Philippe Seyll (Clearstream Fund Centre Luxembourg): a new bank is born
18 years after joining Clearstream, Philippe Seyll is taking the helm of a newly created entity, Clearstream Fund Centre Luxembourg, with big ambitions for growth. Interview.
Can you present Clearstream Fund Centre Luxembourg in a few words?
Clearstream Fund Centre Luxembourg drives fund execution within Clearstream’s Fund Services business. It is a new bank that we created in the Grand Duchy whose raison d'être is to offer an ecosystem to asset managers and distributors of investment funds, to facilitate their fundraising activities. We mainly provide them with two types of services: on the one hand, trade execution, with half a billion trades per year, and on the other hand, custody of fund units, with 3,500 billion euros under custody, far ahead of our closest competitor. The main reason behind the creation of Clearstream Funds Centre Luxembourg as a separate entity is the maturity of our services: Clearstream is regulated as a Central Securities Depository (CSD), whereas our funds activities correspond to a MIFID regime. The creation of the bank marks its migration to a more appropriate regulatory regime, allowing us on the one hand to develop additional services, and on the other to offer our clients specialised services for asset managers and distributors. At the same time, we are enhancing two activities in which we are already internationally recognised as champions.
"The creation of the bank marks its migration to a regulatory regime more suited to our activities.”
What are your short- and medium-term objectives?
We have set ourselves three short-term objectives for Clearstream Fund Services. Firstly, we want to honour the trust of the regulator and demonstrate our ability to serve our clients by complying with all the compliance rules to the letter. Secondly, we want to develop our investment fund distribution services. We have signed a number of significant contracts that will enable us to consolidate our leadership position. Finally, the recent acquisition of Kneip allows us to facilitate access to fund data for our clients and to approach their data in a much more efficient way, in terms of both structuring and dissemination. As such, we operate in the 'regtech' space, making regulatory constraints more manageable. This is a first example of creating services in our ecosystem of asset managers and distributors. In the longer term, we want to deploy our offer in private money, where our expertise creates considerable value by meeting the specific needs of this asset class, particularly in the retailisation of private equity with increasingly low entry tickets.
"We must not be afraid to aim high."
Where do you see Clearstream Fund Services in a few years?
I have been developing this business within Clearstream for 18 years. 15 years ago, this business generated less than 10 million euros per year. Today, we have generated close to 400 million with an ambition to grow the revenue further and substantially in the next years. We should not be afraid to aim high, because there are many synergies that allow us to look forward to the future with optimism. My mission is to develop a European champion in fund data from Luxembourg.