By Lindie Fourie, Managing Director Sanne Group Luxembourg S.A. and Co-Chair of the LPEA HR Club.
The HR Club started at the end of 2020 in order to look at the main HR trends in PE. It conducted a survey during the E-nsights Conference in November 2020 to find out what has changed in Luxembourg market requirements and what profiles are the most desired by firms operating in Private Equity.
In recent years leading up to Brexit, Luxembourg has focused on domestic grow through training, programs such as the Luxembourg School of Finance and LPEA Academy. It is surprising to note that over the course of 2020, demand has increased for Analysts, Risk and Portfolio Management specialists. Accountants and Legal professionals still remain the front runners, yet we see more demand for senior experienced candidates compared to previous years. As many GPs have moved onshore into Luxembourg with their own offices and presence in the market to attract European Investors, the market is moving toward being more of a middle/front office than the old image of solely being a back-office jurisdiction.
However, the survey concluded that 85% of the participants have trouble in finding senior candidates (5+ years of experience) in these fields. The feedback shows that senior candidates available in the market do not have the required skills for the current PE industry needs, be it related to industry knowledge (UCITS experience vs PE) or the experience itself (Back office vs Front office). This would mean that an initiative in the cross-training of seniors in Private Equity such as offered by the LPEA Academy will be key. Employers should thus consider onboarding candidates that do not match all their requirements in the short term and go through specialized programs/ academies to train their staff.
Luxembourg and its surrounding areas have numerous experienced profiles that have transferable skills but, perhaps, lack, a certain topic knowledge or have never worked in Alternative Asset Classes such as Private Equity. This is still where many of the candidates are sourced, but to find experienced candidates should we go further afield? (recruiting abroad, getting more visibility to attract relevant applicants) or should we try not to grow, but convert candidates to provide for an evolving market? Indeed, many companies have already outsourced part of their back office activities to lower-cost locations, training former back office profiles on the current PE needs (front and middle office) would enable both companies and employees to convert and adapt to an evolving market. All of the above options are viable, it is down to the firms in Luxembourg to make that investment with the support of government and organisations such as LPEA.
These are some of the items the Club will be focusing on in 2021 and your feedback on what you would like to see Luxembourg become or ideas on how we can attract the proper candidates, feel free to join the HR Club. We will provide an update at the end of the year outlining the trends in Luxembourg and compare it with our current outlook.
To add more about the HR Club at LPEA, we are representatives of the members of LPEA from client facing, legal, consulting and HR professional backgrounds with a focus on how we can promote Luxembourg as a work destination of choice by focusing on what would attract candidates to Luxembourg. Its Finance environment, the type of roles on offer, training and development opportunities and in turn asking the important question… Is it work-life balance? And how does that compare to compensation? If you are interested in joining the club and participating in this discussion on how to attract more professionals to Luxembourg and Private Equity, please contact …..