International

Luxembourg: a window onto Europe

A lush, landlocked country of 2,600 square kilometres between France, Germany and Belgium, Luxembourg has a central place in the world of finance.

About 46% of the wealth produced in this Grand Duchy comes from finance. Two sectors are particularly developed: private banking and asset management. They directly contribute to the high standard of living among the country's some 560,000 inhabitants, whose GDP reached USD 111,716 per head in 2014. This privileged position translated in September 2015 into exceptionally good economic indicators: an unemployment rate of 6.7%, annual growth of 3.2% and an inflation rate of 0.5% on a year-on-year basis.

It was a natural step for Mirabaud to extend its activities to Luxembourg, first for fund management in 2011, then private wealth management in 2014 with the creation of the bank Mirabaud & Cie (Europe) SA.

There are many reasons for our presence, but above all, Luxembourg gives Mirabaud a European passport.

Raphaël Spahr, managing director of Mirabaud & Cie (Europe) SA

"There are many reasons for our presence," explains Raphaël Spahr, managing director of Mirabaud & Cie (Europe) SA. "First of all you can find very specialist skills in all branches of finance here, and the country also guarantees a stable economic and fiscal environment, which our clients want, but above all Luxembourg gives Mirabaud a European passport. "

Thanks to its base in Luxembourg, Mirabaud has been able to transform its subsidiaries in France and Spain into banking branches of Mirabaud & Cie (Europe) SA, enabling it to become a real strategic platform facilitating access to the 28 member states of the European Union.

Proof that the Grand Duchy is an important financial centre for private wealth management: the Luxembourg Bankers' Association has 144 members, of which 28 are German, 15 Swiss and 12 Chinese. These institutions manage a total of some EUR 1,615 billion.

In Luxembourg, Mirabaud is developing an approach that stays true to its Swiss DNA. "Unlike most private banks, who are seeking to make their processes more 'automated', we are still providing tailored services for our clients," emphasises Raphaël Spahr. "As well as providing high-value-added financial services, our asset managers have very close, trusting relationships. "

Mirabaud's independent spirit and the absence of own-account investment are sought-after and valued approaches to wealth management. "This avoids conflicts of interest," notes Raphaël Spahr. "We have an asymmetrical relationship with risk. We offer wealth management that combines returns during periods of financial market growth with a focus on diversification and liquidity, enabling us to better protect our clients' assets during difficult periods."

We benefit from the 'Luxembourg UCITS' label, which is standard for cross-border distribution of European funds.

Luxembourg is ranked second worldwide for asset management, behind the United States. For 20 years, the success of Luxembourg funds has not waned. The major global management companies have grown accustomed to registering their products in Luxembourg, for distribution across Europe. In June 2015, assets under management reached more than EUR 3,528 billion. This favourable backdrop has also seen the development of Mirabaud Asset Management, Mirabaud's investment division.

"We benefit from the 'Luxembourg UCITS' label, which is standard for cross-border distribution of European funds," notes Raphaël Spahr. The investment philosophy of Mirabaud Asset Management, which revolves around value creation, is founded on a long-term vision.

"Through their portfolios, the experts at Mirabaud Asset Management express passions and convictions that are the pillars of our active investment philosophy," adds Raphaël Spahr. The Group's strategy offers flexible management across all asset classes. "The responsiveness and flexibility in terms of tactical choices enable capital appreciation and protection if markets fall," emphasises Raphaël Spahr. And to conclude: "Luxembourg is multilingual and the most attractive European market, benefiting in particular from the continuing trend towards greater cross-border fund distribution."