Promotion & conferences
In 2016, ALFI members have been asked to provide feedback on the association’s event programme. What did they say?
In recognition of the needs and objectives of our membership and of the international investment management industry in general, the conference line-up of ALFI’s annual flagship conferences in Luxembourg has evolved.
In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, there was significant regulatory upheaval aimed at preventing further damage to the financial industry. As a natural consequence, part of our events have focused significantly on interpreting these regulations and helping the industry prepare for their after-effects.
However, the key drivers in the industry have shifted, and are now dominated by innovation and adaptation, especially around the following themes:
• product development in a zero-interest environment
• the quest for yield
• industry digitilisation and FinTech
• shifting investor demographics
• margin pressures and the need for growth and scale
Accordingly, ALFI decided to produce a unique forum in which the challenges and opportunities mentioned above can be debated and best practice is shared. For this reason, the "Spring Conference" has become the ALFI European Asset Management Conference, to take place every year in March in Luxembourg.
This event puts asset managers and investors centre-stage, and give them a forum in which they can discuss how best to navigate the current environment, as well as debate strategic issues, innovation in operations, asset allocation, product development and many other pertinent subjects.
The other big news resulting from the feedback of our membership, is the change from the traditional ALFI European Alternative Investment Fund Conference to the ALFI Private Equity and Real Estate Conference, to take place on 21- 22 November in Luxembourg.
The new concept of this conference will gather leading decision makers in the PE and RE spheres for a deep-dive in roundtable and workshop discussions. The conference will be principally aimed at experts and practitioners, but will also cater for specialised service providers. It will be preceded by an Alternative UCITS and Hedge Fund Forum.
With the rapid development of social media, is the organisation of roadshows to promote the Luxembourg investment fund industry abroad still relevant?
There is no substitute to the "physical in-person" meeting in order to develop a deep and sustainable relationship. The ALFI country roadshow program offers the attendees a unique platform to meet and engage directly with those serving across all parts of the Luxembourg Investment Fund Ecosystem. The program for these roadshows has evolved significantly over the last number of years, covering both Luxembourg centric issues but also dealing with the macro issues impacting the asset management industry. The interactive workshops embedded in these roadshows provide real practical insights and solutions on how to deal with the challenges facing the industry coupled with highlighting opportunities.
The roadshows are also an opportunity to meet with the local country regulators for an exchange of views on matters impacting the asset management industry.
ALFI organises regular roadshows to Germany, Switzerland, the UK, the US, Asia, Latin America and other destinations of interest to the fund industry.
As can been seen from above, these roadshows play a multidimensional role which cannot be replaced as such by social media. However, social media has an increasingly important role to play, it can be leveraged to provide continuous and instantaneous industry updates, facilitate the intervention of speakers who can't be physically present at roadshows and enable information and updates to be pushed to those who can't attend the roadshows. The ALFI Linkedin group and the ALFI Twitter account are followed by thousands of industry experts.
Michael Ferguson, EY Luxembourg
Chair of the ALFI Promotion Technical Committee