Luxembourg financial delegation visits the City of Light
Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna was in Paris with a delegation of professionals of the financial sector on the occasion of a seminar organised by Luxembourg for Finance. The seminar focused on the role of European financial centres in the face of current and future challenges, ranging from Brexit to financing the global fight against climate change.
In his keynote speech, Minister Gramegna insisted on the fact that in the face of rising populism and euroscepticism there is an urgent collective need to better explain Europe, its benefits and its undeniable achievements. The Minister also underlined the long-standing ties uniting Luxembourg and France, including in the financial sector, as illustrated by the strong presence of French financial institutions in the Grand Duchy, which date back to the 1890s. Today there are 15 French banks in Luxembourg, and French financial institutions are amongst the largest employers in Luxembourg.
Luxembourg provides a truly complementary offer, focused on cross-border financial services and products, for French financial groups. Many French institutions have set up their international competence centres in Luxembourg, in areas ranging from fund administration and depositary banking services to wealth management and insurance. The majority of French asset managers, for instance, rely on Luxembourg as their global distribution platform for investment funds.
A year after COP21 in Paris, the LFF seminar was also an ideal opportunity to discuss the role of financial centres in addressing the pressing need for investments to finance projects to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Representatives from the EIB, the Luxembourg and French asset management community as well as the Luxembourg Stock Exchange discussed the various tools and financial products, such as layered funds and green securities, which can be leveraged to channel private and public investments into climate projects.
Luxembourg is indeed committed to play a key role in the global fight against climate change. Several recent pioneering initiatives have served to underline this strong commitment, such as
- The launch of the Luxembourg Green Exchange, the world’s first platform exclusively dedicated to green securities and requiring pre- and post-listing reporting on proceeds;
- The launch of a climate finance label for investment funds;
- The launch of a joint climate finance platform between the European Investment Bank and the Luxembourg government.
The seminar moreover explored the potential impacts of Brexit on the European fund industry, both from a fund distribution and asset management perspective as well as current and future trends in the alternative fund industry, ranging from private equity and debt funds to ELTIFs. Experts also discussed how the wealth management industry is adapting to a new and changing client base, be it as a result of technological innovations, demographic shifts or a new regulatory environment, as well as the role of life insurance as an increasingly popular wealth management and succession planning tool.