Deloitte: Cross-border fund distribution confirming its position as the backbone of the financial center in Luxembourg

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Deloitte Luxembourg and Elvinger Hoss Prussen filled the European Convention Center on 2 March when the fourth edition of the annual Cross-Border Distribution conference took place. The conference, which this year was supported by Financial Times Live, gave the 600 industry professionals who registered a detailed picture of fund distribution in all its complexity, with a particular focus on current challenges and new trends. The conference has become an important meeting place for fund industry professionals in Luxembourg and beyond.

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03/03/2016 | Evènements
  • 20160303 Cross-Border conf 01

We have built on the success of the previous editions and added a new flavor to the program. This year we wanted to give very different stakeholders an opportunity to share their views and experiences on the recent developments and the new regulatory landscape. We have taken into account the position of investment managers and institutional investors, and combined this with the point of view of leading academics and political representatives from the European Parliament, the European Commission as well as from AMF and the CSSF, explained Lou Kiesch, Partner at Deloitte Luxembourg and host of the conference.

Changing investor preferences
This year’s conference highlighted the role and responsibilities of asset managers, seen from the investor’s point of view. Some of the speakers argued that asset managers have to see themselves as a solution rather than a product provider, to rebuild trust with the investors. The changes in cross-border investor preferences and expectations were also analyzed. Cross-border distribution in the context of systemic risk and the market’s ability to deliver on investor’s expectations in the changing regulatory environment led to vivid exchange of views and positions.

The conference offered different perspectives on where the market is heading and how the fund industry in Luxembourg and Europe will evolve in the short and long term. Jacques Elvinger, Partner at Elvinger Hoss Prussen and host of the conference, presented a positive outlook as for the attractiveness of Luxembourg:

“AIFMD grants a passport to professional investors and we believe it will become a brand at the same level as UCITS, especially as the private placement rules in the different EU jurisdictions are tightening. There is a clear trend of new managers coming to Luxembourg to be authorized as AIFM to benefit from the passport. This is very positive for Luxembourg.”

Record year for the fund industry
Efama, the European Fund and Asset Management Association, recently published statistics indicating that 2015 was a record year for the European investment fund industry. According to the 2015 Efama report, net sales of European investment funds rose to €725 billion in 2015 and assets under management reached €12 trillion, representing a growth rate of 11 percent.

The cross-border fund distribution activity is therefore likely to keep its position as the backbone of the financial center in Luxembourg.

Regulatory challenges
True to tradition, the constantly changing regulatory landscape was one of the main topics at the conference. The MiFID review, especially in light of the new implementation date, was thoroughly featured, with an emphasis on the importance of sound implementation strategies. Moreover, the Capital Markets Union—the European Commission’s initiative aiming at mobilizing capital in Europe by linking savings to economic growth and building a single market for capital—was also discussed in detail.  
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The list of speakers included eminent industry professionals, such as Joanna Cound (Managing Director, Blackrock), Larry Hatheway (Group Chief Economist, GAM), Jonathan Hughes-Morgan (Co-Head of International Sales, Liontrust), and Sebastian Chaker (Managing Director Asia, Calastone). The political and academic views on the industry’s current challenges were presented by Amin Rajan (CEO CREATE-Research) and Markus Ferber (Member of the European Parliament and First Vice-Chair of Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs), amongst others.

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