An unprecedented initiative was launched on Thursday evening by the outgoing finance minister, Yuriko Backes (DP), and the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (Lhoft): the Catapult Future Foundation is intended to offer effective technological solutions to any and all local players who need them.
Backes stated: “As a leading hub for financial services, ranging from international asset management to wealth management, from listing and post-trade services to cross-border insurance and payment services, Luxembourg is ideally positioned to leverage the strengths of its financial centre ecosystem to develop shared solutions aimed at reducing costs and promoting efficiency for the industry as a whole. The Ministry of Finance is therefore proud to support this pioneering initiative by Lhoft to help catalyse mutualisation efforts in the financial centre.”
Pooling, the key to collective success
Common challenges such as “KYC, data transfer and management, and ESG are the main concerns of industry leaders today,” said the chair of the steering committee for the new initiative, Hind El Gaidi. “In all these areas, they are looking for solutions to achieve significant cost savings, improve efficiency and strengthen Luxembourg’s competitive position in financial services, to the benefit of all stakeholders. Pooling, the key to collective success.”
“Mutualised utilities offer an excellent opportunity to share resources and solutions for greater efficiency and collaboration within the financial sector,” said its vice chair, Ananda Kautz.
How will it work? A committee has been set up to gather detailed solution requirements, which will be used as a guide to issue a call for technology providers and fintech companies. Selected participants will engage with stakeholders and delve deeper into industry needs during a week-long bootcamp. The ultimate goal is to develop a proof of concept in collaboration with leading Luxembourg institutions.
Project manager and committee
A project manager, Anna Sobkow, has been recruited by Lhoft to lead the operational side of the project. The committee includes 13 representatives from the sector:
- Chair Hind El Gaidi, head of Luxembourg ICG (board member of the Luxembourg Private Equity & Venture Capital Association) and vice chair Ananda Kautz (director of innovation, payments and sustainability, board member of the Luxembourg banking trade group ABBL).
- Esther Bauer (strategy & corporate development team leader at Banque internationale à Luxembourg), for the ABBL;
- Jean Elia (CEO of Sogelife) for Aca, the Luxembourg Insurance and Reinsurance Association.
- Loïc Le Foll (CEO of La Mondiale Europartner - AG2R La Mondiale) for Aca;
- Nasir Zubairi (CEO of Lhoft);
- Cara Browne (head of relationship management, conducting officer UCI administration, EQT Group) for the LPEA);
- Frank Mausen (partner at Allen & Overy) for the Luxembourg Capital Markets Association;
- Holger Von Keutz (partner at PwC), for the LuxCMA;
- Pierre Schoonbroodt (CFO and member of the executive committee at the Luxembourg Stock Exchange);
- Sinan Sar (managing director of United International Management) for the Luxembourg Alternative Administrators Association (L3A);
-Alan Dundon (relationship manager & executive sponsor, Alter Domus), president of L3A;
-Joseph Hendry, III (principal and country head for BBH in Luxembourg), for the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (Alfi);
- two observers: Natasha Deloge (for the Luxembourg financial regulator CSSF) and Pierre Oberlée (for the ministry of finance).
The Catapult Future Foundation will focus on four verticals:
- AML & KYC: to streamline and standardise KYC and AML processes across institutions; scope: to address inefficiencies, inconsistencies, and potential data privacy and compliance breaches.
- Document communication & transfer: to improve document communication and transfer mechanisms; scope: to address inefficient, insecure and inconsistent transfer processes.
- IT security & cloud services: to strengthen IT security and optimise cloud management; scope: to focus on data protection, vulnerability management and the establishment of cybersecurity standards.
- ESG: to improve data management and ESG compliance; scope: to address challenges related to data source, processing, quality, transparency and compliance.