Metzler focuses specifically on providing individual capital market services for institutional clients and discerning private individuals.
Finance in Frankfurt/Main
The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union took place in January of 2020.
Since ‘Brexit’, Frankfurt/Main, the largest city in the German State of Hesse, has successfully attracted the European regional headquarters of international and Japanese banks and has thus strengthened its role as a strategic European and global financial center.
Headquartered in Frankfurt/Main, Metzler is a strong competitor offering know-how-driven advisory services focused in its core areas of business: Asset Management, Capital Markets, Corporate Finance and Private Banking.
“While rooted in history, we are a forward-thinking bank and continue to look for opportunities that enable us to stay ahead of the curve,” says Gerhard Wiesheu, Member of the Executive Board of B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. AG and President of the financial center initiative Frankfurt Main Finance.
“We do not engage in on-balance-sheet or lending transactions that could put us at risk. If a transaction does not fit our risk profile or contribute to our client’s long-term success, we simply do not get involved.”
Metzler and Japan
In 2001, Metzler Bank opened an office in Tokyo. However, ties between the bank and/or the Metzler family and Japan go back much further. About 130 years ago, Moritz von Metzler (1869-1935) became the first member of the Metzler family to set foot on Japanese soil. In 1893, he even attended the summer festival of the Japanese Emperor Meiji.
This year, Metzler celebrates the 20th anniversary of Metzler Asset Management (Japan), its subsidiary based in Tokyo.
“We have developed strong relationships in Japan and my personal friendships there go back forty years or more,” says Wiesheu who is also Chairman of the Japanese-German Business Association.
“The Japanese market is very important to us and we are continually expanding our reputation as a competent partner in Japan.”
Both Germany and Japan have well-established industries and stable economies. As Japanese companies continue to invest in Germany, Japanese institutional investors are partnering with Metzler more and more.
The Japanese capital market is broadly diverse. With a volume of around EUR 4 trillion, Japan is the world’s second-largest market for institutional investments after the USA.
“In the current low interest rate environment, institutional investors from Japan need to diversify their investment strategies at an international level. They therefore tend to invest in foreign equities,” explains Wiesheu.
Demographic change with an aging Japanese population and a very low birth rate is also pushing more Japanese investors to invest in higher-yielding assets abroad.
“Asset managers, e.g. insurance companies and pension funds that manage private pension assets, must diversify their investment strategies. They must shift away from their strong focus on domestic asset classes towards more international investments in order to achieve a specified actuarial interest rate in the long term,” says Wiesheu.
The world’s largest Japanese government pension fund, the Government Investment Pension Fund (GPIF) with an investment volume of USD 1.3 trillion, provides an impressive example of international diversification of an investment portfolio with Japanese investors.
“GPIF invests more than half of its assets in equities and more than 50 percent of that in foreign equities. This trend clearly favors asset managers who are able to offer international investment products and precisely here is where the focus of Metzler in Japan lies,” says Wiesheu.
“I am confident that, as a well-suited partner for cross-border investment solutions and due to many years of experience in this field, we can serve as a professional partner for Japanese investors in the German equity market.”
Economics and culture are often intrinsically linked. Since its founding in 1674, Metzler Bank has followed a longstanding tradition of supporting cultural and social initiatives primarily in Frankfurt/Main – mostly based on long-term cooperation and personal commitment.
For the last sixteen years, Metzler has been a main sponsor of the ‘Nippon Connection’, the Japanese film festival held in Frankfurt/Main. This cooperation fits perfectly into this “support scheme” and underlines that Metzler’s business commitment in Japan is long-term.
“We are deeply invested in strengthening our connections with Japan, our most important partner in Asia,” says Wiesheu. “Japan is an ideal partner for Germany. The two countries share common values and business interests. They both have liberal societies based on the rule of law and they trust each other. We at Metzler will continue to work closely with our Japanese friends.”