INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTERS - Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt am Main – the “German Chicago” and modern business center in Europe.


The Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) shows that Frankfurt remains in the GFCI top ten and has climbed one place to ninth in comperison to the previous year. As for European region, Frankfurt takes the fourth place in the rating after three leading centres in Europe, they are London, Zurich and Geneva. London has seen a signi?cant drop in rating but has managed to retain its leadership. 


© www.qfc.com.qa/Files/Reports/Global%20Financial%20Centre%20Index%2014.pdf, page 11, table. 5


City development factors as one of the international financial centers

The introduction of the Euro has become a symbol of a new era not only for Europe on the whole and in particular for the city of Frankfurt.  The city was the financial centre of Germany for centuries and is the focal point of major banks and brokerage firms.  All the threads of European monetary policy converge in one place at the EURO-City Frankfurt (the Euopean Central Bank).  The attractiveness of the city as a financial centre is largely determined by the presence of the largest European stock exchange, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Frankfurter Wertpapierb?rse) which is operated by the Deutsche B?rse Group - one of the world’s leading exchange organisations. More than 90% of the turnover of German shares passes through this exchange.  The strength of the German stock market is the result of strategic planning and a range of innovations in trading systems and the creation of new trading segments.  Frankfurt has already left London behind for trading volume to take first place in Europe.


© www.500px.com/photo/16875597


A main advantage of Frankfurt is the deeply rooted tradition and culture of banking as well as a huge concentration of banks. The city has 381 consumer finance organizations, including 243 foreign companies. Additionally there are 167 insurance companies in Frankfurt and many other organizations supporting the financial services market.

Every autumn, Frankfurt am Main hosts the Euro Finance Week which brings together hundreds of politicians; financiers; the heads of international organizations; businessmen; and academics from across the globe. Educational institutions such as the House of Finance and the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management prepare highly qualified specialists for the financial industry.

Frankfurt is also a major transportation hub that links East and West; and North and South. These links are made possible via Frankfurt airport which is directly connected to the European high-speed railway network and also to the road transport.  Any European economic centre can be reached from Frankfurt in two; or a maximum of three hours travel.  In addition, Frankfurt is also the focal point of the European telecommunications and data networks; making it an ideal centre for e-commerce and communications.


Business district in Frankfurt 

InFrankfurtthere is a business district which is in the geographical centre of the city and is called theBankenviertel (banking district), where most of German major banks have their headquarters and where many foreign banks have their representation offices. It is also the place where most of Frankfurts skyscrapers are located. The European Central Bank, Commerzbank, Citibank, Helaba and Frankfurter Sparkasse are some of the well-known institutions based here.

Commerzbank is a 53-storey tall skyscraper in Frankfurt, Germany designed by Foster & Partners in collaboration with Arup and Krebs & Kiefer (structural engineering), J. Roger Preston with P&A Petterson Ahrens (mechanical engineering), Schad & H?lzel (electrical engineering).

This building is the world's first ecological office tower and the tallest building in Europe. The project develops the new ideas for ecology and working patterns of the office environment. Central to the concept is a reliance on natural systems of lighting and ventilation which makes its energy consumption levels equivalent to half those of conventional office towers. The plan of the building is triangular, comprising three 'petals' ? the office floors ? and a 'stem' formed by a full-height central atrium. Winter gardens spiral up around the atrium to become the visual and social focus for four-storey office clusters.

The tower has a distinctive presence on the Frankfurt skyline, but at the same time it is also anchored into the lower-scale city fabric, through the restoration and sensitive rebuilding of the perimeter structures to reinforce the original scale of the city block.


© www.flickr.com/photos/marlambie/ Kommerzbank


Until the completion of the Commerzbank Tower in the year 1997 the Trade Fair Tower (Messeturm) was the highest office building in Europe. However, it’s not just the building’s impressive height of 256.5 metres that makes it a Frankfurt landmark, designed by German architects Helmut Jahn. The building’s foundation, tower and pinnacle are distinctive, and recall American high-rise architecture of the 1920s. There is a similar skyscraper in Atlanta, USA, the Bank of American Plaza. The tower uses numerous geometric shapes in its design such as the square footprint which is the main shape used throughout the tower. It then rises to a cylindrical shape which finally completes in a pyramid.


© Jahn / Messeturm


The Frankfurt Main Tower (Hesse-Thuringia State Bank) is a 200 meter skyscraper in the center of the city, designed by German architectural bureau Schweger+Partner. After the completion of the Main Tower in 1999 it was the first high-rise building in Europe to have a fa?ade completely made of glass. The tower features two adjacent buildings. The smaller of the two is of a rectangular shape, the taller one circular and with an entirely blue glass exterior that features the transmitter on top. The Maintower is the only skyscraper in the city with an observation desk open to the public.


© www.panoramio.com/ Maintower


Frankfurt Westend is home to some of the city’s most prestigious addresses, from major corporate locations to impressive residential properties. The DZ Bank building (The German central bank) - Westend Tower  - rises 150 meters as a curved shaft made of reflective glass and painted aluminum and topped with a two-story loggia and great cantilevered crown. The steel crown on top of the building weighs 95 metric tons and is heated in winter to avoid icing. Awarded "Best Building of the Year" for 1995 by the American Chamber of Architects in the multifunctional skyscraper category.

Silver Tower is a 166 metre high-rise in Frankfurt, designed by German architectural bureau ABB Architekten. It was built between 1975 and 1978.  Until 1991, the Silver Tower with its silver aluminium fa?ade was the highest building in Germany. However, even today the building still represents something unusual in architectural terms. Consisting of four individual structures, it is the only building in Frankfurt with “round edges”.


© www.flickriver.com/ Silver Tower