Frankfurt, officially Frankfurt am Main, is a city in the German state of Hesse. Situated on the River Main, it forms a continuous conurbation with the neighbouring city of Offenbach am Main. The city is also the heart of the larger Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region. Frankfurt's central business district is known as Bankenviertel and designates an area in the city centre where many banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions are located. It is the most important financial centre in Germany.
Frankfurt is a global hub for commerce, culture, education, tourism and transportation. It is the site of many global and European corporate headquarters. In addition, Frankfurt Airport is the busiest in Germany, one of the busiest in the world, the airport with the most direct routes in the world, and the primary hub for Lufthansa, the national airline of Germany. Frankfurt is one of the major financial centres of the European continent, with the headquarters of the European Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Deutsche Bank, DZ Bank, KfW, Commerzbank, several cloud and fintech startups and other institutes. Automotive, technology and research, services, consulting, media and creative industries complement the economic base. Frankfurt's DE-CIX is the world's largest internet exchange point. Messe Frankfurt is one of the world's largest trade fairs. Major fairs include the Music Fair and the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest book fair.
Frankfurt is home to influential educational institutions, including the Goethe University, the UAS, the FUMPA and graduate schools like the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. Its renowned cultural venues include the concert hall Alte Oper, continental Europe's largest English theatre and many museums (e.g. the Museumsufer ensemble with Städel and Liebieghaus, Senckenberg Natural Museum, Goethe House and the Schirn art venue at the old town). Frankfurt's skyline is shaped by some of Europe's tallest skyscrapers. The city is also characterised by various green areas and parks, including the central Wallanlagen, the City Forest, two major botanical gardens (the Palmengarten and the University's Botanical Garden) and the Frankfurt Zoo. In sports, the city is known as the home of the top-tier football club Eintracht Frankfurt, the Löwen Frankfurt ice hockey team, the basketball club Frankfurt Skyliners, the Frankfurt Marathon and the venue of Ironman Germany. It was also one of the host cities of the 1974 and 2006 FIFA World Cups.
Frankfurt is one of the world's most important financial centres and Germany's financial capital. The city's importance as a financial centre has risen since the establishment of two institutions: the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and the European Systemic Risk Board). According to an annual study by Cushman & Wakefield, the European Cities Monitor, Frankfurt has been one of the top three cities for international companies in Europe. Frankfurt has the highest concentration of jobs in Germany. On work days and Saturdays, one million people commute from all over the Rhein-Main-Area. Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc., Standard Chartered Plc and Nomura Holdings Inc. have all announced they would move their EU headquarters to Frankfurt. Frankfurt is home to two important central banks: the German Bundesbank and the European Central Bank (ECB).
European Central Bank The European Central Bank (Europäische Zentralbank) is one of the world's most important central banks. The ECB sets monetary policy for the Eurozone, consisting of 19 EU member states that have adopted the Euro (€) as their common currency. From 1998 the ECB Headquarters have been located in Frankfurt, first in the Eurotower at Willy-Brandt-Platz and in two other nearby high-rises. The new Seat of the European Central Bank in the Ostend district, consisting of the former wholesale market hall (Großmarkthalle) and a newly built 185-metre skyscraper, was completed in late 2014. The new building complex was designed to accommodate up to 2,300 ECB personnel. The location is a few kilometres away from the city centre and borders an industrial area as well as the Osthafen (East Harbour), It was primarily chosen because of its large premises which allows the ECB to install security arrangements without high fences. The city honours the importance of the ECB by officially using the slogan "The City of the Euro" since 1998.
Deutsche Bundesbank The Deutsche Bundesbank (German Federal Bank), located in Ginnheim, was established in 1957 as the central bank for the Federal Republic of Germany. Until the euro (€) was introduced in 1999, the Deutsche Bundesbank was responsible for the monetary policy of Germany and for the German currency, the Deutsche Mark (DM). The Bundesbank was greatly respected for its control of inflation through the second half of the 20th century. Today the Bundesbank is an integral part of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) which is formed by all 27 EU member states.
