It has renewed its focus with its “2020 Ambition” programme, and elected Denise Voss as its new chairwoman. Her role is to manage and organise the aspirations of the association’s agenda-setting 24-member board. She is also the organisation’s main public face, and she works with ALFI’s 28 employees, guiding the execution of policies.
She cited some challenges as being particularly acute: “the greying of the population and more and more individuals being responsible for funding their own retirement, to the growth of digital technology, which means that buying habits are changing dramatically.” Voss said she saw her role as: “to focus on these issues and to ensure that the Luxembourg fund industry continues to play a key role in driving the development of the industry worldwide, encouraging economic growth and providing long-term financial security for individuals.”
Voss was elected for a two-year term at the association’s annual general meeting on Wednesday, a vote which made her the first woman to take this role. She felt this “gave her added responsibility” because this “gives an example to women that they can do jobs such as these.” She replaces Marc Saluzzi who had completed two two-year terms in the chair. She is the second American to take this role.
Five goals for five-year roadmap
There are five broad goals set out in “2020 Ambition” (PDF). The first is largely about making sure that practices, products and services really match the needs of investors. Much of this includes working with supervisors and lawmakers to make sure regulations match their purpose. Voss expressed her satisfaction that the new European commissioner for financial services Jonathan Hill has pledged to only seek to legislate when strictly necessary.
Another on-going process is the explaining of the role of funds for the long-term funding pensions, financing innovation and infrastructure, and contributing to growth. This will include further development of the “Understanding Investing” online tool, which explains why and how to invest. Luxembourg is a cross border fund centre, so taking the message of this country’s unique abilities remains another key priority.
The fourth ambition is to “ensure Luxembourg remains the fund centre of choice for asset managers” by working so that the right infrastructure, regulation, taxation and skills are all in place. Finally, ALFI wants to stimulate innovation, research, education and talent development, including the creation of new retail investor technologies and applications. This is of particular concern regarding attracting investors from the tech-savvy Generation Z.
That this “new” vision sounds much like the old one should not be a surprise, particularly as Voss has been ALFI vice-chair for the last four years. In a country and a world that is coming to rely on this industry, the need for success continues to increase.