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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. Continue Reading

Portrait of Hagen Gerle in FSB’s member magazin “first voice”

first voice - My businesses_cropped

The”Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)” has published a portrait of Hagen Gerle in the “My Business” section of its current issue (January to March 2020) of its member magazine “first voice”. The magazine is published five times a year with a circulation of around 27,500 copies (well, of course this is massive PR is in its own right, but the article also deals with the importance of coffee, running and the benefits of the EU). Here’s the whole story.

universal spotlight: a new magazine for the company anniversary

universal spotlight is a new customer magazine from Universal-Investment which is aiming at institutional clients as well as fund initiators, with whom the now third-largest investment company on the German market cooperates. The first edition was also an anniversary edition, as “UI” has only turned 50. Gerle Financial Communications was jointly responsible for the concept, editing and text of this universal spotlight.

What will financial advice in Germany look like in 2025?

Regulation, commission caps, digitalisation – the topics discussed by seven top-class representatives from politics, consumer protection and financial associations at the Federal Press Conference in Berlin at the invitation of Standard Life Deutschland were pretty tough. The 130 or so guests, mainly independent brokers and intermediaries, also made some very emotional contributions. Gerle Financial Communications supported Standard Life’s corporate communications with interviews and a summary of the event  which was also published in the German financial magazine “Mein Geld” (article in German only as a PDF file).

The Woodford case: When nervous investors sit on illiquid investments

The impending collapse of the Woodford Equity Income Fund (WEIF) in the UK may not only cost (ex-)star fund manager Neil Woodford his company. The crisis also casts a shadow over the increasingly popular illiquid investments, especially among institutional investors, and their supervision.

The case of Neil Woodford, who is currently holding British investors, the media and financial regulators in suspense, can be told from three perspectives: as a drama of the rise and fall of a former star fund manager, as evidence of the carelessness of supervisors, or as a harbinger of the difficulties of active asset managers when they juggle illiquid investments. Above all, however, it is a warning of how reluctantly the key players in the affair communicate.

So, what happened? Continue Reading

The quiet before the Brexit storm (infographic)

Unease within the British investment industry is increasing: Facing the threat of a „No Deal“-scenario there are continuous speculations about the extent of (anticipated) asset outflows due to Brexit, which companies are going to leave and how many employees they will take with them. Since the referendum the media, investment managers and national trade associations have their finger on the industry’s pulse. They predict: Small investment boutiques without any European representation will be hit particularly hard (article as PDF file) Continue Reading

Investment writing: How fund managers can demystify financial jargon

Be it MiFID II or PRIIPS, the growing complexity of investment products and their regulation, calls for a new approach to communication. In a by-lined article for FondsTrends, the newsletter of Hauck & Aufhäuser Fund Services S.A., Ross Hunter, Copylab, and Hagen Gerle, Gerle Financial Communications, explain how professional investment writing can help fund managers to communicate more efficiently with their investors. Read the whole article (in German) here.

Big Brexit and small businesses: How to prepare for the unpredictable?

A couple of days ago I had an argument with my wife in the kitchen. It was, once again, about Brexit. The day before, Theresa May had received a serious slapping by the joint heads of the EU in Salzburg. I had been agonising for some time about what Brexit would possibly mean for us personally, but also for our business as a specialised PR consultancy (of course, I had written an outline of a few pages about it). When I asked my wife to read the outline, she said, while spooning sugar in her tea, “Well, we’ve really got no idea at all what’s going to happen”.

“This is exactly why we have to think about possible scenarios”, I responded.

“But that’s changing every day now! You’re just wasting your time and energy!”

“And that’s exactly why!”

“But what on earth are you going to prepare for!?”

And so it went on …  thank goodness, the steak knives were already in the dishwasher.

At some point we both agreed that we didn’t know any more than all the other owners of small (and big) businesses who don’t sit at the negotiation table in Salzburg, Brussels or London. Also, that it is extremely difficult to plan for a ‘no deal’ exit from the EU in the face of all these, quite frightening scenarios and questions: (How) Will future services for clients in the EU be taxed? Will it be necessary to provide additional qualifications or licences to do business with clients in the EU? What will be the legal status of EU foreigners in the United Kingdom with a company which is registered in England and Wales? Continue Reading

Brexit scenario planning for PR practitioners

What does a successful Brexit result look like from a UK perspective? And how do PR practitioners prepare their clients and organisations for different Brexit scenarios? These were the tasks for a group of 18 PR professionals who met in London end of May for the second “Brexit scenario planning” of the PR industry association Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). As a Member of the CIPR, I participated in this session, as well, and discussed with colleagues of different institutions about “worst case”, “best case” and “most likely” scenarios. Not surprisingly, the findings for the “most likely scenarios” were not acceptable to the participants in the end. So the groups drew out implications for public relations practice to prepare for Brexit and carry out damage control. Read the complete report of the session here.