Today, PwC Luxembourg releases the publication of a new report - The Luxembourg User Experience in Asset Management. This paper represents a collaborative effort among the main asset managers active in Luxembourg, with the participation of PwC, to assess the ‘user experience’ of those who rely on (or contribute towards) Luxembourg’s solution set.
Representing the world’s second largest fund domicile within its small borders, Luxembourg houses the entire spectrum of the global investment ecosystem. Tapping into this expertise, and combining the users’ experiences with the recognition of the distinctive features of the nation, can help further enhance the excellence and sustainability of Luxembourg as a financial centre.
This is why, over a period of four months, PwC Luxembourg conducted more than 30 interviews with the global senior management of the top 50 asset managers operating in Luxembourg. That being said, it became largely evident throughout the discussions that there is a large consensus between the participants in terms of key strengths and shortcomings. The conclusions of this interview series can therefore be considered as a consolidated voice of a highly representative group of major asset managers active in Luxembourg.
Why Luxembourg? Key drivers for bringing products to the financial centre. The in-depth report clearly identifies the distinct features that have contributed to making Luxembourg one of the most attractive global financial centres. From the users’ perspective, Luxembourg provides not only a stable political and regulatory environment, but also a place to capture trends and innovative ideas, a recognised expertise on international distribution, a one-stop shop with a strong solution set, and a pool of international talents.
Future-proofing Luxembourg’s value proposition. Despite the above-mentioned advantages and positive characteristics, the Grand Duchy constantly seeks to reinvent itself alongside the winds of change. Future-proofing Luxembourg’s value propositions in a time when competition between financial centres is fierce will require a set of tactical and strategic actions detailed in the report. It includes an active promotion of the key advantages of Luxembourg, further effort to attract talent, an agile regulation framework, solutions to deal with the cost of living and doing business, and leverage on forthcoming trends.
Conclusions from the report can be grouped into “quick fixes” and more long-term objectives. In the very short-term, quick win actions have been identified that would serve to help financial players in their daily operations, while simultaneously heightening the global perception of Luxembourg as a safe, attractive, compliant and innovative financial centre.
The long-term objectives can be summarised into three main groups:
a) Communicate strengths: the financial centre in Luxembourg has evolved and will continue to do so. It has a series of highly appreciated solutions on offer, but needs to highlight these strengths more outside of Luxembourg.
b) Tactical upgrade: to attract more talents, organisations should focus on including tactical upgrades addressing the evolving workplace and the changing expectations from young talent. Luxembourg is not only attracting major asset managers but also key talent. This attractiveness should be increased jointly to ensure that we can continue to grow along with the significant opportunities.
c) Strategic developments: address already known challenges, such as cost of living and the global evolution of the tax framework
Oliver Weber, Luxembourg AWM Leader, Partner, PwC Luxembourg, says: “Speaking with the “users” of “Luxembourg Inc.” was a great experience for the PwC team. In our view, this paper is only the starting point of a larger journey. After the present assessment of the wider satisfaction level of the global asset management community, we propose to develop actual work streams. Indeed, the key strength of “Luxembourg Inc.” has always been the common aspiration of the players to continuously contribute to the financial centre’s sustainable development.”
Björn Ebert, Luxembourg AWM Strategy Leader, Partner, PwC Luxembourg says: “It was a pleasure to see how highly senior professionals regard Luxembourg in some key areas, as well as how much Luxembourg is appreciated for its product toolbox and high value addition - particularly in global oversight, risk management and distribution functions. However, this is not the time for complacency, nor is it in Luxembourg’s DNA. Competition from other financial centres is fierce, and a number of disruptive trends - technology, ESG, the war for talent, regulatory - are quickly redefining the global AWM landscape. We undertook this report to identify potential for further improvement - potential that must be unlocked in order to ensure the long-term prosperity of its financial centre and, subsequently, the long-term success of its economy.”
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