlänger speaks of a strengthening of shareholders' rights in the virtual general meeting, but also sees a need for discussion in one or two places.
The discussion appeared on echtgeld.tv (Youtube).
Zeitschrift für das Gesamte Kreditwesen: Tutoring for Germany (in German)
Economic knowledge and financial literacy ensure increasing prosperity and are central building blocks for a self-determined society. However, Germany is struggling to recognise this and take the necessary steps, write Dr. Christine Bortenlänger and Dr. Franz-Josef Leven in their guest article. What is currently missing is the political will to promote a holistic financial education strategy and to establish economics as a subject in general education schools.
The guest article was published by the Zeitschrift für das Gesamte Kreditwesen.
REthinking Finance: Without sufficient capital, the sustainability transformation will not succeed!
In the interview, Dr Christine Bortenlänger and Dr Michael Völter, the former CEO of the Stuttgart Stock Exchange, give an overview of the main results of the joint study "Corporate Finance in the Sign of Sustainability - What ESG Means for Finance Managers in Practice", in which approaches and problems of sustainability financing in corporate practice were examined.
The interview appeared at REthinking Finance.
FinanzBusiness: "Many in Germany can learn from their grandmothers and grandfathers".
In 2021, almost 12.1 million people in Germany were invested in shares, equity funds or ETFs - the third highest level since our survey began in 1997. In an interview with Sonja Ingerl, Dr Gerrit Fey talks about the new shareholder figures, young investors and investor behaviour in times of inflation.
The interview appeared on FinanzBusiness.
Capital: "Since the financial crisis we count almost four million new shareholders" (in German)
In 2021, almost 12.1 million people in Germany were invested in shares, equity funds or ETFs - the third highest level since our survey began in 1997. In an interview with Nadine Oberhuber, Dr. Christine Bortenlänger talks about the new shareholder figures, young investors and whether share and fund owners will stick around when a market downturn comes.
The interview appeared in Capital.
Bankenverband: Shares - the ideal instrument for old-age provision and asset formation (in German)
According to the coalition agreement, the new federal government wants to strengthen the capital cover in old-age provision. In his contribution, Dr. Norbert Kuhn explains the advantages of investing in shares and how they can be used in asset formation and old-age provision. The aim must be that broad sections of the population benefit from the advantages of share investments through old-age provision. He therefore demands that the traffic lights should give the green light for shares in old-age provision.
The article appeared in the Blog of the Bankenverband.
marktEINBLICKE: Outlook 2022 (in German)
How the stock market year 2022 develops also depends to a large extent on the traffic light government. Will it get a grip on problems like Corona? What impulses will it provide on the world political stage? But four state elections, the presidential election in France and the Winter World Cup in the desert state of Qatar and, above all, inflation, long thought to be dead, will also play a role. However, Dr. Franz-Josef Leven is certain that in 2022 there will still be no real alternative to a broadly diversified and long-term equity investment.
The article appeared in marktEINBLICKE.
Going Public: "Prejudices against shares are reduced" (in German)
With the introduction of funded pensions, the current pension system is to be restructured according to the ideas of the new traffic light government. But what are we to think of a statutory equity pension? This would lead to positive impulses, explains Dr. Norbert Kuhn in a short interview. Prejudices against shares can be reduced and the share culture in Germany can receive a boost.
The article appeared in Going Public-Magazin.
Audit Committee Quarterly: From quarry pond to ocean - growth financing in Germany (in German)
Growth companies often go to the US to raise money for research and innovation from investors because of the well-developed US ecosystem. This is mainly due to financially strong investors such as pension funds. The German ecosystem, on the other hand, needs a Kickstarter, demands Dr Norbert Kuhn. The introduction of a savings procedure with shares in the German pension system would be the right lever for this.
The article appeared in the Audit Committee Quarterly.
BOARD: Sustainability reporting - the next level!
