GERMANY - Stock exchange operator Deutsche Börse wants to "increase direct business with institutional investors", including pension funds, according to chief executive Reto Francioni.

The Deutsche Börse, which runs the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, is preparing to compete with German banks and asset management houses as "a neutral and independent" service provider, Francioni said.

However, he pointed out it was not so much about competition as widening the range of available products and said the Deutsche Börse group did not want to disgruntle any existing clients.

A spokesman for the Deutsche Börse confirmed to IPE that risk control was one of the fields in which the group believes it has "a lot to offer" institutional investors.

"But," he added, "it is too soon to give any more details on these plans."

Currently, all purchases of listed certificates in Germany have to be made through a bank or another broker.