Jean-Pierre Verlaine (Engelwood): Inspiring Alternative Performances
Nine years after its creation, Engelwood Group administrates USD 15 billion of assets under administration for clients in Europe, Switzerland, UK and the US. Jean-Pierre Verlaine, its Group’s CEO, believes that the increasing complexity of alternative investments represents a great opportunity for his firm and Luxembourg. Interview.
Can you describe your company in a few words?
Engelwood was founded in December 2014 with two employees. Less than nine years later, Engelwood Group has grown exclusively by way of organic growth. Its double-digit annual growth is thanks to the commitment of its 70 employees. Headquartered in Luxembourg, it has representative offices in Geneva and London. These Engelwood entities administer around USD 15 billion AUM through regulated and unregulated investment structures set up for managing the cross-border investments of its clients. Our group is structured around three legal entities. Engelwood Asset Management is a third-party AIFM under CSSF supervision. It is involved in real estate, private debt, private equity, venture capital, fund of funds, and hedge funds strategies. Engelwood Fund & Corporate Services is a professional financial services firm under CSSF supervision. It provides fund administration, corporate and tax compliance services, asset servicing solutions for investment funds, and/or non-regulated SPVs. Engelwood Management & Consulting is an advisory company providing clients with financial engineering, structured advisory services and governance, and regulatory solutions.
“New legal solutions represent a huge opportunity”
How are your customers' needs evolving?
Our customers are constantly looking for concrete solutions in the field of alternative investment funds in the capital market environment. They are asset managers, institutional and corporate players, and HNWI. They come mainly from Switzerland, the UK, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Denmark, and the US. Such clients have an appetite for financial asset strategies including investments in private equity and venture capital, real estate, private debt, alternatives, and hedge funds. Engelwood stands for a holistic vision of investment. It blends asset allocation, active management, and structuring capability in the environments of alternative investment funds and capital markets. This allows us to deliver tailor-made solutions to our customers who are looking for global opportunities that are implemented and administrated by an international player. Through this experience and flexibility, we deliver solution-based services through close engagement with our clients in an increasingly regulated environment. Our team is recognized for its commitment, competence, and proactivity.
“Inspire instead of simply hire”
What risks and opportunities do you identify for Luxembourg in general and for your company in particular?
During the last 20 years, due to the availability of sophisticated tools, Luxembourg has demonstrated its capability to provide efficient and secure solutions for meeting the complex needs and expectations of asset managers. Capital market and investment funds solutions have established Luxembourg as one of the most successful and attractive references for asset managers. Our jurisdiction can leverage the solid credibility and relevance of its products, distributed or placed for its investors. It is a challenge to manage all the capital market and investment fund regulatory, governance, sustainable finance requirements, and digitalization processes. But existing and new legal solutions represent a huge opportunity in terms of business development and will contribute to maintain the confidence in Luxembourg as a financial location. Engelwood anticipated the trends above by building up internal technology, recruiting new talents, and organizing its activities to implement, manage and administrate concrete global solutions. It acts as a global player in the field of investment funds and capital market products as part of its strategic development plan and its willingness to continue its commitment to excellence towards our clients, their investors, our partners, and employees. Attracting and retaining talents, training, development, engagement, and corporate culture for sustaining all these activities is also a challenge for Luxembourg. Inspire instead of simply hire is a definitively Engelwood’s exciting human capital objective.