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March 2021

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Back to Leo Mag

Dear readers,

 

It gives me great pleasure to introduce the LEO magazine, which is focused on Private Equity. Not only is this a fascinating topic, but the magazine’s release on 8 March – International Women’s Day – gives it added significance.

This all female edition is not just a tribute to the role women play in the financial services industry, it is also an invitation. We want to see more women build a career in the world of finance, becoming the kind of decision makers who will drive the future of finance, just as our interviewees have.

Hopefully, we can progress and narrow the gap, so that one day in the near future, there won’t be a need to publish an all female magazine anymore. Rather, we will be able to focus on other important issues in finance, such as innovation, digital transformation and sustainability.

These issues are central because, as our interviewees rightly point out, a change of paradigm has occurred in private equity, and finance more generally. Firstly, sustainability has moved from a negative investment signal to a positive one. And secondly, financial services has become hyper-competitive – without innovation and digitalisation, companies falter. COVID has only accelerated these trends.

In this light, private equity firms use their expertise and their pivotal place in the market, to do more than generate value for investors. Through the creation of jobs and the stability which they can provide to the companies they support, society as a whole benefits.

Capitalising on opportunities will, however, require at all times careful consideration and wise choices. The direct correlation between gender balance, diversity of perspective, and quality of decision making has bearing on this matter. In this context, we should consider an addition to W. Churchill’s famous quote: We should not ‘waste a good crisis.’ That’s true, but nor can we afford to waste good talent either. To do so would be to short change our own future.

For our Financing a Sustainable Future series we sat down with Justina Alders-Sheya, Fund Manager at Triodos Investment Management, to learn more about their Luxembourg-based Sustainability Finance Real Economies fund. This fund is the first of its kind – established solely with private capital, to finance values-based banks, globally.

Rounding this issue off, we literally take a helicopter view of the COVID-19 pandemic, with Luxembourg Air Rescue (LAR). For more than 30 years, the company has been devoted to saving lives by operating rescue helicopters and ambulance jets in Luxembourg and around the world.

Enjoy the read and Happy International Women’s Day!

Lynn Robbroeckx
Secretary General