Commercial banks In 2010, 63 national and 152 international banks had a registered office, including the headquarters of the major German banks, as well as 41 offices of international banks. Frankfurt is therefore known as Bankenstadt ("City of the banks") and nicknamed "Mainhattan" (a portmanteau of the local Main river and Manhattan in New York City) or "Bankfurt". 73,200 people were employed at banks in 2010. • Deutsche Bank — Germany's largest commercial bank. It had 15% share of private customers and total assets of €1,900 billion in 2010. Deutsche Bank ranks among the 30 largest banks in the world and the ten largest banks in Europe. Deutsche Bank is listed on the DAX, the stock market index of the 30 largest German business companies at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. In November 2010 Deutsche Bank bought the majority of shares of competitor Postbank. Its headquarters are located at Taunusanlage in the financial district. • DZ Bank — Central institution for more than 900 co-operative banks (Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken) and their 12,000 branch offices in Germany and is a corporate and investment bank. It is Germany's second-largest bank (total assets: €509 billion). The DZ Bank Group defines itself primarily as a service provider for the local Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken and their 30 million clients. The DZ Bank headquarters are the Westend Tower and the City-Haus at Platz der Republik. The DZ Bank Group includes Union Investment, DVB Bank and Reisebank, which are also headquartered in Frankfurt. • KfW Bankengruppe — Government-owned development bank formed in 1948 as part of the Marshall Plan. KfW provides loans for approved purposes at lower rates than commercial banks, especially to medium-sized businesses. With total assets of €507 billion (2017), it is Germany's third-largest bank. The KfW headquarters are located in the Westend district at Bockenheimer Landstraße and Senckenberganlage. • Commerzbank — Germany's fourth-largest bank by total assets (2017). In 2009, Commerzbank merged with competitor Dresdner Bank, then the third-largest German bank. Due to the merger and the higher credit risks, Commerzbank was 25% nationalized during the Great Recession. It is listed in the DAX. Its headquarters are at Commerzbank Tower (259 metres), the second-tallest building in the EU, at Kaiserplatz. • Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen – Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen, or short Helaba, is a commercial bank owned by the states of Hesse and Thuringia (Landesbank). As such, it is a service provider for the local German public banks (Sparkassen). Helaba is one of nine Landesbanken and is the fifth-largest in Germany. It is located in the 200-metre-tall Main Tower in the financial district, the only skyscraper in Frankfurt with an observation desk open to the public. • DekaBank – DekaBank is the central asset manager of the Sparkassen in Germany. The headquarters of DekaBank are located at the Trianon skyscraper at Mainzer Landstraße. • ING Diba Germany – Germany's largest direct bank, headquartered in Bockenheim. Other major German banks include Frankfurter Volksbank, the second-largest Volksbank in Germany, Frankfurter Sparkasse and old-established private banks such as Bankhaus Metzler, Hauck & Aufhäuser and Delbrück Bethmann Maffei.
Many international banks have a registered or a representative office, e.g., Credit Suisse, UBS, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of China, Banco do Brasil, Itaú Unibanco Société Générale, BNP Paribas, SEB, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays.
Frankfurt Stock Exchange The Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse) began in the 9th century. By the 16th century Frankfurt had developed into an important European hub for trade fairs and financial services. Today the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is by far the largest in Germany, with a turnover of more than 90 percent of the German stock market and is the third-largest in Europe after the London Stock Exchange and the European branch of the NYSE Euronext. The most important stock market index is the DAX, the index of the 30 largest German business companies listed at the stock exchange. The stock exchange is owned and operated by Deutsche Börse, which is itself listed in the DAX. Deutsche Börse also owns the European futures exchange Eurex and clearing company Clearstream. Trading takes place exclusively via the Xetra trading system, with redundant floor brokers taking on the role of market-makers on the new platform.
On 1 February 2012 European Commission blocked the proposed merger of Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext. "The merger between Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext would have led to a near-monopoly in European financial derivatives worldwide. These markets are at the heart of the financial system and it is crucial for the whole European economy that they remain competitive. We tried to find a solution, but the remedies offered fell far short of resolving the concerns." European competition commissioner Joaquín Almunia said.
It is located in the city centre at the Börsenplatz. Deutsche Börse's headquarters are formally registered in Frankfurt, but it moved most of its employees to a high-rise called "The Cube" in Eschborn in 2010, primarily due to significantly lower local corporate taxes.
Frankfurt Trade Fair Frankfurt Trade Fair (Messe Frankfurt) has the third-largest exhibition site in the world with a total of 578,000 square metres (6,221,540 square feet). The trade fair premises are located in the western part between Bockenheim, the Westend and the Gallus district. It houses ten exhibition halls with a total of 321,754 square meters (3,463,331 square feet) of space and 96,078 square metres (1,034,175 square feet) of outdoor space.
Hosted in Frankfurt are the Frankfurt Motor Show (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung – IAA), the world's largest auto show, the Frankfurt Book Fair (Frankfurter Buchmesse), the world's largest book fair, the Ambiente Frankfurt, the world's largest consumer goods fair, the Achema, the world's largest plant engineering fair, and many more like Paperworld, Christmasworld, Beautyworld, Tendence Lifestyle or Light+Building.
