Business education: The course director of the master’s in wealth management at Luxembourg School of Finance has just sent off his first cohort of graduates.
The University of Luxembourg started developing a degree in wealth management together with the Private Banking Group Luxembourg in 2010.
“The demand initially came from the industry,” says professor Jos van Bommel, who joined the faculty shortly afterwards to help set up the curriculum and become course director at the launch two years later. “I realised very quickly it would be successful. Wealth management is a unique niche and there is an immediate connection with Luxembourg’s widely recognised financial centre.”
This May van Bommel proudly watched the first cohort of the master’s programme graduate. The students, representing 20 different nationalities, had completed their courses but also an internship of three to nine months and spent a week in residence at Singapore Management University to deepen their understanding of Asian markets. They are now all heading for jobs in private banks, foundations, investment firms, family offices and such. Many, even among those from afar, chose to stay in Luxembourg after obtaining their degree.
“Wealth management has a strong future and there is a continuous need for talented specialists,” says van Bommel. “However, the industry is changing and clients have to be convinced differently than in the past. What is sought after are hunters, people with strong analytic skills but also strong social skills, creative people who know how to take initiatives and who are fully committed to their job.”
Despite Luxembourg’s reputation as a tax haven, the professor is not concerned about the Grand Duchy’s future in the field: “There are still very good reasons to come to here. We live in an increasingly globalised world and clients’ demands are getting more complicated. Luxembourg has expertise on international issues that local banks cannot provide.”
Word about the school’s wealth management programmes (there is also an executive one for seasoned banking professionals) has spread quickly. Today van Bommel receives hundreds of applications for the master’s course and interviews three times as many students as he accepts. “It’s important to favour quality over quantity, so classes are kept small with no more than 30 students in each cohort. I’d like to keep it that way.”