In advance of the event, Delano spoke with Anja Grenner, director of funds at Intertrust, in Luxembourg. She moderates the “Operational Efficiency – a constant adaptation to the drivers of change and evolving PE operating platforms” panel, Tuesday at 3:15pm.
Aaron Grunwald: What do you want the audience to get most from the “Operational Efficiency” panel?
Anja Grenner: We want the audience to get a feeling for the constant change private equity service providers are undergoing, to a large part driven by the pressure that PE houses receive from their investors in terms of reporting, pricing, timing and compliance. The servicing industry constantly has to adapt its business models to be able to respond to these exigencies. We analyse the status quo of the Luxembourg PE servicing industry post AIFMD and discuss those trends that are likely to shape the future way of servicing private equity.
From a very high level, what has been the net impact of the AIFMD on PE funds?
PE has always been transparent to its investors. What we see with AIFMD is that transparency has been rolled out to other stakeholders as well, also driven by increased regulatory reporting. In the current low interest rate environment, many investors are obliged to invest higher quotas in alternative assets so that additional regulation and reporting can be considered, in a certain way, as a comfort factor. Flipside of this is the increasing cost that regulation like AIFM have brought, at the end impacting investor performance.
Are PE funds well known in Luxembourg? What would you like people here to know about the sector?
It depends who you are talking to. The Luxembourg financial community is experiencing its strongest growth through PE and real estate, so we experience the arrival of new service providers and PE houses all the time. While Ucits growth is more driven by performance of existing funds, new PE funds are launched all the time. This said, the Luxembourg population’s knowledge of PE is still fairly rudimentary, compared to, for example, real estate. Luxembourg historically does not have an “entrepreneurial” culture, but this is changing. As an example, the Luxembourg Private Equity Association, LPEA, is currently driving several initiatives to make PE better known to the wider public.
Aside from your own talk at the ALFI event, which speech or panel are you most looking forward to hearing, and why?
The programme this year is very good, diversified and driven by excellent and professional speakers so this is not even an easy question. I am probably most looking forward to those sessions where representatives of PE houses and international experts participate; at the end their needs are drivers for the Luxembourg community.