Stéphane Pesch of the Luxembourg Private Equity and Venture Capital Association poses for a portrait, taken by Mike Zenari, during an interview with Delano in August 2020
Stéphane Pesch of the Luxembourg Private Equity and Venture Capital Association talks to Delano about the trade group’s big annual event, his new role as CEO and diversity in the sector.
The annual “Insights” summit “is our flagship conference,” attracting participants from all across Europe, says Stéphane Pesch of the Luxembourg Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (LPEA). Unlike other industry events, this confab focuses on letting general partners, who manage funds, and limited partners, who invest in them, “share their experiences, the latest trends and what they have encountered over the last months.”
In other words, LPEA members “share their insights with the market.” These insights could signal coming shifts in their portfolios. Which obviously is of interest to rival fund shops, investors and service providers. And to students, who (following a screening process) can attend for free, which might lead to job and internship prospects.
Pesch took over as CEO of the LPEA on 1 September, after serving as the trade group’s director of strategy for roughly a year and having been an active member while working at Apex Fund Services, KBL European Private Bankers (now Quintet) and other firms. He tells Delano that “my first goal is to represent a continuity” and “build on the foundation” laid by former CEO Rajaa Mekouar, who remains involved in the trade group, in executing the LPEA’s 2020-2025 strategic plan. The plan focuses on building out thought leadership, public advocacy and training programmes. But Pesch and his team are adding an “HR club”, a forum for members and service providers to address the “scarcity of profiles”.
Pesch often hears about the problems firms face in recruiting and retaining qualified staff. Part of the solution, he reckons, is to make Luxembourg and Luxembourg-based funds more attractive to fresh graduates. The other part is developing a scheme to deepen the existing talent pool in Luxembourg by “revamping the careers of people who already have experience in the financial sector, who now want to deep dive into private equity.”
Another key involves boosting the LPEA’s Private Equity for Women group, which provides support and networking opportunities to help balance a sector that Pesch describes as “not diverse enough”. He reckons, “there is sincerely no excuse for [women] to not succeed” in private equity and venture capital, but getting there is an ongoing question.
The Luxembourg Private Equity and Venture Capital Association’s annual summit is billed as “designed for and by private equity practitioners”. Due to covid-19, this year’s edition will be “100% digital”, which on the upside, says the LPEA’s Stéphane Pesch, means more than its usual 400 attendees can sign up. This year’s event is scheduled for Wednesday 25 November. Information and registration on the LPEA website.