Meeting of the Working Group on Finance and Taxation
At the invitation of Wolfgang Weitnauer, attorney, and his office, the Working Group on Finance and Taxation met on 23 July in Munich. There, a dozen working group members discussed various topics examined by three working groups at the Börse 2.0 roundtable of Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel. Dirk Honold, who moderated the working group meeting, reported on tough standpoints that have been brought to the lowest common denominator by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF). Ultimately, the objective of all measures should be to once again enable IPOs by German high-tech companies, including biotech firms. The target is currently 15 to 20 per year. In the discussion, considerable doubts were expressed as to whether the measures and proposals under assessment can realistically lead to this goal. In view of this, the question of which topics the working group should continue to examine was also hotly debated. An agreement was reached that all working group members would be surveyed as to their top five topics and priorities. The survey results will be discussed at the next meeting of the Working Group on Finance, which is being planned to coincide with the CEO/CFO meeting in Reutlingen on 3 and 4 December. The host’s keynote speech, examining the “10 golden exit rules” with a wide-ranging programme, fit in very well thematically with the afternoon conference. All the working group members were invited to attend. Group leaders Oliver Schacht and Dirk Honold thanked Wolfgang Weitnauer and his team for their generous free offer. The conference provided many other opportunities to discuss and network with old and new acquaintances from the biotech and venture capital scenes as well as with start-up entrepreneurs. Lectures and lively panel discussions took place on topics such as “The growing role of family offices”, “Corporate venturing vs. accelerators” and “Exit & IPO”. Insights into the life science start-up scene in Israel and their systematic exit preparations were also discussed.