Apex Fund Services open office in Luxembourg
Apex’s rapid expansion continues and Luxembourg is a key part of its growth plan. The country offers a perfect environment for investment managers looking to distribute their funds on an international basis. In addition to this, Apex’s Luxembourg office has been appointed as fund administrator for three fund platforms providing fast and cost effective services.
Christophe Lentschat, the Managing Director of Apex Fund Services and Fèmy Mouftaou Director of Operations are very motivated by the opening of the local office. Christophe Lentschat says that Luxembourg fund vehicles are widely known and sought after by the world’s institutional investors. So there was a real need to open shop in the heart of Europe.
"Our clients tell us that Luxembourg is the best-known international quality label when it comes to investment funds. If you want to do international fund distribution, you don’t usually go to more domestic domiciles such as France or Germany”.
Our Investment Manager clients have the choice between three international fund centres in Europe: Malta, Ireland and now Luxembourg. “For the time being if you are very focused on costs and time, you go to Malta. If you are into hedge funds, you traditionally choose Dublin.
But if you target continental Europe or Asia and the Middle East, you’re likely to want to launch your fund in Luxembourg and this is now true for an increasingly large spectrum of products including alternative investments”.
According to Fèmy Mouftaou, the choice of Luxembourg is not only related to the European passport but also involves a psychological product acceptance dimension. An investment fund domiciled in Luxembourg is perceived as a well regulated, quality product.
The Director for Operations of Apex Fund Services comes up with a typical example of a client launching a Luxembourg domiciled vehicle. “You have a fund manager from Saudi Arabia, India or China with a local product or one from the Cayman Islands.
This investment manager, who has got solid expertise and a convincing track record, argues that he can do better than a big European or North American asset managers for investments in its own region. These people want to sell their expertise worldwide. So for them it is logical that they choose Luxembourg as a fund domicile”.
With over 12 billion dollars of assets under administration, Apex services its clients through 15 offices across the globe. Its client base consists of hedge fund, long only and private equity managers.
Christophe Lentschat says that the story of Apex began in 2003 with hedge funds for the American market. Europe and the Middle East was the next step of the adventure. Apex opened up offices in Dubai and Bahrain, and then Asia was on the map with locations in Singapore and Hong Kong.
“One day, the Apex managers realized that part of their clients with focus on emerging markets asked for Luxembourg domiciled funds, for plenty of reasons. Today, it has become harder and harder to sell offshore funds in Europe.
This means that funds are re-domiciled or a second product is launched. What I tell you is no wishful thinking; there are a lot of questions from our customers about the benefits of Luxembourg funds.”
In addition to offering services for all types of public and private Luxembourg funds, the Luxembourg office has also been appointed as fund administrator for three fund platforms that provide fast and cost effective methods for establishing Luxembourg SICAV funds.
These include a platform for the set up of UCITS compliant funds, a solution for a Luxembourg Shariah compliant fund and a platform for the re-domiciliation of offshore non-UCITS vehicles.
Christophe Lentschat underlines that Apex clients are not interested in fiscal engineering. The company is specialised in the administration of regulated funds. Besides, the managing director of Apex Luxembourg adds that he has never had a client asking him about banking secrecy. CW