Laurent Linster

(BearingPoint Luxembourg): skills without borders

Banks need to review their business model in the face of regulatory pressure and digitisation. Laurent Linster, Associate Director, describes how BearingPoint Luxembourg is supporting its clients in this transformation.

How is BearingPoint Luxembourg evolving?

BearingPoint Luxembourg opened its office just over a year ago. At the same time, our Geneva office launched its new advisory service for financial institutions. These two entities bring together around 50 people who specialise in wealth and asset management. We act as a centre of competence in these two areas for the group and work with private banks and asset managers across Europe. 

After one year of activity, more than 15 banks have called on our services – including the biggest banks within the financial centre – for all types of activities, ranging from strategy to more operational projects. Our development objective remains ambitious: we plan to double the size of our workforce by May 2021.

“Our presence in several countries enables us to consolidate best practices from these different jurisdictions for the benefit of our clients”

What is your analysis of the changes which are occurring?

Banks are under pressure from regulation and low interest rates. It is essential that they review their business model to revise the cost-income ratio. In order to achieve these objectives, there is a trend towards working with other banking players or technology providers to find solutions for outsourcing or industrialising those parts of the value chain which they consider to be non-differentiating. Until recently, our teams spent most of their time on mandates dealing with improving the customer experience; today, we are more intensively solicited regarding operational efficiency with the automation of “front to back” internal processes and even with the development of more integrated and digital client interactions, as can be seen in the process of clients onboarding. A prospective client will be able to enter his or her personal information and attach all of his or her documents in a private and secure space, prior to the account opening process. When the prospective client becomes an actual client, this data will then be processed automatically, without the slightest manual intervention, in the rest of the chains. We support several large banks in Luxembourg and Switzerland in these areas.

What added value do you provide the companies using your services?

The first factor in BearingPoint Luxembourg’s success is our independence. Because we don’t offer outsourcing services ourselves, we don’t present any conflict of interest and can support financial institutions in a completely objective way to establish their business model and to select the most appropriate service providers. Another element of our success is our cross-border industry know-how. As a centre of expertise, we operate in different countries and jurisdictions; this enables us to get to know the different regulators, to collect and to compare regulations and best practices. This is a considerable asset when it comes, for example, to dealing with issues related to the cross-border management of client data - location, protection or access - in the context of outsourcing or near-shore outsourcing projects.

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