This report examines the opportunities for growth in the funds industry, with Luxembourg at the epicentre. It discusses the capacity for expansion in the realm of private equity, real estate and venture capital and the impact of digitalisation
The 'Luxembourg Fund Services in Focus 2020' special report comprises 10 separate articles listed below, these can be read individually or as a sequence.
By A Paris – Uncertainty remains the order of the day as the world heads into a period of slow recovery which risks being scuppered by a variety of factors including the US elections, trade tensions and the prolonged impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Financial services practitioners in Luxembourg, like their peers in other jurisdictions, have had to navigate this volatile environment while continuing to provide a seamless service to clients.
By Marc-André Bechet, ALFI – Luxembourg is in a quite unique position as a global funds jurisdiction compared to other financial centres in the European Union. The country enjoys an unrivalled political and economic stability. It benefits from a triple A rating with a stable outlook, which has been re-confirmed in September by the three rating agencies Fitch, Standard & Poor’s and DBRS Morningstar. Luxembourg is one of the ten countries worldwide with a triple A rating. Debt to GDP, although on the rise as a consequence of the current crisis, will soon reach 26 per cent but remains well below debt levels in the EU.
There are several macroeconomic factors which support further growth in the private equity, venture capital and real estate space in Luxembourg. Although events like Covid-19, the Brexit transition, US elections and the US-China trade war may damage this potential, managers can also find opportunity in the turmoil.
Luxembourg remains a key hub of fund distribution. However, the complexity of the European regulation has seen a rise in managers setting up more parallel funds in other jurisdictions. This is done to accommodate non-EU investors, who may struggle with the demands of the EU fund regulations.
Q&A with Marcus Peter & Irina Stoliarova, GSK Stockman
What are the key trends currently driving growth and development within Luxembourg’s funds industry?
By Stephane Pesch, LPEA – As the world tumbles into a period of economic and political uncertainty, private equity relies on its long term investment strategy and eyes the calm after the storm. Meanwhile, investors and fund managers are drawn to the safe harbour of Luxembourg, one of the few they can rely on these days.
The private equity industry is currently navigating a number of challenges in addition to the Covid-19 pandemic, which the whole world is facing. As regulation and political will around environment, social and governance (ESG) factors grows, PE firms are coming under increased pressure to incorporate this approach into their investment strategies. These firms are also keeping a close eye on the progress of the Brexit negotiations to make sure to maintain their access to Europe.
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.
By Stéphane Badey, Arendt – These are uncertain times, but three solid trends driving the Luxembourg investment funds market can be highlighted.
As Luxembourg attracts growing numbers of fund managers and service providers, the progress is raising concerns among those with existing operations in the region. Attracting and retaining top talent is becoming more of a struggle as the number of players increases and the industry needs around compliance continue to mount.