In their contribution to BOARD, Dr. Christine Bortenlänger and Dr. Uta-Bettina von Altenbockum deal with the status quo of sustainability reporting. Although the EU taxonomy has not yet been finalised, the EU is already working on the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive and the European sustainability standards. In order for this to become practicable and user-friendly, the taxonomy, CSRD and the sustainability standards must be closely coordinated, the authors say. In view of the very ambitious timetable, the EU should set priorities and first deal with the issues of climate and the ESG aspects addressed in the Disclosure Regulation.
The article appeared in BOARD – Zeitschrift für Aufsichtsräte, 6/2021, S. 280f.
Börsen-Zeitung: Securing pensions and growth financing - two birds with one stone (in German)
The new federal government has it in its hands: more shares in old-age provision can secure people's standard of living in old age and at the same time improve the financing of growth companies. In addition, the stock corporation law must be designed in such a way that growth companies are given the necessary flexibility for their expansion steps. In their guest article, Dr. Christine Bortenlänger and Professor Christof Hettich, partners at RITTERSHAUS Rechtsanwälte, call on politicians to set the right course.
The article appeared in the Börsen-Zeitung.
Going Public (Spezial Mitarbeiterbeteiligung): Employee Share Ownership - Set the Traffic Light to Green (in German)
Since the middle of the year, a higher tax allowance for employee share ownership has been in effect. However, the new traffic light coalition should also remove regulatory hurdles, demands Dr Norbert Kuhn in his article for Going Public Spezial Mitarbeiterbeteiligung. Especially smaller companies are deterred from introducing employee share ownership schemes. Better legal framework conditions would be an important step to increase the number of employee share schemes and to let more employees participate in the success of their companies.
The article appeared in Going Public (Spezial Mitarbeiterbeteiligung 2021).
Capital/GELD: Shares via App (in German)
The stock market has reached the pocket. Inexpensive apps make it easier for young investors to get started on the stock market and financial influencers get young people excited about the stock market & co, writes Donato Di Dio in his guest article. Despite all the euphoria, however, newcomers should observe the basic rules of successful stock market investment: Those who invest in shares in a broadly diversified manner and stick with it over the long term can ultimately look forward to attractive returns.
The article appeared in the Capital-Beilage GELD.
Audit Committee Quarterly: Audit quality assessment requires structured discussion in the audit committee (in German)
In future, audit committees will have to deal with the quality of the audit. How this is to be assessed, however, is left open by the legislator. Audit quality indicators are an appropriate means of assessment, as the Deutsches Aktieninstitut states in its study Audit Quality Indicators & Beyond. In her article, Dr. Christine Bortenlänger presents the most important results of the study and explains which are the relevant audit quality indicators for assessing the quality of the audit.
The article appeared in the Audit Committee Quarterly.
Zeitschrift für das gesamte Kreditwesen: New government must set impulses per share (in German)
Germany is still far behind in terms of the number of its shareholders in an international comparison, criticises Dr Christine Bortenlänger. However, shares with their attractive returns are crucial for successful asset accumulation and retirement provision. The next federal government must therefore improve the equity culture in Germany with a more equity-friendly policy. An important lever is the modernisation of the German pension system by including an accumulation system with shares. If this succeeds, the equity culture in Germany will experience a significant boost.
The article appeared in the Zeitschrift für das gesamte Kreditwesen.
Deutschlandfunk Kultur: "Let's go - tackle!" (in German)
In an interview with Deutschlandfunk, Dr. Christine Bortenlänger talks about her expectations of the new federal government. The new traffic light coalition has addressed many issues correctly on the basis of the exploratory paper - now they still have to be implemented correctly. In particular, she welcomes the introduction of a funded state pension system.
The interview appeared in the „Tacheles“ within the Deutschlandfunk.
HV-Magazin: Covid AGM remains - On to the next round! (in German)
In his contribution, Dr Franz-Josef Leven welcomes the fact that the legislator has extended the virtual general meeting until the end of August 2022. The extension of the COVID law was necessary because it is not foreseeable whether face-to-face meetings of several thousand shareholders will be possible again in the coming AGM season. He calls on the next federal government to tackle the modernisation of the AGM in a timely manner.
The article appeared in the HV-Magazin.
