Virginie Lagrange, chair of the Luxembourg Institute of Directors (ILA). She spoke with Delano on Monday. Lagrange is pictured (centre) at an ILA event in 2019. Library photo: ILA/Olivier Dessy

Virginie Lagrange, chair of the Luxembourg Institute of Directors (ILA). She spoke with Delano on Monday. Lagrange is pictured (centre) at an ILA event in 2019. Library photo: ILA/Olivier Dessy

Chair of the Luxembourg Institute of Directors (ILA) Virginie Lagrange shares her thoughts on voting in this year’s national elections and what’s in focus for the association as the new government gets underway.

When went to her polling station on Sunday, it was her second (and her daughter’s first) time voting in Luxembourg’s national elections.

Originally from France but living in the grand duchy since 2005, she had decided eight years ago to get her Luxembourg nationality in order to vote. “I think it’s important that the people in the country are also making the effort to include themselves and to participate in the community,” she says, adding that she finds the mandatory voting a good thing. “It’s a right, an obligation, a duty you have, and I think that’s good. Also for the younger generation... In France, there’s a lot of [voter] abstention.”

The crux of the matter

The Luxembourg Institute of Directors (ILA) chair, who was , says that no matter how the new government is formed, “change is always good in democratic elections,” adding that the association will maintain its close relationships with the finance minister and other members of the government. And from the perspective of the association and its members, keeping Luxembourg attractive as a financial centre should be one of the main focal points as the coalition discussions get underway.

Lagrange says this translates into issues like the cost of housing, the transportation offering, attracting and retaining talent and sustainability. “If you look at what the CSV or DP are saying, they are both in the same direction, that they want to promote the attractiveness of Luxembourg and the financial place. In that that sense, they’re both on the same side,” she says, adding that, of course, it’s still not clear how the coalition will shape up. “If this coalition exists, we will have strong supporters of the financial place... that was already the case before with the previous coalition, but I think the attractiveness is an issue.”

ILA ambitions, developments

ILA currently counts 3,000 members, although Lagrange is convinced this number could double within the next five years. The association, which aims to support directors and governance professionals by providing training and networking opportunities, has also gained more visibility in recent years, she adds.

“I see really that there are more and more directors in Luxembourg. It’s a profession that is getting more professionalised,” she explains. “They want to understand what best governance is, and we really want to continue to position ourselves as the best governance practictioner.”

That also means positioning at the European level. “If I compare with other institutions, we should not be shy or afraid that we are a little country. We have good quality directors, good quality training.”