Market reaction to the UK’s recent decision to leave the European Union (EU) has largely been overplayed, according to Rainer Jakubowski, chairman and CFO at the BVV, the €26bn pension fund for Germany’s financial sector.

“I think the markets are prone to overreacting in situations like these,” Jakubowski told IPE.

“They eventually recovered more quickly than expected”.

He said it became clear to many that, first, a Brexit was still two years away, and second, that the “horror scenarios described prior to the vote failed to come true”.

“But,” he added, “and this is a big but – we do not know what will happen next, what a Britain without the EU will look like.”

Jakubowski said “what has really increased now is uncertainty”.

He said he hoped that, five years from now, he could look back and see that a solution was found to ensure that Brexit “did not disrupt the EU’s economic and political cooperation with Great Britain too greatly”.

He added: “Brexit is an example of the fact we are not only living in a world where interest rates were abolished by the central banks and returns are at an all-time low but also where geopolitical events keep on rattling the markets.” 

On a personal note – “as an EU citizen” – Jakubowski lamented that “nobody is talking about EU as a peace project anymore”, and said this model had been “disrupted” by the UK’s vote to leave.