Messe Frankfurt GmbH, the owner and operator company, organized 87 exhibitions in 2010, 51 thereof in foreign countries. It is one of the largest trade fair companies with commercial activities in over 150 countries.
Aviation Frankfurt Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world and is also the single largest place of work in Germany with over 500 companies which employ 71,500 people. Fraport is the owner and operator of Frankfurt Airport. It is the airport's second-largest employer.
The largest company at Frankfurt Airport is Lufthansa, Germany's flag carrier and Europe's largest airline. Lufthansa employs 35,000 people in Frankfurt. The Lufthansa Aviation Center (LAC) is the main operation base of Lufthansa at Frankfurt Airport. The airport serves as Lufthansa's primary hub with 157 world-wide destinations. Lufthansa Cargo is based in Frankfurt and operates its largest cargo centre (LCC) at Frankfurt Airport. Lufthansa Flight Training is also based here.
Condor is a German airline based at Frankfurt Airport.
Accountancy and professional services Three of the four largest international accountancy and professional services firms (Big Four) are present. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) German headquarters are located at Tower 185. KPMG moved its European Headquarters (KPMG Europe LLP) to The Squaire. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu are present, while Ernst & Young is located in Eschborn.
Credit rating agencies The three major international credit rating agencies – Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch Ratings – have their German headquarters in Frankfurt.
Investment trust companies DWS Investments is the largest investment trust company in Germany and manages €288 billion fund assets. It is one of the 10 largest investment trust companies in the world. Other large investment trust companies are Allianz Global Investors Europe (a division of Allianz SE, and a top-five global active investment manager with €1,933 billion assets under management globally), Union Investment and Deka Investmentfonds.
Management consultancies Many of the largest international management consultancies are represented, including Arthur D. Little, McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, Booz & Company, Oliver Wyman, Bearing Point, Capgemini, Bain & Company and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.
Real estate services companies Located in Frankfurt are the German headquarters of Jones Lang LaSalle and BNP Paribas Real Estate.
Law firms Frankfurt has the highest concentration of lawyers in Germany, with one lawyer per 97 inhabitants. Most of the large international law firms maintain offices, among them Allen & Overy, Baker & McKenzie, Bird & Bird, Clifford Chance, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Debevoise & Plimpton, DLA Piper, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Hogan Lovells, Jones Day, Latham & Watkins, Linklaters, Mayer Brown, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, Norton Rose, Shearman & Sterling, Sidley Austin, SJ Berwin, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Sullivan & Cromwell, K&L Gates, Taylor Wessing and White & Case.
Advertising agencies Frankfurt is also a centre for media companies. Around 570 companies of the advertising industry and 270 public relations companies are there. According to a ranking of German FOCUS magazine seven of the 48 largest advertising agencies in Germany are based in Frankfurt, including Havas, Dentsu, McCann-Erickson, Saatchi & Saatchi, JWT, and Publicis.
Food Frankfurt is home to the German headquarters of Nestlé, the world's largest food company, located in Niederrad. Other important food companies are Ferrero SpA (German headquarters) and Radeberger Gruppe KG, the largest private brewery group in Germany.
Automotive The South-Korean automobile manufacturer Kia Motors moved its European headquarters to Frankfurt in 2007. In the same year, Italian manufacturer Fiat opened its new German headquarters. The automotive supplier Continental AG has the headquarters and a major manufacturing plant of its Chassis & Safety division (formerly ITT Automotive) located in Frankfurt Rödelheim.
Construction Some of the largest German construction companies have offices, e.g., Bilfinger Berger, Hochtief, Züblin and BAM Deutschland.
Property and real estate Frankfurt has Germany's highest concentration of homeowners. This is partly attributed to the financial sector, but also to its cosmopolitan nature, with expatriates and immigrants representing one-fourth of its population. For this reason, Frankfurt's property market often operates differently than the rest of the country where the prices are generally flatter.
Tourism Frankfurt is one of Germany's leading tourist destinations. In addition to its infrastructure and economy, its diversity supports a vibrant cultural scene. This blend of attractions led 4.3 million tourists to visit Frankfurt. The Hotels in central Frankfurt offer 34,000 beds in 228 hotels, of which 13 are luxury hotels and 46 are first-class hotels.
