20th German Equity Day: Venture capital plays a decisive role
Berlin — 20th German Equity Day: The German Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVK) celebrated its anniversary with its annual conference on June 4, 2019 and invited top-class speakers. The German Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, Peter Altmaier, opened the Equity Day with his speech “For a strong SME sector of tomorrow” and clearly advocated strengthening Germany as a venture capital location.
“A strong economy in this country depends on a strong start-up scene. However, especially in the growth phase, young companies in Germany often do not have an easy time finding investors. We still have some catching up to do here. It is important to me that innovations can emerge, grow and become world leaders in Germany,” said the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy. Altmaier stressed: “That is why we will continue and also further develop our comprehensive set of instruments for large-volume start-up financing. In doing so, it is also an important concern of mine to attract even more private investors for venture capital investments.”
This was welcomed by Ulrike Hinrichs (photo), managing board member of the BVK. “Only if we succeed in making venture capital more attractive to pension funds and insurance companies will we have a chance of closing the investment gap in follow-up financing. This is where policymakers are called upon to ensure that the financing gap between German startups and their international competitors does not widen,” said Hinrichs.
General David H. Petraeus, former Director of the CIA and now Chairman of the KKR Global Institute, was another highlight on the morning of Equity Day. Petraeus made clear how important cyber security is in today’s world and looked at the current security challenges posed by the Internet.
Petraeus was followed by a power talk with Dirk Roßmann, founder and CEO of the drugstore chain Dirk Rossmann GmbH, and his long-standing financing partner HANNOVER Finanz Group. The investment company had been invested in the company for 22 years. “Equity capital as a sparring partner was the right decision at all times: With the help of the HANNOVER Finanz Group, I was able to strengthen and further expand my business,” Roßmann is convinced of his decision.
The BVK already has a tradition with the financial policy roundtable at the Equity Day. This year, Antje Tillmann MdB (CDU), Lothar Binding MdB (SPD), Lisa Paus MdB (Bü90/Die Grünen), Dr. h.c. Hans Michelbach (CSU) and Frank Schäffler MdB (FDP) with journalist and daily presenter Ines Arland and took a look at developments in tax and fiscal policy.
For the second time, discussion panels were held in the afternoon in the Venture and Mittelstand Corner, this time on fundraising, growth financing and business succession. The annual conference concluded with a speech by BVK Deputy Board Spokesman Max W. Römer with his view of the association’s work and the role of equity capital for Germany.
Change on the BVK Board
During the General Meeting, Dr. Klaus Stöckemann, Jürgen von Wendorff and Peter Hielscher were bidden farewell from the BVK Executive Board, as they were retiring by rotation. The following persons have moved up to the Executive Board Anette Görgner, Senior Portfolio Manager at TECTA Invest; Ferdinand von Sydow, Member of the Management Board of HQ Capital; Dr. Robert Hennigs, Managing Director and Partner at Finatem; Frank Hüther, Managing Director at Abacus alpha; Joachim Rothe, Managing Partner at LSP;Mark Schmitz, partner at Lakestar; and Ronald Ayles, Managing Partner at Advent International and Managing Director in Germany.
The two Board Spokespersons Dr. Regina Hodits and Dr. Christian Stoffel, the Deputy Board Spokesperson Max W. Römer as well as Dr. Andreas Rodin and Peter Pauli will remain on the Board.