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Brexit leads to uptick in Luxembourg hires

Updated: May 16, 2019

Brexit is leading to a hiring spree in Luxembourg, with several international fund houses currently looking to secure top talent, according to experts.

Article published on Ignites Europe By Anna Devine

Yesterday Ignites Europe reported that M&G Investment is to create up to 30 jobs in legal, compliance and risk roles in Luxembourg.

Other asset managers are building out their operations in the Grand Duchy as firms seek to offset any potential disruption from the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Nick Talreja, client partner at The Buy-Side Club, an executive search consultancy specialising in investment management, says fund houses are hiring for roles including risk, compliance, operations and portfolio management oversight.

“A number of firms are currently hiring in the Grand Duchy,” says Mr Talreja.

“Asset managers are hoping to secure senior talent with local knowledge and local product expertise.”

Funds Partnership, a Luxembourg-based asset management recruiter, says it has been contacted by businesses looking to relocate part of their teams or build more extensively in the Grand Duchy following the Brexit referendum.

Rana Hein-Hartmann, executive director at Funds Partnership, says there are still a lot of companies “window shopping between specific locations” and deciding what to do, however.

The changes so far are “subtle” but significant, with the full extent of the impact on asset management jobs unlikely to be known until “well after” 2018, she says.

“[However], timing is important for a first-mover advantage,” says Ms Hein-Hartmann.

Brexit-related policies, such as the guidance on delegation that was issued by the European Securities and Markets Authority in July, is also driving job growth in Luxembourg.

Any alternative asset managers or Ucits managers with international investors looking to maintain their entities in Luxembourg will “need to grow bigger teams”.

“Most [firms] are choosing to start at the higher level, and will build teams of around six to 10 senior oversight functions to begin with,” says Ms Hein-Hartmann.

“Once the Brexit deal is finally announced, they will be able to build further on that. This allows them the common sense of building slowly, and the first-mover advantage of doing something when not everything is clear.”

Firms are looking for middle and back-office roles at present, she adds.

Kirsty Pinegar, head of wealth and asset management at Bruin Financial, a specialist financial services recruiter, says her firm has noticed a rise in Luxembourg hiring, particularly in oversight, product related and transfer agency roles.

But she says the trend is “not necessarily” Brexit related and the hiring is not at London’s expense.

“Several clients are [hiring] additional people on the ground in Luxembourg, but to support their existing UK function,” says Ms Pinegar.

Ana Maria Tuliak, Principal at Ludgate Search, adds that she has seen increased demand at most of the fund houses for sales managers and sales directors in Europe with “a specific market coverage” such as Spain, Italy, Germany, France and the French-speaking markets of Luxembourg and Switzerland.

She adds: “The salespeople covering [the] French-speaking market are usually based in France, Luxemburg or Switzerland depending on the firm’s setup.

“The higher demand for sales support and marketing headcount in Luxemburg has been driven by the need to support distribution activity in the French-speaking geographies following Brexit.”

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