Börse München (Südseiten): Strengthening Germany as a Financing Location
"Why do vaccine manufacturers like BioNTech SE or CureVac go public in the USA, even though they were co-financed here in Germany with German taxpayers' money?" asks Dr Norbert Kuhn in his article. The conclusion: more capital via pension schemes and more flexibility in stock corporation law - these are the levers that the next federal government must pull to ensure that ideas can also be financed in Germany. If this succeeds, innovative business models will not migrate abroad, jobs will be secured and growth and prosperity in Germany will increase.
The article by Dr Norbert Kuhn appeared in the Südseiten of the Börse München.
Börse am Sonntag (Anlagetrends): Rejuvenation for the DAX (in German)
More than 30 years after its foundation, the German leading index DAX was expanded from 30 to 40 stocks. However, the MDAX is losing its heavyweights as a result of the reform, criticises Dr. Christine Bortenlänger. No matter which index you choose for your investment: If you are broadly diversified and have staying power, you can look forward to a successful equity investment.
The article appeared in Anlagetrends of Börse am Sonntag.
Deka: From investing to meaningful investment (in German)
Dr. Christine Bortenlänger and the Head of Economics at Deka Bank, Dr. Holger Bahr, spoke with business journalist Patrick Dewayne about the future of the securities culture. Topics included the attractiveness of shares for asset accumulation and retirement provision, the increasing importance of sustainability aspects in financial investment and rules for successful share investment.
The discussion is available here.
Going Public: A new start in pension policy is possible (in German)
Pensions play a rather subordinate role in the Bundestag election campaign. In their article, Dr Norbert Kuhn and Donato Di Dio write that there are good proposals from the various parties on how pensions with shares can be made more demographically and generationally appropriate. They call on the next federal government to make a fresh start on the topic of old-age provision with a savings scheme using shares.
The article by Dr Norbert Kuhn and Donato Di Dio was published by Going Public and is part of the Deutsches Aktieninstitut's series on the Bundestag elections.
Going Public: Modernisation of the Annual General Meeting is overdue
Digitalisation makes it possible for shareholders to attend shareholder meetings of German companies from anywhere in the world. To ensure that companies can continue to use the virtual format, politicians must address the reform of the general meeting promptly in the next legislative period, demands Sven Erwin Hemeling. It is necessary to develop a modern legal framework for the general meeting that allows for technical and legally secure implementation and enables modern communication with shareholders.
The article by Sven Erwin Hemeling was published by Going Public and is part of the series by Deutsches Aktieninstitut on the Bundestag elections.
Audit Committee Quarterly extra: Sustainable Corporate Governance - Is the environment "in itself" a stakeholder of the company? (in German)
Within the framework of Sustainable Corporate Governance, the EU Commission plans to oblige corporate bodies to pursue a sustainability strategy and to balance the interests of all stakeholders in their decisions. In her contribution, Dr Cordula Heldt reflects on how these goals can be reconciled with German company law and the German Corporate Governance Code. In particular, she criticises the emerging expansion of the stakeholder concept, which seems hardly manageable in this form.
The article by Dr Cordula Heldt appeared in the Audit Committee Quarterly extra.
Going Public: Strengthening Germany as a financing location (in German)
Why do vaccine manufacturers like BioNTech or CureVac go public in the USA and not in Germany? The decisive factor for listing in the USA is the much more attractive capital market ecosystem with financially strong, specialised pension funds. In their article, Birgit Homburger and Dr. Norbert Kuhn therefore call on the next federal government to add a savings scheme with shares to old-age provision. This would also create pension funds with a strong capital base in this country. More money flows into the capital market with positive effects for the financing of young growth companies.
The article by Birgit Homburger and Norbert Kuhn was published by Going Public and is part of the Deutsches Aktieninstitut's series on the Bundestag elections.
Going Public: Climate protection: Market-based solutions as the key to success (in German)
The future German government must work to ensure that sustainability rules are target-oriented, practice-oriented and, if possible, internationally uniform. Dr. Uta-Bettina von Altenbockum and Jan Bremer therefore call for sustainability reporting in particular to be streamlined and for effort and benefit to be in the right proportion. Only in this way can the transformation process to a climate-neutral economy succeed.
