Fintech, sustainable finance stressed at fund confab

Although Luxembourg’s fund sector hit €4.5trn in assets under management in August 2019, “There is no reason to be complacent in today’s environment,” said Corinne Lamesch, elected Alfi chair earlier this year. She cited challenges such as increased competition, demographic changes, Brexit, evolving technology and geopolitical tensions.

“You have to stay focused when you’re sailing through rough waters. Our priorities for the next two years are mainly sustainable finance, retirement savings, fintech and alternative assets,” stated Lamesch.

Pierre Gramegna, the finance minister (DP), noted that he had just returned from a financial sector trade mission to China. “Whenever I come back from China, I go there at least twice a year, I am both full of energy and frightened of how fast the market moves there. It’s shocking to see how advanced China is in payments and fintech,” he said.

Gramegna said that he hoped the coming pan-European personal pension product would be a “success story” for the grand duchy similar to Ucits funds (the type of retail fund that forms the backbone of Luxembourg’s funds industry).

Gramegna also pointed to environmentally responsible investments, stating: “The potential is huge. Sustainable finance is not only good for you, your conscience and your ethics; it is also good for business.”

Around 675 attendees signed up for the two-day conference, held on 24-25 September.

Reported by Laura Fort; edited by Aaron Grunwald