The master’s programme is the first master’s in Europe entirely dedicated to investment funds law. With a focus on Luxembourg law, the programme aims to train lawyers in the investment fund sector and will benefit from the country’s expertise in fund distribution, as well as the participation of experts from the two law firms.
Topics will include real estate funds, private equity funds, debt funds, long-term European funds, fintech and cross-border distribution, amongst others, and will link fundamental and applied research. The bilingual French-English master’s--which will start in September 2023 and welcome 25 students--will also raise awareness of Luxembourg as a player in the field of investment funds and attract talent to the grand duchy, according to the university.
The activities of the chair aim to respond to the constant needs of Luxembourg’s financial place, which must adapt to a judicial framework concerning European investment funds, and to new challenges linked to innovation, digitalisation and sustainable development, said Isabelle Riassetto, the newly appointed chair.
The first pillar of the programme relates to teaching. Luxembourg needs talents that have a deep knowledge of investment fund law, and, in particular, Luxembourg law, highlighted Riassetto.
The new master’s, she explained, is a compete training that covers the different aspects of investment funds law over a period of two semesters. Teaching will be given by university faculty members, as well as those who work in the industry, and notably by the partners of the chair.
This programme is the first complete judicial training of this type and is unique in Europe
“This programme is the first complete judicial training of this type. It is unique in Europe, and even beyond,” said Riassetto. “Such a training programme is justified by Luxembourg’s position in Europe in the domain of investment funds, as well as the need for jurists of high-level in this domain.”
The University of Luxembourg has had, since 2011, a one-semester “option” dedicated to investment funds law within the Master 2 programme in banking and European financial law. This “option” has approximately 20 students per year, of which 90% stay in Luxembourg after having obtained their degree. “It is this ‘option’ that has been transformed into a distinct master’s--the master’s in investment funds law,” said Riassetto.
To further boost the employability of graduates, the new master’s programme includes an obligatory internship in the domain of fund law, she added. Graduates will be able to pursue careers as lawyers specialised in investment funds, compliance offers, or as jurists for private companies or national, European or international institutions. Students can, in addition, continue their studies by completing a doctoral thesis.
Academic research is a key element of the programme, said Riassetto. “The chair’s research programme will concentrate on issues in investment fund law that are pertinent to Luxembourg.” Such topics could include illiquid alternative investment funds--which are now quite trendy in Luxembourg and include Eltifs, debt funds, real estate funds or private equity funds.
Transversal themes--including cross-border distribution of investment funds, delegation and externalisation, or fintechs and investment funds--are also important themes that are relevant to the grand duchy and could be the focus of research.
Knowledge transfer and outreach
The third pillar relates to “outreach.” Different activities aim to highlight Luxembourg and its university as a research centre for investment funds, explained Riassetto. Examples include the organisation of international conferences on topics such as updates on the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) and their impact on Luxembourgish fund law, workshops on the latest trends in the domain, or the publication of articles.
Chair distinguishes Luxembourg from other universities
This new master’s programme is the “proof” that the University of Luxembourg is a “partner” of the grand duchy’s financial place, said university rector Jens Kreisel. These partnerships are one of Luxembourg’s “unique selling points.”
Moreover, chairs, such as the newly created position now occupied by Riassetto, are “excellent” tools for collaboration and make a difference. “Endowed chairs simultaneously benefit students, researchers, society and donors,” said Kreisel. “The University of Luxembourg is pleased to be able to support a strategic activity of the country.”
The university, which has already received several applications for the new master’s programme, has set the application deadline for the fall semester at the end of July 2023.
This article was published for the Delano Finance newsletter, the weekly source for financial news in Luxembourg. Subscribe using this link.