Overcoming unpredictability with a vision

by Corinne Lamesch, ALFI Chairperson


In early 2020, still during my first year as ALFI Chairperson, we were putting the ALFI Ambition 2025 together when the pandemic hit and confined us to our homes. We did not know then what to ex-pect, how many months we’d spend in such an extraordinary situation, or if and when we’d return to the life we had known. But we understood that the outlook over the coming five years that we were defining for ALFI and for our industry had to be more than just a plan. Even the best laid plans go to waste, as we had just witnessed. We needed a vision. And so we defined our objectives:

1. To lead the development of innovative cross-border savings and pensions products
2. To create a framework that helps sustainable products flourish
3. To extend the global reach of UCITS as a multi-purpose solution
4. To broaden access to alternative investments
5. To drive innovation and the digital transformation of the Luxembourg funds industry

We will soon be halfway to 2025. Our objectives remain unchanged. Working towards them has not always been easy. While we have taken actions to achieve our goals, just as often we have been forced to react to developments we couldn’t have foreseen. From the moment we adopted the ALFI Ambition 2025, we have continued to operate in unusual circumstances. Just a few months ago, a number of public health measures taken to mitigate the pandemic were slowly lifted in our regions, and many of us thought that we would also be nearing the end of the economic crisis mode. Then, the invasion of Ukraine, an unacceptable aggression war, created new geopolitical challenges, inflation, an increase of interest rates and a sharp increase of commodity and energy prices. This has also led to increased volatility in markets.

It is therefore no surprise that assets under management in Luxembourg funds have oscillated more than usual over the past months, however, we remain convinced that investment funds can outrank many other financial instruments with regard to their security, investor protection and long-term yield. We believe, and perhaps this is distilling our five objectives into one, that the way out of the pandemic and through the next challenges will be supported by responsible growth that will benefit society as a whole.

Together with our members, we continue to explore best practices and strategies that can help with greening the financial sector. We are convinced that we can create truly sustainable investment solutions that are viable from a regulatory standpoint, conform to the increasingly sophisticated investor demand and satisfy business needs at the same time. The ESG innovators can serve as beacons for the industry to be future-ready. Things will always happen that are difficult to prepare for, but that doesn’t mean we have to be unprepared.

In this context, I would like to thank the ALFI Board of Directors for the time and expertise that they dedicate to the association and its mission. Let us conceive visions for our industry that go beyond plans.