Die Woche, 8 February 2002

BUSINESS

And the loser is: Frankfurt am Main

High flyers make their careers in London, Munich is gaining ground: "Mainhattan" slips into the second division.

By Sonia Shinde

 

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London is fast, dynamic and determined, is the expert assessment, in a word more American; things move more slowly in Germany. And London is very good at promoting itself. Scarcely had rumours of a Deutsche Bank move begun circulating than marketing experts in the City were agreeing a common strategy to attract the potential new corporate citizen. "There was nothing forthcoming from the City of Frankfurt," says Edgar Klein, banking expert at the Deloitte Consulting agency.

Psychologically, too, the British capital is out in front: the Anglo-German Foundation for the Study of Industrial Society calls this magnetism the "lemming effect". Financial services companies need to huddle together, they need the gossip, that is what decides thumbs up or thumbs down. The result is: "Everyone wants to be with the others." Or to put it the other way round: everyone leaves the places where others have already pulled out. "London was always Number 1 in the international finance business and it always will be," says Commerzbank spokesman Peter Pietsch. "When there are staff reductions, we never lose anyone here in London," he adds.

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