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Bram Eijsbouts (IQ-EQ) : Adding value at every step of the Client and Investor Journey.

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“The resilience of Luxembourg is remarkable, especially over the past three years,” says Bram Eijsbouts, Regional Chief Commercial Officer at IQ-EQ, who leads the company’s commercial and relationship management activities across Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Interview. 

Could you describe your role as Regional CCO in a group like IQ-EQ? 

In my role as Regional CCO, I’m responsible for the growth of two of our largest offices, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. I’m leading a strong cross-jurisdictional team of commercial and client relationship directors, in charge of developing, retaining and growing a satisfied client base across IQ-EQ’s three client segments, Fund & Asset Managers, Private & Institutional Asset Owners, as well as Debt, Capital Markets & Corporate. No matter the segment or specific asset class, the market went through unprecedented challenges in recent years and the regulatory landscape is constantly evolving. Our clients are looking for a service provider with not only the technical expertise and technology solutions required across asset classes and jurisdictions, but they are more than ever looking for a reliable partner, guiding them through all complexities, so they can focus on value creation for their investors. This all starts with having a deep understanding of our clients strategic priorities. My team and I provide this active guidance and be of added value at every step of the client and investor journey.

How are your clients’ needs evolving and how do you adapt to them? 

Our clients are asking for three main things. The first is to remain fully compliant, at all times, everywhere. This sounds easy, but it requires an understanding of their needs while constantly monitoring new regulatory and reporting requirements around the world, and an ability to adapt quickly. To give you an example, we see our clients having an increased focus on ESG and sustainability, which generates the need for a compliant ESG setup in line with SFDR and investor expectations, a clear data collection strategy, as well as ESG performance reporting to investors. Our service offering is such that we can meet those administration, compliance and reporting requirements in full and on a global scale. The second trend is related to ensuring a streamlined client and investor journey. The fundraising market has tightened, so attracting and onboarding new investors in an efficient way is crucial for fund managers nowadays. Our efficient compliance oversight service relieves the pressure of reviewing their investors, allowing them to focus on deal activity and delivering strong client and investor outcomes. This takes us to the third trend: our clients’ increasing need for leveraging technology and data. It’s impossible today to deal with so many fast-changing variables without state-of-the-art technology. At IQ-EQ, we’re supporting our clients, and giving them a competitive edge, with a suite of technology solutions, including our own proprietary RegTech system, portfolio monitoring solution, and data platform enabling our clients to easily gather, analyse and mine their data. All in all, our clients want us to listen to them, make their life easier and to deliver the best possible experience for them and their investors.

“Despite market the circumstances, Luxembourg is still considered

by foreign investors as the main fund hub for Europe”

What risks and opportunities do you identify? 

Let me start with opportunities. Despite market circumstances, foreign investors still consider Luxembourg to be the main fund hub for Europe. This country, where we’re supporting some of the largest globally recognised asset managers, pension funds, family offices and multinational companies, remains at the heart of IQ-EQ’s group strategy. Our growth over the past years remained solid and the resilience of the Grand Duchy has been remarkable, especially over the past three years. When one segment or asset class suffers, another flourishes. This was the case with private debt and infrastructure recently. Any additional complexity represents a new opportunity for IQ-EQ and Luxembourg. We are taking advantage of the retailisation of private markets with products like the ELTIF (European Long-Term Investment Fund), or the ESG and sustainability trend. We want to be at the forefront of new (regulatory) developments: we are partnering with our clients and co-designing solutions together with them. More generally, we want to be trend setters whenever possible, jumping on board new markets and new solutions. This is what draws clients to us. We have the tech. We have the input from our clients. We have the inhouse expertise. It’s all about listening and anticipating. On the risk side, I simply feel that Luxembourg needs to remain pragmatic. Regulation here is clearly an asset: we just need to make sure that we stay competitive and don’t pass the limit of over-regulation. As our Prime Minister Luc Frieden said recently, we need to deal with “all the directive, just the directive”.

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