Chairman & CEO Message
The LPEA had a tremendous year in 2019, with growth across all dimensions, as the executive team grew in size while membership reached 245 firms (up from 195 in 2018) and the association changed its leadership team following the retirement of its founding Managing Director and the appointment of Rajaa Mekouar as CEO in September 2019.
The PE / VC ecosystem in Luxembourg has been growing in diversity and complexity, with a wider range of players entering the field, from specialised AIFMs to Single Family Offices gaining in importance, while more international investment firms set up or expanded operations in the Grand Duchy. At the LPEA, this called for a more granular approach to our activities, including more tailor-made communications, events and messages.
Among others we redefined our membership categories to reflect the new reality on the ground. While doing so, we acknowledge the continued rise in substance requirements, which makes Luxembourg an international hub that holds increasing expertise in more middle and front-office functions. 2019 was the first year where “Full” members (ie investment firms) accounted for 50% of the membership and where foreign-based investors with no local presence -yet- joined our ranks to better understand the ecosystem.
The year was also marked by the most successful yet edition of LPEA INSIGHTS, which held its 3rd conference with keynote speaker H. S. H. Prince Max von und zu Liechtenstein on the theme of “PE 3.0”. Sustainability in finance was at the forefront of the agenda, an issue that also saw the launch of the “ESG Club” and the “PE4W” initiative, to promote women better and more in PE / VC. More broadly, prioritising sustainable finance meant more coordination with local financial stakeholders in Luxembourg, eg co-hosting a special event with LuxFlag, the local labelling agency.
All in all, LPEA has been focused on institutionalising its work and processes while preserving its entrepreneurial mindset, a key success factor since its creation in 2009.
Our four guiding pillars being: Transparency; Accountability; Relevance; Efficiency. This translated across our reorganisation internally, but also with our community: We launched a new training program on PE / VC fundamentals with Sacred Heart University and revamped our Technical Committees.
Last but not least, we successfully completed a comprehensive review of our governance set-up with revised articles of association enacted in March 2020 which now provides for more clarity, transparency and inclusion of a wider group of our members. With all these developments, the LPEA geared itself towards its 10th Anniversary celebration, with a big “first blast” event held in February 2020. Appearing in in stark contrast immediately hereafter, the coronavirus crisis has put a dampener on festivities but we remain unfazed and steadfast in our commitment to nevertheless quickly adapt and continue to deliver relevant content, thought-leadership and networking in support of our common interests. So please keep “Zooming-in” for much more to come.
Claus Mansfeldt & Rajaa Mekouar