The new university, the Hochschule für Bankwirtschaft (College of Banking) – usually abbreviated to HfB – met these needs and more by providing a degree course in business administration. From the outset, the course included a compulsory semester abroad and training in a foreign language.
To start with, the university focused exclusively on bank employees. They would start their degree courses once they had completed their bank training, working part-time in parallel with their studies.
1992 saw the inception of the International Affairs unit, subsequently rechristened International Advisory Services (IAS). The unit’s consultants and trainers managed development finance projects in emerging and developing nations. IAS swiftly earned a first-class reputation as a microfinance specialist in particular. Clients and partners included international donor organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international finance companies. Until ConCap was set up in April 2009, IAS also advised the fund management team at the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), the largest investment fund for SME finance and housing development in southeast Europe.
In 1995, the Corporate Programmes & Services unit was launched. In addition to open seminars, the unit offered companies in-house training programmes, as well as outsourcing and consulting services. The new business unit met a growing demand for seminars and training courses that delivered knowledge and skills in specific areas of financial specialisation. The unit also helped companies to fulfil their needs in all areas of professional development.
In 2000, following the ratification of the Bologna Process, HfB was one of the first universities in Germany to convert its degree courses to the favoured Bachelor and Master formats. The range of degree programmes on offer continues to expand steadily, and now covers all areas of finance and management.
2001 saw the creation of a subsidiary, efiport AG, that focused primarily on the design of e-learning tools for delivering banking and finance-related content. The Internet boom of the late 1990s had a direct impact on learning and study methods. E-learning elements were used to supplement classroom-style seminars and more conventional approaches based on textbooks and study materials.
Shortly after this, in 2003, the organisation engaged in its first joint venture by acquiring a stake in the Shanghai International Banking & Finance Institute (SIBFI). Today, Frankfurt School is the majority shareholder.
In 2004, HfB gained the right to award doctorates, in the process becoming a state-recognised university. The research side was expanded. The Doctoral Programme in Finance, Management & Accounting was launched. And the organisation became steadily more international; most Master programmes were now taught exclusively in English.
In early 2007, just in time to celebrate the institution’s fiftieth anniversary, all the university’s educational and advisory services were united under the umbrella of a new brand: Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.
During 2007, Frankfurt School also absorbed vbb – Vereinigung für Bankberufsbildung e. V. (Association for Professional Bank Training), in the process combining the experience and skills of two of the German finance industry’s longest-serving educational and advisory institutions.
In April 2009, Frankfurt School transferred all management and consulting activities aimed at funds specialising in development finance to a dedicated subsidiary: ConCap Connective Capital.