Israel’s blossoming financial sector

“The coronavirus really had a positive effect in our sector,” said Langermann, co-founder and co-CEO of Mor Langermann, one of the leading investment banking firms in Israel.

High rise construction in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
High rise construction in Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

“The financial sector in Israel this past year, despite the pandemic, really blossomed,” Eti Langermann and Ori Mor, co-founders and co-CEOS of Mor Langermann recently told The Jerusalem Post.

Mor Langermann, established in 2015, is one of the leading investment banking firms in Israel, with decades of experience in capital markets, deal making and advising on investments.

The co-CEOS sat down with The Post to discuss trends in investment banking, the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on financial investments and the lack of women in entrepreneurship roles.

“Our company specializes in three main fields - Israeli real estate, finance, and hi-tech,” Mor said. “From raising private capital, public capital and debt to advising clients on initial public offerings (IPOs) and creating fundraising strategies.”

The firm, he said, comprised of 12 dedicated employees hailing from backgrounds in finance and tech, “knows how to talk with the world of financial institutions.”

 Ori Mor and Eti Langermann.  (credit: EITAN TAL) Ori Mor and Eti Langermann. (credit: EITAN TAL)

According to Mor and Langermann today, two years into the coronavirus pandemic these three fields are significantly developing and growing in Israel.

“The coronavirus really had a positive effect in our sector,” said Langermann. “You might even dare to say that in the financial world it had more of a positive effect than a negative one.”

The first field that was impacted by the pandemic is real estate.

“This is a very hot field in Israel today, whether we are talking about residential or for logistics centers,” Mor said. “On the investments side there is great interest, and it is obvious why, the prices are only rising and additionally there are many companies in the field of urban renewal that are in need of money.”

Langermann added that with regards to real estate, “the more money in the market, the more activity we see in this field.

“Everyone who made money during the pandemic, it doesn’t matter in what sector, in the end a significant portion of this money flows into real estate,” she said.

The reason for this, she explained, is that people see real estate as providing a sense of a safe and steady investment long term.

“Activity in this field significantly increased, and, as such, we are enjoying the fruits of this growth,” she said.

The second area experiencing a boost, according to Mor, are private investments into institutional bodies, mainly technologies.

“Until two years ago financial bodies barely conducted private transactions in tech, and that is an understatement,” he said. “Yet, sometime after the coronavirus pandemic this field began to develop. Since then, they have developed great expertise in the field and today they operate just as do the VC firms in the field.”

The firm’s activities in the tech field range from fintech to energy to automotive and many more. All these areas, according to Mor and Langermann are of great interest to investors.

The third sector that is experiencing major growth is the fin-co or fintech sectors, they said.

“The stock market really blossomed this past year, and we are very active in the stock market,” said Langermann. “The amount of advising on IPOs that we conducted increased significantly.”

“The amount of money that flowed into the market also brought a significant development to the world of equity,” she added.

In looking to the future, Mor said he believes these three fields will remain very relevant for the coming year.

“They are growing and developing, and increasing skilled manpower in these sectors, and in real estate, you can see that there were many investments by financial institutions and urban renewal companies - these will continue,” he said.

Yet not all the achievements of this past year will transfer to the next.

According to Langermann one area that enjoyed tremendous success this year but that will likely wind down is IPOs. “IPOs in the Israeli stock exchange will likely take a downturn, after there were more than 100 in the last year, the rate will most likely decline in the coming year.”

Additionally, the two co-CEOs said that for the future they would like to see more women in the senior positions in the world of investment banking.

“The banking system in Israel has a lot of women, and a history of women, in senior positions. However, the investment banking world has very few women,” Langermann said.

She believes this field correlates directly to female entrepreneurship, rather than to the financial side.

“We still have a long way to go for women to breakthrough as entrepreneurs, whether in tech or on the financial non-banking side,” she said.

Mor agreed, and said there are many senior positions held by women across many sectors in Israel, especially in banking, but less so when it comes to entrepreneurship.

Still, the two remain very optimistic for the coming year. “The Israeli economy is growing across numerous sectors and branches and we will likely see investments continue to grow,” Langermann said.

“It is going to be a very interesting few years ahead,” added Mor.