Continuing our focus on jurisdictions where AILO membership is increasing, let’s take a closer look at Luxembourg. Many thanks to Frédéric Ruaz* (Director of Marketing, Communication and Innovation at SOGELIFE S.A, which is one of the growing number of AILO Members in Luxembourg) for giving us the benefit of his expertise for this article. Thanks also to Frédéric’s colleague Brian McKillop (Project Manager at SOGELIFE S.A).
‘Let’s make it happen’
This slogan and logo at the heart of Luxembourg’s national brand identity reflect the Grand Duchy’s values of openness, dynamism, and reliability.
It also captures its ‘can do’ attitude, and the X in the logo represents a crossroads symbolising the jurisdiction’s longstanding status as a hub for international commerce.
Of course, its banking sector has provided firm foundations for decades, but Luxembourg has never stood still. It has constantly evolved its offering and continues to take inspiration from the ‘let’s make it happen’ mantra in pursuit of its mission to become the world’s leading financial centre for insurance, investment funds and private banking. Today, it is internationally recognised as a European financial hub worth €5.5trillion and attracts clients from across the globe.
The key factors behind the finance sector’s success are that it is supported by an ecosystem of legal and administrative providers, a skilled multilingual global workforce, and forward-thinking and communicative regulators. The FAS (Fond d’Assurance Spécialisé/Specialized Insurance Fund) is also a strong differentiator in the life insurance market. It serves as a single investment vehicle, allowing the policyholder directly select the policy’s underlying assets, including stocks.
A ‘triangle of security’
Luxembourg is home to over 70 insurance and 194 reinsurance companies (according to the most recent data from the insurance sector regulator, Commissariat Aux Assurances(CAA)).
The CAA has overseen some major changes to regulations in recent years which allows not only for increased flexibility of investment, but also enhanced protection of investors. Most notably, in 2018 there was an update and clarification to the special privilege uniquely offered by the Luxembourg life insurance sector (commonly known as the ‘triangle of security’).
This cornerstone of protection which oversees Luxembourgish life insurance policies is a tripartite agreement unique to Luxembourg between the custodian bank, regulator and insurance company. It ensures investors are fully protected in the event of a default by the custodian or insurance company.
From a life insurance investment perspective, the CAA has evolved to meet the needs of investors and the industry by introducing new, more flexible fund structures as well as revaluating client suitability profiles in terms of opening up investment limits and access to dedicated internal funds which are bespoke to Luxembourg life insurance contracts.
A home for sustainable finance
The Grand Duchy can be considered the home of sustainable finance. For example, in 2016 Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE) introduced the Luxembourg Green Exchange (LGX) to directly contribute to the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. This exchange has issued over €830billion of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG), impact funds and sustainable bonds since its inception and accounts for over half of the green bond issuances globally.
Furthermore, in July 2018 Luxembourg established the world’s first legal framework for green bonds (a new type of bond utilised to finance the generation of renewable energy). This introduction reaffirms the country’s determination to drive forward global innovation in sustainable finance.
Luxembourg is also looking to the future of the finance industry in terms of FinTech,
eCommerce and payment solutions. Names such as PayPal, Amazon and Rakuten have been operating within Luxembourg for several years and the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (The LHoFT) offers an incubator setting to foster new generations of FinTech innovators.
Payment institutions (PI) and Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) have grown at a rate of 16% per annum (2011- 2021) with 22 eCommerce and payment solutions providers now established in Luxembourg. 2021 saw a total of €200billion in payments/electronic money transactions. This has been a driving force behind Luxembourg’s continuous digital transformation, and its well-known support for cross-border businesses in terms of infrastructure and regulatory framework.
As you can see, ‘let’s make it happen’ is more than just a slogan. Luxembourg IS making it happen.
* Frédéric became Director of Marketing, Communication and Innovation at SOGELIFE S.A in 2020, and his impressive CV includes previous roles at ADA (Appui au Développement Autonome) and Orange. Frédéric is a graduate of Université Paris Dauphine (PSL) and has a Masters degree in Business Administration from New York’s Columbia Business School. In 2022 he completed a Harvard Business School Executive Education course on the subject of competing in the age of AI.
Did you know?
Here are 3 quick facts about Luxembourg which are all relevant to the jurisdiction’s growth as an international centre for insurance and finance:
- Luxembourg is recognised as a major employer in many big industries including logistics, aerospace and maritime. However, 14.1% of total number of employees are employed in the Luxembourg financial sector which represents about one in seven of all employees in the country. It’s a figure which has remained steady over the past decade. The Sovereign Credit Rating of Luxembourg by S&P ratings services has remained as AAA for over 10 years which is a testament to it being a stable, predictable, and transparent political environment with demonstrated control over its public finances. Source: Reuters
- Luxembourg is ranked first in the economic performance criteria of the 2022 International Institute for Management Development (IMD) Global Competitiveness Report, while it ranks highly in the government efficiency and key attractiveness criteria, standing at 13th overall in the report (the highest amongst its closest European neighbours). Source: IMD
- Luxembourg is number one in Europe and number two in the world for the creation of investment funds and is an international leader in the debt capital and structured finance market. Source: argusdelassurance.com
Our Luxembourg Members
AILO has four Full Members in Luxembourg at the time of writing:
La Mondiale Europartner SA:Established in Luxembourg for over 30 years (and in Milan since 1997) it specialises in the development of robust and innovative life insurance solutions for high net worth individuals.
Lombard International Assurance SA: A leading independent, global wealth solutions provider with deep local market knowledge, providing superior customised insurance-based solutions to help individuals and institutions ensure their assets are protected, portable and can be passed on.
Sogelife SA: The life insurance company of the Société Générale Assurances in Luxembourg offers life insurance solutions for an international clientele in various countries in Europe (Luxembourg, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, United Kingdom, Monaco, Spain and the Czech Republic).
Swiss Life: The Swiss Life Group is a leading provider of life and pensions and financial solutions in Europe. For over 160 years it has been helping private and corporate clients prepare their financial future. This is the origin of its mandate which is to enable people to lead a self-determined life.
- Commissariat aux Assurances (CAA): Insurance sector regulator.
- Luxembourg for Finance (LFF): Financial centre development agency.
- PROFIL Luxembourg: Brings together banks, investment funds, insurance companies and private and public sector organisations in the wider financial sector.
- Luxembourg Trade & Invest: Promotes the Luxembourg economy abroad as an innovative and international business destination of premier choice for investors.
- Luxembourg Government