PLACE FINANCIÈRE & MARCHÉS — Fonds

CARTE BLANCHE – ALFI 2021

Luxembourg, your domicile of choice



Steve Bernat: “Today, our country’s fund industry is recognised globally for its expertise and sophistication servicing a wide range of asset management clients from around the world.” (Photo: ONE group solutions) 

Steve Bernat: “Today, our country’s fund industry is recognised globally for its expertise and sophistication servicing a wide range of asset management clients from around the world.” (Photo: ONE group solutions) 

I was born in 1978, the year the last iron mine in Luxembourg was about to close. My great-­grandfather had worked and died here because the mine collapsed. The local steel industry, which at the time employed some 25,000 ­workers, including my grandfather, was still the backbone of Luxembourg’s economy, even though it had just been hit by a crash in steel production.

My father had just started working for the Luxembourg state bank, a sector that had experienced some recent growth. However, we were still ten years away from the implementation of the first UCITS directive into local law from where the investment fund industry emerged and which propelled the Grand Duchy’s fund centre onto the world stage with now more than €5 trillion in assets under management.

Today, our country’s fund industry is recognised globally for its expertise and sophistication servicing a wide range of asset management clients from around the world. Out of the top 100 asset managers worldwide, 98 have chosen Luxembourg as the domicile of their international fund ranges, and the base from which they ­distribute into 77 countries. 19 out of the top 20 global private equity houses do business from Luxembourg and the world’s 20 largest real estate managers have operations here, resulting in Luxembourg-based regulated alternative fund assets of close to €1 trillion.

Given those numbers, one would think that most players in the asset management industry are already active in Europe’s largest fund domicile! But every year, we see more asset managers from all over the world launching their first fund in Luxembourg. Furthermore, new service providers keep entering this dynamic market. Why?

Luxembourg has been able to transform itself during the last century from one of the largest steel producers to one of the largest fund jurisdictions in the world because it kept reinventing itself, never resting on its laurels, knowing how important innovation would be for the future of the country.

Leading by example, the fund industry has further enhanced its fund toolbox over the past few years to ensure tailored solutions are available for an international client base. Fund service ­providers have developed sophisticated outsourcing solutions that make it easy for managers to launch and run their fund from Luxembourg.

Looking back at my ancestors in the iron mining and steel industries, I am rather proud of what Luxembourg has become. This reminds me of Luxembourg’s national motto, from a poem written by Michel Lentz in 1859: “We want to remain what we are.” We want to remain innovative, forward thinking with a can-do attitude, and Europe’s number one fund centre!

Cet article a été rédigé pour  l’édition magazine de Paperjam du mois d’octobre  parue le 23 septembre 2021.

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