Nicolas Mackel new CEO of Luxembourg for Finance
Changing of the guards at LFF. Nicolas Mackel is replacing Fernand Grulms as CEO. In an interview, he speaks about his priorities, monitoring competitors and serving the country.
July 1st marks your starting date at the helm of Luxembourg for Finance. What will be your priorities?
I have short-term priorities as well as medium and long term priorities. For the medium and long term, I would like to be able to frame and convey a clear message on Luxembourg's financial centre to the financial professionals, investors and institutions that constitute our audience. This message should build on Luxembourg as a centre of excellence in international finances and reflect the great diversity of the activities in which we have developed first-in-class levels of competence.
From both my American and Chinese experience, I have learned that even financial professionals very often do not know about the variety of activities handled in Luxembourg. To spread our message, I need, in the short term, to strengthen the team at LFF by filling vacancies, hiring for new tasks and reshuffling existing portfolios in order to be able to better focus on the work ahead.
What will be your priorities in terms of activities?
We will continue our traditional road shows and seminars, in particular in emerging economies. Next to these, we will intensify other, probably less visible, activities aimed at promoting Luxembourg's financial center. This will be done by more targeted missions to meet important actors. Also, we will focus on our communication work with the relevant media outlets as well as in the sphere of social media.
Furthermore, we have received substantially more means for research and market intelligence. This will help us study new market trends, which could develop into new opportunities for Luxembourg as well as monitor what our competitors are up to.
Following the change of governance at LFF, what will be your relationship with the Ministry of Finance and the main actors from the financial services industry?
The change of governance will definitely not alter the public-private nature of our partnership, which is fundamental to the way we operate. As a civil servant I have been trained to serve the interests of the country and it is my intention to do exactly that. LFF is a tool at the service of Luxembourg's financial industry and serves to develop and promote the financial centre Luxembourg.
The change of governance stems also from the wish of the Minister of Finance to increase his role in the promotion of the financial centre, the main source of tax revenue in the country and the largest employer. The challenges the financial players are facing only increase the importance of this promotion to help bring new activities, new clients, new investors and, ultimately, new employments to Luxembourg.
Copyright photos: Jessica Thyrion, ABBL
Nicolas Mackel is a career diplomat. He has graduated with a law degree from the University of Aix-en-Provence, and holds two post-graduate diplomas in European law from the Sorbonne University, respectively the College of Europe in Bruges where he then also served as a teaching assistant in the Law Department. He worked as a legal clerk at the European Court of Justice before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1999.
His assignments focused on the successive EU Treaty negotiations (Amsterdam, Nice, Constitution, Lisbon). Nicolas was consecutively posted at Luxembourg's Permanent Representation to the EU (2002-07), as Deputy Chief of Mission at Luxembourg's Embassy in Washington DC (2007-11) and as Consul General in Shanghai (2011-13) where he was in charge of promoting Luxembourg's economic interests throughout China as the Executive Director of the Luxembourg Trade and Investment Office. He is married with three children.