Carne: a decade in Luxembourg
Carne executives say that actively recruiting senior professionals and focusing on client needs has driven their success over the past decade.
What is your perspective on Carne’s 10 years in Luxembourg?
Tracey McDermott: I was the first employee when the company was established in Luxembourg in 2006. That was in the UCITS III era, when governance was becoming a hot topic. At that time, we were two people, compared with 30 people now serving the Luxembourg market.
Lydie Bini: A decade later, corporate governance, risk management and compliance top the agenda for asset managers. Our clients benefit enormously from Carne’s progression over that period and the lessons learned.
Steve Bernat: Luxembourg was Carne’s first jurisdiction outside Ireland, two years after the firm’s creation. Today, Carne has eight offices around the globe with a presence in all major fund domiciles. Luxembourg is not only central to the group’s strategy, but also the fastest-growing business right now.
What makes Carne stand out?
Steve Bernat: Our biggest investment in Carne’s business is in our people. We now have a global team of 100 professionals, who have worked for firms such as Deutsche Bank, Citibank, Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, PIMCO, among others. My team in Luxembourg has an average expertise in the fund industry of over 17 years. Within this team every skill set is represented. The management team decided that by developing such a team, the value we bring to our clients is significantly in excess of the investment.
Lydie Bini: So you can always find someone in the group, who has already solved the problem you are facing and is willing to share their experience. When you ask a question, you get feedback immediately.
Tracey McDermott: Carne takes a very hands-on approach. We see ourselves as an active part of our client’s business. Clients and industry peers often use us as a sounding board, and we actively share our know-how with our clients and the industry. Take for instance our annual Funds Congress, which we hosted for the 5th time in London in 2016 for which 1,500 people registered this year, one of the biggest of its kind in Europe.
Pascal Dufour: Carne’s clients include the largest financial institutions and asset managers in the world and we recognise that clients of that calibre should demand from us that we demonstrate a strong brand to their clients and regulators through strength in terms of people, knowledge, service and infrastructure.
Mario Koster: Because of that, I joined the group after working for a Carne client.
How do you see the future?
Pascal Dufour: Rather than selling a set of fixed services, our approach is to work closely with our clients creating value for them by reducing risk, removing complexity and addressing pain points. That is why we have actively invested so heavily in our business to-date and will continue to focus on long-term investment strategies. Our IT infrastructure is an important component of this investment, as it adds that extra layer of security and reassurance for our clients and allows us to do the job efficiently.
Mario Koster: Carne is the only fund governance provider, who can serve managers in multiple fund domiciles and we believe this allows us to demonstrate that we add greater value to our clients by serving them across their whole business.
Steve Bernat: The management team has taken a strategic decision to remain independent, so that our client’s needs and requirements can continue to drive our business rather than any short-term financial rewards. We are proud of the business we have created and we have a long-term commitment to that business, to Luxembourg as a domicile and most especially to our clients.