If you asked me five or even two years ago how I would celebrate my 10 years’ employment with the Aztec Group, I would never have dreamed that it would have been by leaving Jersey to head up our Luxembourg office. But that is exactly what I am doing from April this year. And there is good reason.
Over the last few years there has been a quiet sea change in the Duchy which is starting to have a significant impact. When the Aztec Group entered the Luxembourg market in 2007, the main work a Fund Administrator would do was to manage investment holding companies that were, quite frankly, sleepy. And the jurisdiction itself somewhat reflected this. Much has and is, in fact, changing. External political, legal and regulatory forces have aligned to promote Luxembourg as a safe, well-regulated and, importantly, an onshore jurisdiction. Internally, the Duchy has also listened and reacted to increase the attractiveness and flexibility of the products and entities that Luxembourg offers in the funds arena to make them fit for purpose. The result is by no means a finished article (there is still the VAT leakage issue, for example) but it has changed almost beyond recognition in the last decade.
Luxembourg now has the products and the political goodwill to make it a pre-eminent jurisdiction for not just our holding companies but also funds in their own right. Since 2013 in excess of 50 percent of the new work being won by our Luxembourg office has been looking after funds themselves rather than only their holding companies. This growth, I believe, will continue and, perhaps, even accelerate as more and more funds recognise the attractiveness of the jurisdiction in the world of 2016 and beyond.
For this reason, I relish to be at the coal face. I am hoping, if possible, to be instrumental in building the experience of our teams on the ground in the jurisdiction. I believe the product and the opportunity is already here in Luxembourg and so, if we maintain our client-centric service delivery, Luxembourg has the potential to be our leading office by the end of the decade. Ambitious maybe, but what a great challenge and so the question really should be, why would I not want to be in Luxembourg?
In Luxembourg, the Aztec Group currently employs over 80 people in our lively office near the airport. Our reputation for delivering good quality service has been well received and translated into double digit organic growth in every one of the nine years we have operated in Luxembourg.
To discuss your requirements or simply to find more out about our future plans in the Duchy, please don’t hesitate to contact me.