Martin Vogel (MDO, DMS and Montlake): In Unity is Strength

MDO joining forces with DMS and Montlake (the “Group”) has created a larger, more flexible Group. Martin Vogel, CEO Europe DMS Governance says their combined strengths allow them to deliver a higher level of quality, a wider range of professional services and more targeted client focus which is helping them attract more clients than either firm could have done individually.

 

How has MDO evolved since the transaction?

 

As a result of this transaction, we have created a leading, global governance and third-party management company. We have seen the growth of MDO’s client base and the development of a stable environment providing operational security and certainty for both clients and staff. The new unit offers an extensive portfolio of pan-European services from three ManCos in Dublin, Luxembourg and London. Our joint, local presence in these three key domiciles has been well received in the market. Proof of this is our success in acquiring new clients whom we alone could not have acquired individually as MDO, DMS or Montlake. As a Group, we now have a very strong, substantiated and valid offer in the UCITs and the Alternative Investment Fund space with know-how in all relevant areas and across jurisdictions. This attracts bigger players in the market: those who require more than one domicile or who feel more comfortable outsourcing to a larger, professional group. 

 

“The new Group is able to deliver to clients a multi-product, multi jurisdiction offering which will enable us to outperform the growth of the market whilst maintaining a unique and high-quality service.” 

How are your clients’ needs evolving?

 

With increasing complexity in the fund world, our clients are looking for the best partner to advise them on the initial phase of the life of a fund: clients are looking for guidance on what funds to set up, in what jurisdiction to establish them, what legal structure to create and what services they will require. Initially, they are looking for a consulting and hand-holding phase. Once a fund is established, they need a partner who not only undertakes the day-to-day functions professionally and diligently but who gives them support on new regulation or investment/distribution strategies. One of the major challenges on which we can advise funds is e.g. the direction they should take with ESG related investments. Do they follow a full or partial ESG strategy or, for now, do they simply continue as they did in the past? Such decisions on a fund’s direction will have a strong impact on the operational model that they will follow in future.

 

Where do you see Luxembourg and MDO in 3 to 5 years?

 

In the asset management and the fund world, I am confident that Luxembourg is well-positioned to maintain its position as a leading domicile. In the current, low-interest rate environment we anticipate that the flow of new money seeking higher-yielding investment products will continue. The requirement for pension funds to invest in different asset classes will also grow.  Luxembourg will continue to benefit as a domicile and will see an increase in its AUM in the coming years. Within the new Group, we believe that we are well-positioned to outperform the growth of the market. We want to be a leader in corporate governance and operational safety and a pro-active business partner to our clients. As a Group, we will continue to extend our service range with additional products and further jurisdictions. We want to be the leader in the third-party management sector across Europe.

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