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Survey: The hurdles foreign fund companies have to overcome on the German market

The German fund market is and remains interesting for foreign fund managers, and their number is increasing. But what difficulties do investment companies and their employees from neighbouring European countries or overseas face when entering the market? A new survey by Gerle Financial Communications (GFC) is intended to shed some light on this. Germany remains attractive as a market for foreign investment companies: more and more asset managers are moving to Frankfurt, Munich or the Rhine-Ruhr region. While the number of non-German investment companies in Germany was 28 at the end of 2002, according to the financial supervisory authority BaFin and the BVI industry association there are now more than 700 foreign asset managers operating between Flensburg and Passau.

But the road to “good old Germany” is not easy, and the difficulties before doing business in Germany are manifold (as probably everyone in the fund industry who has ever worked for a US, French or British company will confirm). They range from the complex German tax system to special knowledge of sales and distribution channels and getting used to the (from some non-German point of view) very direct manners. New challenges and trends such as ESG/SRI and the digitalisation of the industry do not make life any easier …

In order to find out more precisely which hurdles foreign investment managers have had to (and still have to) overcome to be successful in the German market, Gerle Financial Communications (GFC), a specialist communications consultancy for financial service providers, has initiated a short survey. This involves both legal and administrative issues (e.g. the question of branch or a subsidiary) as well as sales in Germany and personal challenges such as finding a job for the partner.

The questionnaire consists of only 12 questions and a critical review of the own market entry; the answers should therefore not take longer than 10 to 15 minutes. At the end of the survey – which is open from 21 January to 29 February 2020 – participants can request the anonymised results from GFC in order to provide a benchmark in access to the German fund market.