The article by Uta-Bettina von Altenbockum and Jan Bremer was published by Going Public and is part of the Deutsches Aktieninstitut's series on the Bundestag elections.
Börse Online: Before the TV duel - stock exchange association calls for more debate on old-age provision with shares during the election campaign (in German)
In this interview, Dr. Franz-Josef Leven comments on the Bundestag election campaign. He criticises that the topic of old-age provision hardly plays a role in the political contest and makes a plea for old-age provision with shares. In addition, the economist demands that politicians improve the tax framework for investing in shares and finally shelve plans such as the financial transaction tax.
The interview was published by Börse Online.
Going Public: Prudent Sustainable Corporate Governance Necessary (in German)
The EU Commission is proposing that companies should be obliged to balance the interests of all their stakeholders. However, such a general obligation will not lead to companies being managed more sustainably, criticises Dr. Cordula Heldt. It is simply not possible to balance the interests of all stakeholders. Just as there are sometimes irresolvable conflicts of objectives in society as a whole, this also applies to the stakeholders of a company.
The article by Cordula Heldt, which appeared as part of a new series on the Bundestag elections, was published at Going Public.
Absolut|spezial: Generation-appropriate pensions and efficient capital markets (in German)
Equity-oriented pension provision would strengthen the German capital market in the long term and improve its competitiveness, comments Dr. Christine Bortenlänger. The next federal government has the chance to anchor equity savings in old-age provision and thus solve several problems at once. It can secure the population's standard of living in old age and make it easier to finance growth companies at home.
The commentary by Dr. Christine Bortenlänger appeared in Absolut|spezial Equity.
Going Public: Targeted and proportionate compliance legal framework to strengthen corporate competitiveness (in German)
Many legislative proposals and regulations in the area of corporate compliance overshoot the mark. They are impractical and have a detrimental effect on the competitiveness of companies, criticises Jan Bremer. With a view to the federal elections, a new federal government must focus on a targeted and proportionate legal framework in compliance.
The article by Jan Bremer, which appeared as part of a new series on the federal election, was published at Going Public.
€URO-Magazin: "Nobody needs the financial transaction tax" (in German)
A new Bundestag will be elected at the end of September. In the €URO interview, Dr. Franz-Josef Leven talks about the election programmes of the parties and what they mean from a shareholder's point of view. In particular, he criticises the financial transaction tax, gives impulses on how shares can no longer be discriminated against for tax purposes and why long-term pension provision with shares is the right way to go.
The interview appeared in the magazine €URO.
Going Public: No successful BaFin reform without reform of its financing! (in German)
In the wake of the Wirecard affair, a reform of the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) is pending. The Balance sheet control is to be reorganised and removed from the German Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel. The supervisory system is also facing a reorganisation in the area of money laundering. Under new leadership, a comprehensive reorganisation of BaFin is to be expected in the next few years. For this to be successful, the financing of BaFin must also be reconsidered.
The article by Dr. Franz-Josef Leven, which appeared as part of a new series on the Bundestag elections, was published at Going Public.
Going Public: Fighting financial illiteracy in Germany (in German)
Financial literacy is an important part of general education. Yet the subject of economics ekes out a shadowy existence in many schools. What is needed is a fundamental understanding of economics and finance, taught by well-trained, committed teachers. Therefore, for better financial education in Germany, economics should be included in the curriculum as an independent school subject - compulsory for all.
The article by Dr. Uta-Bettina von Altenbockum and Martin Möhring, which appeared as part of a new series on the Bundestag elections, was published at Going Public.
Going Public: Modernise stock corporation law - more flexible financing with shares (in German)
Companies raise money on the capital market for innovation and growth. But inflexible stock corporation law makes corporate financing more difficult in this country. Countries like the Netherlands show that things can be better. Politicians must act so that German stock corporation law is no longer a competitive disadvantage.
The article by Dr Gerrit Fey, which appeared as part of a new series on the Bundestag elections, was published at Going Public.
