“Luxembourg’s future competitiveness in the financial industry will depend on its ability to remain attractive for the recruitment and development of the right talents to support future growth,” says Bruno Houdmont, CEO of Banque Degroof Petercam Luxembourg. Explanations.
Can you describe your company in a few words?
With a history of the Group dating back to 1871, Degroof Petercam is today a leading “European Investment House” with Belgian roots. As an independent and private Group, mainly owned by family shareholders committed to the long term, Degroof Petercam offers its services to private and institutional investors. Its clients benefit from a unique combination of private banking, institutional asset management, investment banking and asset services. Total client assets amounted to €75 billion (end of 2020). Present in Luxembourg since 1987, Degroof Petercam Luxembourg employs more than 370 people in three entities located at the La Cloche d’Or area: Banque Degroof Petercam Luxembourg S.A., Degroof Petercam Asset Services S. A. and Degroof Petercam Insurance Broker S.A.
What remains a challenge for every financial institution today, is the speed of the regulatory changes
What are the current major challenges in banking compliance?
Banking compliance challenges are today fully embedded in our highly regulated sector and are to be taken as key drivers of the capacity of a financial institution to continue growing sustainable business models evolving in an ever-changing regulatory environment. In other words, it is all about delivering our services in line with all our stakeholders’ expectations, including the regulators, in the most efficient way. To achieve this goal, it is essential to have access to the right resources in terms of human capital and technology in order to serve our clients on the basis of a fully compliant business model. However, what remains a challenge for every financial institution today, is the speed of the regulatory changes and this is why it is also important to reach the right level of “scalability” for the business to remain competitive.
Which financial trends do you identify and how are you adapting to them?
I would mention three significant trends in the financial sector to which it will be crucial for our business to adapt. Firstly, digitalization, which is not really new but is accelerating all the time. This trend is important not only to meet customers’ expectations but also to be able to develop and implement new ways to serve them better. Degroof Petercam is making significant investments in this regard and has also decided that in the future a certain percentage of revenues will be systematically invested in new and improved technological solutions. Secondly, we want to ensure that the development of our activities is done in a responsible manner, which means that we play a role in addressing ESG challenges. In this regard, it will be essential to provide investment solutions and products that are fully ESG compliant. Our portfolio management mandate, for example, is already Article 8 compliant under the recent SFDR regulation, making us one of the first banks in Luxembourg to be so. And thirdly, we will continue to offer new solutions to our clients to invest in non-listed assets such as private equity and private debt (e.g. our discretionary Private Equity Mandate and Private Equity Vintage Fund), as they can provide different long-term returns from traditional investment solutions while contributing directly to the financing of the economy.