Navigating change and capturing opportunity

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Seizing opportunity and planning for change were the central themes that brought together almost 600 senior fund professionals at this year’s Cross-Border Distribution Conference. In its seventh year, the conference is now a global event recognized by regulators, leading asset managers and experts from across 18 countries and over 270 companies.

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21/02/2019 |
  • Lou Kiesch

On Tuesday 12 February, Deloitte Luxembourg and Elvinger Hoss, with the support of Financial Times Live, hosted the seventh annual Cross-Border Distribution Conference where regulators, leading asset managers and experts gathered at the European Convention Center. The agenda featured a keynote speech from John Emerson, former US Ambassador to Germany and Global Relationship Manager and Vice Chairman Capital Group International.

The full-day conference featured discussions and debate on the state of the industry, the impact of regulatory changes and the challenges Brexit presents. The closing panel focused on the shifting sands of Europe’s financial hub post-Brexit. In a lively panel discussion, there  were a variety of views, but there was also widespread agreement on the need for broad collaboration once the UK leave the EU.

Lou Kiesch, Partner and Regulatory Consulting Leader at Deloitte Luxembourg and co-host of the conference stated “Change is one of the only constants in our industry and this year, with regulatory changes and Brexit, these evolutions seem even more unique and multifaceted. Collaboration between the different actors and facing these challenges as an industry is how we will succeed”.

“We are living in a moment of unique challenges and change, some of which we won’t fully be able to evaluate for generations to come. However, we are also living in a moment of enormous opportunity, and the chance to take advantage of this should not be missed” added Jacques Elvinger, Partner at Elvinger Hoss and co-host of the conference.

Looking to the East

Understanding the outlook for fund distribution in Asia was also a central topic on the agenda. With wealth moving East where APAC’s asset management industry currently accounts for around 17 percent of global AuM, expert panellists Paul Ellis, Global Head of Regulatory Product Management, HSBC and Sally Wong, Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong Investment Funds Association, stressed the potential and importance of the Asian opportunity as part of overall fund distribution strategy. Given the diverse nature of the market, comprised of over 30 countries, crucial importance was placed on the creation of a strategic roadmap for each territory. Understanding the dynamics and policies of each region, where approximately 75 percent of European cross-border investment funds sold within APAC are distributed solely to investors based in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, is of vital importance.

Balance for better

Integrating gender diversity into the ESG and the wider funds industry was a hot topic at the conference. The panel discussed the reasons why, despite the well-known business case for investing in women in the workplace to the economy, the industry is still playing catch up. Inclusion was a key element to the discussion and the need for the entire industry to work together to promote diversity.

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