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An industry tends to the center of power

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Thomas Neiße: Der neue BVI-Präsident will seinen Verband stärker in der Hauptstadt Berlin verankern.

Thomas Neisse: the new BVI president wants to anchor its association stronger in the capital Berlin.

FRANKFURT. We have to fight with better in Berlin. "Thomas is a man of clear words Neisse. Pulls the new President of the German fund association BVI is in the vicinity of Merkel & Co. He feels uncomfortable with only one representative on site, where the lobbyists for the competitors to jack into the hand. Neisse sits outwardly unmoved in his chair, hardly mimic, but the message is clear.

In a few months, a new governor be found. It also does not need, with 1 700 billion euros, the German capital funds are a force in the country. In Berlin we are not just powerful when it comes to important new laws are advancing their own business in perspective and to influence legislation. The design of the flat tax had the industry, for example, are playing a flop.

Since late 2002 Christa Franke holds up for the Association in the Berlin office of the flag. But it is a losing battle. Franke fights in the hub of the power against legions of lobbyists for the powerful competitors: insurance companies and banks. So it is against insurance and banking products, particularly against the long boom certificates. The bank associations and the Insurance Association have dug in the capital: the Central, with hundreds of employees sitting in Berlin. "There is the obvious BVI on the defensive," says an expert on the scene.

This is about more than the staff strength. "Politicians want to be talking at eye level," complains one insider, "it must then be a manager, as one of the ranking. And the first manager in Berlin could anyway only be a beginning step. Although speculated, the new Association President Thomas Neisse, in his first public appearance in this role in February, "where we will have our office in two years, I can not really say." Currently the members are in Frankfurt, but rather in "Sandbox games" as one insider says impatiently.

The association currently bites down on two issues. Responsible of the nine board members BVI discuss a new man in Berlin, which should please the representatives of actively managed funds and index funds, as well as the representatives of institutional and private investors. The best would be an influential politician, to some – for a secondary association but probably too expensive and uninteresting, others fear. Therefore, some argue for a professional with political expertise, which hopefully has enough influence. Also the rank of the new figurehead shield is not yet clear. Will he stand next BVI chief executive Stefan Seip, tell him or his boss?

Even the self is not yet clear. "Are we as an independent fund industry sector, or at least an appendage of the large banks and insurers, as it is rather perceived in Berlin?" Are the questions. If the fund lobbying and have been driven on to a small flame, it may be due to this same distribution of power. Obviously the mothers of their insurance products and certificates are closer, and because we deserve it more, my fund experts bitter.

A source recognized over the past years, "Increasing competition and differences with insurance certificates, for both are different regulatory requirements. One example is the flat tax, insurance is better than does the Fund. In the company pension scheme is to direct state support, but not fund savings plans, for which the BVI is strength for years.

In the far distance attracts Brussels, another battle room for lobbyists. The BVI plans "within the next three years to open a representative office in Brussels," says one who should know.