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Digitally enabled firms keep competitive edge

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It is essential for firms with offices in Luxembourg to build strong digitally enabled operations if they are to remain competitive as the Grand Duchy experiences an influx of players in the wake of a potential no-deal Brexit.

“We have seen increased demand for our managed data services and application management solutions,” notes George Ralph, managing partner, RFA. “Our managed data services allow firms in Luxembourg to centralise disparate data from multiple sources into a cloud-based data warehouse, where analytics tools can be applied and insights and predictions can be made. Our simple dashboards, based on Microsoft PowerBI mean our clients do not need data science skills in order to utilise advanced business intelligence capabilities.”

These services allow firms to integrate systems, create automated workflows and streamline key processes across the business. 

“By automating key processes, efficiency and accuracy benefits can be felt across the business, from the HR department, to the front office and analyst functions, to the operations and reporting teams. These kinds of digital services can really help firms stay competitive in a crowded market,” comments Ralph.

Brexit is clearly having an impact on the funds industry in Luxembourg, with many firms either opening branches in the city, or increasing activity there to ensure that they will not lose investment following a no-deal Brexit.

Figures show increased recruitment in the funds industry, some of which has been to the detriment of recruitment in London. This suggests firms are moving assets, operations and staff to Luxembourg from London. EY estimates 7500 jobs will move from London to Luxembourg and around EUR1.5 billion in AUM.

In reaction to this, Ralph says: “RFA is seeing an increase in enquiries from existing clients and prospective clients in the fund management industry, for IT infrastructure and support in Luxembourg. As a result, RFA is further strengthening its presence in Luxembourg, building the team and ensuring that cloud services continue to meet the exacting requirements of the CSSF.”

The growth in the Luxembourg industry is not completely smooth sailing. Ralph points out: “Recruitment is tricky for Luxembourg clients as demand increases and we are able to make introductions through our network of professionals in the city.

“Having been accustomed to running firms from London and New York, meeting stringent data protection and data governance requirements in Luxembourg is difficult for clients as they open offices here to bolster operations in Europe. We understand the CSSF requirements and the priorities of investors and can help our clients to meet their data governance and operational commitments.”

But despite these constraints, the outlook for Luxembourg’s industry remains positive. “We believe Luxembourg will continue to be a very important centre for the funds industry; with its AAA rated stable economy, strong relationship with the UK and pool of skilled resources. Development in the sector will mean growth in available positions for staff across front, middle and back office operations. To this end, there will need to be investment into the younger generation of professionals and attractive incentives for international professionals to relocate to the city.” 

George Ralph
Managing Director, RFA

George Ralph CITP, has successfully founded three technology firms along with C-level advisory services include M&A to numerous firms. George is a true leader and has been managing teams internationally, and leading technology transformation projects for over 20 years. A certified GDPR, Cyber assessor, Auditor, Architect and widely experienced cybersecurity and RegTech professional, George has extensive technical experience in network and server architecture, large scale migrations utilising leading technology brands, and IaaS offerings.

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