The investor in search of confidence
In a rapidly changing world, asset managers need to find trusted partners who can reassure their clients and enable them to take advantage of current opportunities.
The investment-fund sector has been quick to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, and there are now many opportunities for investors. “A fund invests for the medium and long term”, explains Guillaume Roch, Director and Head of Coverage Marketing & Solutions at Societe Generale Securities Services Luxembourg (SGSS). “Therefore, unforeseen events such as the COVID-19 crisis should not normally have a direct influence on investments. In addition, many individuals have been saving during the crisis and, in a low interest rate environment, significant amounts of cash have been invested in funds.”
A turnkey tool for asset managers
In this context, the Luxembourg market is indispensable. SGSS is now one of the 10 largest players there, serving mainly institutional clients, funds, other banks, and even large companies. “Our product range is very broad, with services for funds, an issuing and paying agent (IPA) service, which enables us to issue new securities, and a front-to-back product called CrossWise. The latter brings together our trading, and front-, middle- and back-office services in a single turnkey tool that allows our clients to focus on their core business: investment decisions”, adds Roch. SGSS also wants to capitalise on the reputation of Société Générale, a name synonymous with trust. “Investors are counting on us to perform well over the medium and the long term. With a history stretching back over a century, Société Générale can give them that reassurance.”
A changing environment
This confidence is particularly important at a time when the sector is undergoing major transformations. This is primarily the case at the regulatory level, notably with the spread of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria.
“Integrating 15 very different criteria is no easy task”, says Roch. “With our CrossWise tool, which uses cutting-edge technology, we can easily adjust portfolios by including ESG criteria.”
And while hedge funds have indeed made a significant breakthrough, they should be seen above all as drivers for diversifying portfolios.
“The proportion of hedge funds remains marginal compared to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities. The future probably lies more in mixed funds. What is certain is that Luxembourg will remain an ideal base for asset management over the next few years.”