Deloitte: The third Cross-Border Distribution conference confirmed Luxembourg’s position as the gateway to European operations in the fund industry

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Around 500 local and international participants attended the third Cross-Border Distribution conference in Luxembourg on Tuesday 3 March. The conference was jointly organised by Deloitte and Elvinger Hoss & Prussen.

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  • Cross-Border audience

This year’s conference revolved around three aspects of cross-border distribution; new distribution channels, opportunities in a global marketplace and the changing regulatory landscape.

Centre of excellence
Luxembourg is the largest European fund domicile and the second largest fund centre in the world after the United States. Moreover, Luxembourg is the leading centre for cross-border distribution of investment funds. The annual Cross-Border Distribution conference has become a unique reference and an important meeting point for the Luxembourg fund industry. 
“The conference is an outspoken and independent conference. It is an ideal forum for fund professionals to share insights on the regulatory agenda since it covers all the distribution-related matters the fund industry is currently facing,” explained Lou Kiesch, Partner at Deloitte Luxembourg and host of the conference.

UCITS and AIFs hand in hand
Whilst the overall theme of the conference was linked to the future of UCITS (Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities) and AIFs (Alternative Investment Funds), it also shared insights on mass affluent investors, the importance of corporate culture and the new additions to the regulatory landscape such as MIFID II and PRIIPs.

One of the recurring questions throughout the speeches and panel discussions was whether AIFs and related products will see the same success as UCITS. Luxembourg is globally known for its expertise in UCITS and the fund professionals shared their views on AIFMD and discussed how it may affect Luxembourg’s position as a leading domicile for AIFs.

“When it comes to UCITS, the key success factor is the passport for distribution to retail investors in the EU and beyond. AIFMD will lead to new opportunities for the marketing of Alternative Funds to professional investors. The framework is there, but the rules are complex and we have noticed a general need for information and discussion,” explained Jacques Elvinger, Partner at Elvinger, Hoss & Prussen and host of the conference.

The conference offered a fruitful and broad exchange of ideas on where the market is heading and how Luxembourg will evolve in its role as a global centre of excellence in the fund industry.

Looking to China
The strong development of the Chinese economy is receiving increasing attention on the global scene. Luxembourg ranks first in Europe in terms of Renminbi deposits. Currently, six of the biggest Chinese banks are present in Luxembourg and have chosen Luxembourg as the gateway to their European operations.

‘Opportunities in China and views on distribution opportunities for China in Europe’ was therefore one of the featured topics of this year’s conference. A special focus was placed on the ongoing liberalisation and globalisation of the Chinese capital market and what it means to fund professionals in other jurisdictions.

The conference’s keynote speakers included Edward Bonham Carter (Vice Chairman, Jupiter Fund Management plc), Dr. Matthias Liermann (MD and Head of Global Product Platforms, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management) and Jean-Marc Goy (Counsel for International Affairs, CSSF).

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