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Experta Corporate and Trust Services, S.A. Luxembourg (“Experta”) was launched as a fully owned subsidiary of the Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (“BIL”) in 2002 with the aim of providing a one-stop-shop solution for global corporate services.
Built on a solid and durable experience in holding companies, private equity and real estate structures for wealthy individuals and institutional clients, Experta recently restructured and reinvented itself.
This rebirth, constituting an opportunity for Experta, comes from the necessity to adapt to local and international regulations, as well as a significant intention to develop funds and regulated activities.
Since 2009, Experta has provided central administration services for alternative investment funds and is now renewing its focus on developing expertise within the regulatory world. CEO Stanislas Bunetel, a former Luxembourg fully-qualified lawyer with experience in tax and corporate fields, brought new energy into the firm with his appointment as CEO in June 2016 and has since spearheaded a complete repositioning of its strategy. “The future of the financial sector is mainly in regulated business, and this is where we are moving towards with Experta,” he says. Stanislas Bunetel, who oversaw the recruitment of new colleagues with diversified expertise, strongly believes that having the right team behind him is key to achieving success. “The strength of Experta resides in its quality in local expertise and its ability to open to clients its international network of professionals,” he underlines.
A unique new service from Experta is its all-in-one solution notably for reserved alternative investment funds (“RAIF”). This new fund structure, introduced by the Luxembourg government by the law of 23 July 2016, has the same legal and tax features of the traditional SIF and SICAR funds, without requiring direct regulation by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier, Luxembourg’s financial regulator. Instead, it must be supervised by an authorized alternative investment fund manager. RAIFs feature a much quicker time to market than its regulated counterparts, an advantage even further improved by Experta’s efficiency. “Through our internal organization, we further reduce the time to market by allowing our clients to meet all of the different parties necessary to set up the fund within the BIL group, from custodian bank (BIL), through day-to-day fund management (BIL Manage Invest) to central administration (Experta), eventually all during just one meeting,” explains Hélène Schorr, Business Unit Manager - Alternative Investment Vehicles.
The Experta team, made up of professionals with a combined long experience in the alternative fund industry, also supports clients in learning about local regulations where needed. “We offer tailor-made solutions to meet the unique needs and expectations of each client,” says Eric Kata, Head of Investment Funds Services. “Clients can even knock on our door without any knowledge of the local market and count on us to support them,” he adds.
REGULATED AND UNREGULATED WORLDS GETTING CLOSER
With the wider fund industry moving towards stricter regulations, Experta applies its already mustered regulated culture to unregulated vehicles in order to aid clients in navigating the new requirements. Romain Sazos, Head of Corporate Services, explains: “The unregulated market is now getting impacted by new laws and regulations. Recommendations and sanctions for unregulated entities already existed, but immediate economic sanctions now apply if they are not followed.” These new regulations include notably the RCSL circular of 16/03 on late filings, the law of 18 December 2015 related to annual accounts or the revamped article 100 of the law on commercial companies regarding net equity and reports on solutions to cover accumulated losses. “Experta is now taking advantage of its established expertise in regulated entities to apply its principles to the unregulated market, consequently bringing highest quality and compliance to both worlds”. François Meunier, Head of Accounting Services and member of the Executive Committee, adds, “This is the current trend among the new laws: we now need to manage unregulated clients with a similar focus as for our regulated clients.”
EVOLUTION OF NEEDS AND ADAPTATION OF SERVICES
Experta’s team is made up of experts whose role is to keep up-to-date with the many new regulations being introduced and ensuring that the rest of the company is aware of all of the implications in order to accurately advise their clients. In recent years, the international regulations coming from treaties or European laws have increased in number and complexity, FATCA, CRS, AIFM, data protection laws, regulations from the OECD, laws on criminal record and tax fraud, etc…“The importance of the compliance officer cannot be underestimated – but even if compliance has become of great importance for companies in this new regulatory climate, we shall remain business oriented as much as permitted,” says Dominique Van Giessen, Head of Compliance and member of the Executive Committee.
Another topic of focus resides in economic substance – all unregulated entities will undoubtedly need to show more and more substance in Luxembourg in order to comply with requirements set up by treaties in order to avoid requalification. “Fifteen to twenty years ago, having a registered address in Luxembourg was often enough,” explains Giacomo Di Bari, Business Unit Manager – Southern Europe & LATAM. “For many years now we have seen the need growing for offices and/or employees being located here, as well as further shifting/strengthening of activity/decision-making in Luxembourg,” he continues. The strong internal focus on ensuring the implementation of regulatory requirements means that Experta can guarantee the quality of services that it provides to clients.
AN AGILE ALTERNATIVE FOR DEMANDING CLIENTS
With its efficient team of in-house experts alongside its close relationship with BIL group, Experta offers an alternative to both major domiciliation companies and smaller players. As Stanislas Bunetel sums up: “We’re here to offer our clients the best of Luxembourgish expertise, with a focus on quality behind all of our solutions.”
Experta Corporate and Trust Services, S.A. Luxembourg Experta provides tailor-made services to clientele operating in highly complex fiscal, legal and financial environments, offering an efficient one-meeting solution for setting up regulated and unregulated structures.
2002 Creation of Experta
2016 June – Appointment of Stanislas Bunetel as CEO
8 years of alternative funds experience
43 highly-qualified experts dedicated to alternative investment funds, private equity and real estate structures for wealthy individuals, corporate and institutional clients