Going Public (Life Sciences): Biotechnology Shares in Germany - Deutsches Aktieninstitut Calls for a "New Equity Culture" (in German)
In an interview with Life Sciences, Dr Christine Bortenlänger talks about the ten recommendations of Deutsches Aktieninstitut for the federal elections and why Germany is not attractive as a financial centre for young biotechnology companies. She advocates making shares a fixed component of old-age provision so that capital-rich pension funds emerge in Germany that also invest in growth companies.
The interview with Dr Christine Bortenlänger appeared in Going Public.
Going Public: Taxing shares fairly (in German)
After the federal elections, a new federal government should clearly align its compass in tax policy in favour of shares, demands Dr. Norbert Kuhn. Capital gains from share transactions should be tax-exempt again after a one-year holding period, as was the case before 2009, and a line should be drawn under the plan to introduce a financial transaction tax. These would be two valuable measures to make share ownership more attractive from a tax perspective.
The article by Dr Norbert Kuhn, which appeared as part of a new series on the Bundestag elections, was published at Going Public.
Capital/Finance 4.0: Sustainable financing is the latest trend (in German)
Sustainable finance has arrived in the finance departments of German companies, as our study with Börse Stuttgart shows. However, the reporting processes for sustainable financing instruments are more complex than for traditional financing, notes Dr Gerrit Fey. This is where policymakers need to act and make ESG regulation more practical.
The article by Dr Gerrit Fey appeared in the Capital supplement Finance 4.0.
Börsen-Zeitung: Finance for Future? – The framework has to be right (in German)
In their guest article, Dr. Christine Bortenlänger, Managing Director of Deutsches Aktieninstitut, and Dr. Michael Völter, Chairman of the Executive Board of Vereinigung Baden-Württembergische Wertpapierbörse, call for the rules of the sustainable finance market to be designed attractively and with a sense of proportion. Companies, investors, stock exchanges and politics must be involved in the design process. Experience shows that new market developments can best be shaped in dialogue with market participants.
The guest article appeared in the german Börsen-Zeitung.
Der Konzern: Assessment of audit quality by the audit committee - Effective quality improvement or toothless paper tiger? (in German)
Jan Bremer, Head of the Legal Department, Nico Zimmermann, Capital Market Law and Corporate Governance Officer, Deutsches Aktieninstitut, and Prof. Dr. Franca Ruhwedel, Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, present the key findings of the Audit Quality Indicators & Beyond study in their article. The survey of audit committee members, CFOs and auditors shows that those involved are open to the assessment of audit quality. Criticism is expressed if such a quality review is accompanied by too much formalism. With regard to the intensity of communication between the audit committee and the auditor, there is a need for improvement.
The article appeared in the magazine DER KONZERN.
Süddeutsche Zeitung: Expectations for a sustainable fiscal and monetary policy in Germany and Europe (in German)
Together with Edmund Stoiber, Peer Steinbrück and other authors, Dr. Christine Bortenlänger calls for a turnaround in economic and financial policy. Among other things, the German government should reduce new debt and return to moderation in budgetary policy. In climate policy, she said, it was important to return to free-market principles. According to the authors, the European Central Bank should concentrate on ensuring price stability and refrain from giving preferential treatment to green corporate bonds.
The article appeared in the Süddeutschen Zeitung.
hkp: Employee equity ownership receives better framework conditions
The Finance Committee of the German Bundestag has decided to increase the tax allowance for employee equity ownership to 1,440 euros. In an interview with Constantin Härthe, Dr Norbert Kuhn welcomes the increase as progress, but criticises the fact that start-ups benefit little from the new regulations. He notes that many politicians have a deep-seated scepticism about shares and capital markets. According to Kuhn, it is worth leaving the ideological trenches in view of the opportunities of equity-based pension provision and adopting pragmatic, sustainable solutions that include equities.
The interview with Dr. Norbert Kuhn, among others, was published by the hkp-Group.
Tagesspiegel: 3:0 for England
In her contribution, Dr. Christine Bortenlänger calls for politicians to better involve the business community in overcoming the Corona crisis, but also in solving other challenges. The United Kingdom is a model for good cooperation. The UK has been very successful in involving company doctors in the vaccination campaign. We can also learn from our British neighbours when it comes to stock-based pension schemes and less bureaucracy.
