Stéphane Argyropoulos (AMFIE): exporting confidence
Created in 1990, AMFIE has succeeded - from its home base in Luxembourg - in gaining over 5500 members throughout the world. An interview with its President, Stéphane Argyropoulos.
Can you present AMFIE in just a few words?
The Financial Cooperative Association of International Civil Servants (AMFIE) serves highly mobile international civil servants who live in different countries - often for short periods - and frequently remain at a remove from economic reality, absorbed by their mission and their environment, which take up all of their time. Our articles of association provide that our members must work in organisations controlled by a minimum of two countries, such as FAO, the International Criminal Court or the World Bank. Our objective: to facilitate the lives of those who help others, by accompanying them in their ﬁnances and their mobility - remunerated multi-currency accounts, transfers and exchanges at the best rates -, but also via solutions speciﬁcally tailored to their status - preparation for retirement, investment, etc. We position ourselves as a trusted partner. By joining AMFIE, they beneﬁt from the cooperative spirit that has characterised us since our creation: the best service, identical for everyone and at the best price.
« We ﬁrmly believe in the liberating power of education»
How do you explain the success of your development internationally?
My father worked at UNESCO in Paris, where he notably created the savings and loans service, a system comparable to a captive mutual beneﬁt society. Once he had retired he wanted to make this type of structure available to as many people as possible, so he began by looking for a « hub ». In Luxembourg, he met Jean Dupong (Council of State), Yves Mersch (Director of the Treasury), Victor Rod (Insurance Commission) and Jacques Santer. His entrepreneurial project interested them, so they permitted AMFIE to make Luxembourg better known within the community of international civil servants´. My father then began visiting numerous organisations in Europe to encourage new members to join. Many volunteers and word-of-mouth did the rest. In 2007, we modiﬁed our articles of association so as to also be able to serve individuals located outside of Europe. In 2014, we expanded our services to the family members of our members. The current context of rapid innovation is proving to be highly favourable for consolidating our strong growth.
What are your prospects?
Our Strategy Committee, composed of his Royal Highness Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg, Serge Krancenblum (SGG Group CEO), Jean-Paul Laborde (Chair in Cybersecurity/ Cyberdefense at St-Cyr Sogeti, Thales, former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations), Julian Presber (University of Luxembourg) and Giovanni Palmieri (Council of Europe - former Chairman of the Committee of Staff Representatives of the Co-ordinated Organisations), established a plan for development along three lines. Firstly: technology, which remains a means and not an end. Secondly: proximity - our DNA - which alone makes it possible to furnish the desired service, notably within a context of growing precariousness for international civil servants. When Trump announces that the United States is withdrawing from certain institutions, it has an impact on international civil servants. And ﬁnally, we ﬁrmly believe in the liberating power of education. As a result, we are launching new projects: content to inform civil servants, funds, solutions for children. Our ambition is to become a ﬁnancial hub for international civil servants and their families. In geographical terms, we will expand our services towards Asia and develop our image in the country where we have been active for 28 years: The Grand Duchy!