Other Frankfurt is home to companies from the chemical, transportation, telecommunication and energy industries. Some of the larger companies are: • Industriepark Höchst — An industrial park in Höchst. It is one of Germany's largest with over 90 companies from the pharmaceutical, the chemical and the biotechnology industry, including Celanese, Clariant, BASF, Merck KGaA and Siemens. It was founded by chemical company Hoechst AG in 1874. At the beginning of the 1980s Hoechst AG was the largest pharmaceutical corporation and Industriepark Höchst was known as "the pharmacy of the world". Hoechst AG merged with Rhône-Poulenc to become Aventis in 1999 and in 2004 Aventis merged with Sanofi-Synthélabo to become Sanofi-Aventis. In 2005, around 22,000 people worked at Industriepark Höchst. In 2011, Ticona now part of Celanese, an international manufacturer of engineering polymers, moved to Industriepark Höchst. • Deutsche Bahn – Deutsche Bahn subsidiaries DB Fernverkehr, DB Regio, DB Stadtverkehr, DB Netz, DB Schenker and the corporate development department of Deutsche Bahn are Frankfurt-based. • Deutsche Telekom – Deutsche Telekom's subsidiary T-Systems is Frankfurt-based. • COLT – Telecommunications company with Frankfurt-based German headquarters. • CenturyLink — internet service provider with German headquarters in Frankfurt. • DE-CIX – Frankfurt is an important location for electronic communication, especially the Internet. It is home to DE-CIX, the world's largest internet exchange point, and also the place where domain names are registered for top-level-domain ".de". • Mainova – The largest regional energy supplier in Germany with about one million customers in Hesse. It provides electricity, gas, heat and water. Its headquarters are Frankfurt-based.
Suburban businesses Within Frankfurt's urban area are several important companies.
The business centre of Eschborn is located right at Frankfurt's city limits in the west and attracts businesses with significantly lower corporate taxes compared to Frankfurt. Major companies in Eschborn include Ernst & Young, Vodafone Germany, Randstad Holding and VR Leasing. Deutsche Börse moved most of its employees to Eschborn in 2010.
Rüsselsheim is internationally known for its automobile manufacturer Opel, one of the biggest automobile manufacturers in Germany. With 20,000 employees in 2003, Opel was one of the five largest employers in Hesse.
Offenbach am Main is home to the European headquarters of automobile manufacturer Hyundai Motor Company, to the German headquarters of automobile manufacturer Honda, to Honeywell Germany and to Deutscher Wetterdienst, the central scientific agency that monitors weather and meteorological conditions over Germany.
Two DAX companies are located in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA and Fresenius Medical Care. Other major companies are Hewlett-Packard, Bridgestone, Deutsche Leasing and Basler Versicherungen.
Kronberg im Taunus is home of the German headquarters of automobile manufacturer Jaguar Cars as well as the German headquarters of Accenture.
Lufthansa Systems, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, is located in Kelsterbach.
LSG Sky Chefs, another subsidiary of Lufthansa, is located in Neu-Isenburg.
The German headquarters of Thomas Cook Group are based in Oberursel.
Langen is home to Deutsche Flugsicherung, the German air traffic control.
Frankfurt am Main is rated Alpha by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Alpha level cities are linked to major economic states and regions and into the world economy.
Frankfurt am Main is the #16 city in the world according to the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) which evaluates and ranks the competitiveness of the major financial centres of the world according to a wide range of criteria – Human Capital, Business, Finance, Infrastructure and Reputation.
Frankfurt am Main is the #17 city in the world according to the Global Power City Index (GPCI) which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to their magnetism, or their comprehensive power to attract people, capital, and enterprises from around the world. It does so through measuring six key functions: Economy, Research and Development, Cultural Interaction, Liveability, Environment, and Accessibility.
Frankfurt am Main is ranked #22 by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. Frankfurt am Main is rated C+ by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. C+ cities are strong international gateway cities. Frankfurt am Main was ranked #135 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Frankfurt am Main has a population of over 763,380 people. Frankfurt am Main also forms part of the wider Frankfurt Rhine-Main metropolitan area which has a population of over 5,800,000 people. Frankfurt am Main is the #150 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 3.9097 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents.
Frankfurt is twinned with: Birmingham, England, United Kingdom • Budapest, Hungary • Deuil-la-Barre, France • Dubai, United Arab Emirates • Eskişehir, Turkey • Granada, Nicaragua • Guangzhou, China • Kraków, Poland • Leipzig, Germany • Lyon, France • Milan, Italy • Philadelphia, United States • Prague, Czech Republic • Tel Aviv, Israel • Toronto, Canada.
Frankfurt has friendly relations with: Cairo, Egypt • Yokohama, Japan.