The guest article by Dr. Christine Bortenlänger appeared in the Tagesspiegel on April 17 (page 14).
BOARD: Reform of the Annual General Meeting to be tackled before the Bundestag elections
The general meeting of the future must be made fit for the future, state Dr Christine Bortenlänger and Sven Erwin Hemeling. This requires a legal framework that safeguards investor rights and at the same time creates legal certainty for companies. In order to make the virtual general meeting possible even after the end of 2021, the legislator must act quickly. Even if there is no longer a major reform, initial modernisation measures should be adopted that enable companies to use the virtual general meeting and develop it further step by step.
The article by Dr Christine Bortenlänger and Sven Erwin Hemeling appeared in BOARD – Zeitschrift für Aufsichtsräte, 2/2021, S. 75f.
Frankfurter Rundschau: Capital market is more than Riester pension
In his commentary, Dr Franz-Josef Leven contradicts the opinion of Hans-Jürgen Urban, Executive Member of the Board of IG Metall, and Markus Kurth, Member of the Bundestag for the Greens, that the capital market is not a useful means of providing for old age. He points to the attractive long-term earnings opportunities offered by stocks and calls for the intelligent integration of equities into old-age provision.
The contribution by Dr Franz-Josef Leven appeared in the Frankfurter Rundschau.
Handelsblatt Orange Podcast: Is it still worth getting involved in the stock market?
The DAX reached a new record high in April. The Orange podcast "Businessclass" asks whether it is still worth investing in the stock market. As one of the experts reporting on the Germans' increased interest in the stock market, Dr Gerrit Fey explains why many millions of people have found their way to the stock market. He advises starting early with a savings plan of, for example, 25 Euro to take advantage of compound interest - despite the all-time high on the stock market.
The podcast episode was published by Handelsblatt-Orange.
Börse am Sonntag: Saving stocks is very popular
The shareholder boom brought Germany almost three million new equity savers. Interest in equity funds was particularly strong. In her article, Dr Christine Bortenlänger explains the reasons for the increased interest in funds and ETFs and emphasises that many millions of investors are pursuing long-term asset accumulation with these investments.
The article by Dr Christine Bortenlänger appeared in Börse am Sonntag.
Going Public: Lucrative Employee Shares
In the course of the general shareholder boom in 2020, the number of employee shareholders has also increased significantly. However, in order to turn this development into a long-term trend, further political support is needed, says Dr Norbert Kuhn. Therefore, he calls for German lawmakers to take a more ambitious approach to the issue of increasing the tax allowance and raise it to at least 1,000 euros per year.
The guest article by Dr Norbert Kuhn appeared in Going Public.
Manager Magazin: In training camp with Christine Bortenlänger
In the section "Im Trainingslager mit", managers report on their sporting passion and what they learn for their (professional) life. In the March issue, Dr Christine Bortenlänger talks about her passion for team sports and her goal of running a half-marathon.
The interview with Dr Christine Bortenlänger appeared in Manager Magazin.
ZDF "Volle Kanne": New generation of shareholders
In the Corona crisis, Germans have discovered their love for stocks. The number of shareholders is as high as it was 20 years ago. The magazine "Volle Kanne" interviewed experts on this topic in a feature. Dr Gerrit Fey outlines the reasons for the shareholder boom and who the new shareholders actually are.
The TV-report can be found in the ZDF-Mediathek.
Going Public: Outlook 2021 - Developments in Capital Markets Law
As in previous years, sustainable finance is a top priority for the EU Commission in 2021. In his guest article, Maximilian Lück calls for the EU Commission to step up the pace on the issue of the Capital Markets Union. The companies hit by the COVID-19 pandemic need strong capital markets through which they can recapitalise themselves now, not in a few years' time.
The guest article by Maximilian Lück appeared in Going Public.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: Well meant! Well done?
The President of Deutsches Aktieninstitut, Dr Hans-Ulrich Engel, subjects the newly adopted "Finanzmarktintegritätsstärkungsgesetz" to a practical check. He describes the risks of short rotation periods, calls for advisory services not to be unduly restricted and rejects the judicial replacement of the auditor in petty cases. The draft law's additional restrictions on auditing will lead to further concentration in the auditor market, Engel criticises. He concludes that the draft could have the opposite effect in the area of auditing of financial statements to what it aims to achieve.
