Mr. Brodtmann, Berenberg is this year sponsoring the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este for the first time. Why this event?
The Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este has an excellent reputation around the world. Berenberg is almost 340 years older than this historic event, which first brought automotive enthusiasts together on the shores of Lake Como in 1929. One characteristic that particularly drew us to this event is the combination of traditional values and futuristic concepts and visions. This is not only a hallmark of the Concorso, but also a feature that’s of great importance to us, as one of the oldest banks in the world. We are proud of the past but always looking forward, to help us actively shape the future.
Are there any other automotive events that Berenberg supports?
Yes, we’ve long been active in historic motorsport, be it the Berenberg Elephant Race for pre-War cars at the Nürburgring, or the Schloss Bensberg Classics, which we supported from the start. This year, as well as the Concorso, we’ve added the Kitzbühel Alpine Rally, plus we take our ‘1590 Berenberg Classic Team’ to various rallies and events.
Why are automotive rarities so fascinating to so many people?
“Preserve value and multiply” is a motto of our bank, and it applies not only to financial assets, but also to classic automobiles. It is not only the cultural asset itself that must be preserved, but also the joy of ownership, of caring for it, of recognising its place in history and its own special aesthetics. And, last but not least, driving a true classic is always a great treat.
Very special classic cars, as seen at the Concorso, are increasingly viewed as works of art. Are they, in your opinion, a worthwhile investment?
There have of course been some record auction prices and astonishing rises in value. However, it’s the same with any investment: you pay close attention to the market, ensure you buy and sell at exactly the right times, and in the case of classic cars, be sure to buy a correct and genuine car in good condition – and maintain it. When compared to other assets, it’s the emotional return on your investment, the sublime joy of driving that attracts buyers – independently of any monetary value.
Do you have a favourite classic?
Personally, I am passionate about Italian and British classic cars.