Diana Senanayake (IQ-EQ): Luxembourg, the logical choice
After her childhood in Belgium and her studies in England, Diana Senanayake started working in Luxembourg. She left several times but kept coming back, this time with a dual role.
You’ve been appointed to the dual role of Regional CEO of Continental Europe and Managing Director for Luxembourg. What made you choose IQ-EQ?
First came the personal decision to return to Europe. I grew up in Brussels and studied in London before starting my professional career in Luxembourg. After spending ten years working in Asia, mostly in Singapore, and experiencing the pandemic there, I felt it was time to return home. Then came this incredible opportunity with IQ-EQ. I was of course familiar with the brand in Luxembourg and Asia, having worked for 27 years in the financial sector. Compared to competitors, IQ-EQ has experienced exceptional growth, and I could see a lot of value in the dual responsibility that my job implies. It was the perfect match to initiate an exciting return to Luxembourg as my next professional move.
“Luxembourg remains at the heart of the group’s strategy and a key driver of our global growth”
How does your dual role benefit the Luxembourg business?
The creation of the new role “Regional CEO of Continental Europe” marks a shift at IQ-EQ, from a country-by-country approach to a regional model. We rapidly identified areas of coordination between our European countries (Luxembourg, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and Cyprus), which opened discussions on new business strategies that will drive efficiency and collaboration while remaining faithful to the needs of each market and customer. For example, platforms, products and expertise in France and Luxembourg could bring value to the Netherlands and Cyprus, and vice versa. We have a community of experts able to work across borders, so it made complete sense to bring these locations together under one banner. I combine this first role with my mission as Managing Director for Luxembourg, where I position Luxembourg as a hub to create and maintain a high level of organic growth. Our clients can access all our services in one place at a group level.
Let me give you two examples: our AIFM platform, which is a pure EU product resulting from the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), exists in both Luxembourg and France. Our clients are international and global. They are looking at entering Europe via an AIFM passport whether it is in France or Luxembourg. We want to ensure that both our AIFM platforms will deliver the same type of products, the same level of turnkey solutions, and the same quality of deliverables, and we’re achieving this through collaboration. Another example is on the private wealth side. We have been seeing a trend for some time where family office investors are adopting institutional practices, looking for stronger governance and turning towards alternative investments. By joining forces with other jurisdictions and launching a global family office initiative, we can offer our single- and multi-family office clients a better and more complete service.
How do you see IQ-EQ Luxembourg developing in the future?
IQ-EQ was born in Luxembourg and it remains at the heart of the group’s strategy and a key driver of our global growth, and I don’t see this changing anytime soon. This year is an important milestone for us, as we’re proud to be celebrating the firm’s 70th anniversary in Luxembourg. While it will be the perfect occasion to look back on our success story and reflect on everything we’ve done well, it’s just as important, if not more so, to continue looking ahead towards the future to maintain our success. Whether I look back or forward, what I see is that our employees are at the heart of everything we do, and this is something on which we want to focus even more in the future. We are a people’s business, and we’re always striving to be more inclusive, flexible and sustainable. We want our people to grow with the business, and the business can only grow through investing in our people.
Birthday: 04 August 1970
Place of birth: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Languages: French, English, Dutch, Singhalese
Hobbies: Travels, pilates and yoga, nature & wild life, art exhibitions
Cities: New York, Singapore, London
Places: Myanmar, China, the Greek Islands and South of France (Var)
Books: Art of War by Sun Tzu
Music: Jazz and contemporary music
Artists: Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and David Kracov