The guest article by Dr Hans-Ulrich Engel appeared in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, page 25.
Börsen-Zeitung: Financial market integrity - Not at the expense of compliant companies!
With the recently discussed Financial Market Integrity Strengthening Act (Finanzmarktintegritätsstärkungsgesetz), the political processing of the Wirecard case is entering the decisive phase. In her contribution, Dr Christine Bortenlänger criticises that the draft law still lacks accuracy and proportionality. There is a threat of a considerable disruption of the market for audits and the premature criminalisation of accounting errors. The Bundestag urgently needs to take countermeasures.
The guest article by Dr Christine Bortenlänger appeared in the Börsen-Zeitung.
Inpact Media: Have young people suddenly discovered the stock market?
Corona has given an additional boost to the youth trend that Deutsches Aktieninstitut has been observing in stock investing since 2014, states Dr Franz-Josef Leven. Corona lockdown, more free time, social media and financial influencers have played their part in getting more young people excited about the stock market. However, GameStop & Co. have shown that gambling with speculative stocks is not a good guide. A successful, broadly diversified stock investment is a marathon, not a sprint.
The editorial by Dr Franz-Josef Leven appeared in the WELT supplement Inpact Media.
HV-Magazin: Legal uncertainty at an unseasonable time
The short-term rule changes for the virtual general meeting at the end of 2020 have led to uncertainty among companies, especially with regard to the newly introduced right to ask questions. According to Dr Franz-Josef Leven, it would have been better if companies had been able to build on the experience of 2020 when it came to the topic of questions. It remains to be seen how companies will deal with the topic of shareholder questions in the 2021 AGM season and whether they will try out anything new.
The article by Dr Franz-Josef Leven appeared in the HV-Magazin.
Der Aufsichtsrat: The future of shareholder meetings - Updates are needed
The traditional general meeting needs an update. Dr Christine Bortenlänger and Sven Erwin Hemeling outline in their article how the general meeting can be further developed so that companies can hold physical and virtual general meetings in a technically, organisationally and legally secure manner. The decisive factor is that the legislator modifies the law on questions, motions and defects in resolutions.
The article by Dr. Christine Bortenlänger and Sven Erwin Hemeling appeared in the German magazine „Der Aufsichtsrat“.
Zeitschrift für das gesamte Kreditwesen: Equity culture 2020 - much light, but also shadow
Dr Christine Bortenlänger analyses in her article how the equity culture has developed over the past year. Overall, the equity culture has been robust despite Corona and Wirecard. To strengthen it further, however, a clear signal for equities is needed on the part of politics. Above all, more shares in old-age provision, better framework conditions for IPOs and a stronger political interest in Germany as a financial centre would give a boost to the equity culture in Germany.
The guest article "Aktienkultur 2020 - viel Licht, aber auch Schatten" by Dr. Christine Bortenlänger appeared in the Zeitschrift für das gesamte Kreditwesen.
Audit Committee Quarterly: Wirecard legislation - Avoiding negative consequences for law-abiding companies
With the draft of a law to strengthen financial market integrity (FISG), it is becoming apparent what regulatory consequences can be expected after the Wirecard case. In their article for the Audit Committee Quarterly, Dr Christine Bortenlänger and Dr Gerrit Fey call for improvements to be made with regard to the audit of financial statements and balance sheet control so that law-abiding companies are not disproportionately burdened.
The article by Dr Christine Bortenlänger and Dr Gerrit Fey was published in the Audit Committee Quarterly.
marktEINBLICKE: Light and shadow in the new stock market year
The stock market world will also have to live with imponderables in 2021. In addition to Corona, six German state elections and the federal elections in September will provide sufficient excitement in the new year. If you want to relax despite ups and downs on the stock market, it is best to stick to the rule: invest regularly, diversify and hold for a long time.
The editorial by Dr Franz-Josef Leven appeared in marktEINBLICKE.