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ALWAYS LOOKING FORWARD 

Olivier Noël leads Northern Trust’s Luxembourg-based asset servicing business. He discusses its 20-year anniversary this year of being open for business in Luxembourg, trends shaping the evolution of the market for investment funds and how Northern Trust is supporting its investment manager clients through their evolving challenges and opportunities. 

Olivier took over this year as CEO of Northern Trust's Luxembourg-headquartered bank and country head of its Luxembourg business supporting sophisticated global investment managers. He joined in 2005 and was most recently its Luxembourg COO. Olivier assumed his new role just as Northern Trust marks its 20-year anniversary of opening an office in Luxembourg.  

Your evolving business  

“Northern Trust first established a Luxembourg presence in 2004 to help clients take advantage of European fund opportunities. Today it is home to our EU bank and central to our Continental European growth strategy. From Luxembourg, we provide a range of fund administration, depositary, global custody and related asset servicing solutions for leading fund managers, corporations, multinationals and pension institutions.  

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What have been some key milestones over 20 years?  

“Milestones since 2004 include becoming the first major custodian to obtain a license to establish a UCITS-compliant management company in Luxembourg, being first to service a cross-border, tax-transparent Fonds Commun de Placement for a multinational client’s global pension plan in 2005, and the acquisition in 2017 of UBS Asset Management’s fund administration business in Luxembourg (and Switzerland). In 2019 Luxembourg became the new headquarters for our European Union bank.  

Will Luxembourg continue to flourish as a funds domicile?  

“I believe so. Luxembourg continues to maintain its status as Europe's largest domicile for investment funds, with close to 5.5 trillion euros of assets under management and has a growth rate over the last 12 months of 6.54%.1 We foresee significant future growth in both traditional and alternative assets and have the technology, expertise and capability to service all fund types, from the most straightforward to ​the most complex.  

What growth areas would you identify?  

“We are seeing steady demand across all private capital strategies, and particularly for hybrid funds offering a combination of strategies, including the use of ‘semi-liquid’ fund structures. To support this trend, the EU’s new ELTIF2 2.0 regime is intended to enable European investment into private market assets via semi-liquid funds and related strategies. ELTIF 2.0 has been in effect since January and broadens the scope of eligible assets and permissible investments, allowing managers to invest in a broader range of real assets via this structure.  

It also enhances marketing and distribution rules to offer investors redemptions during the life of the fund, allowing for ‘semi-liquid’ evergreen ELTIFs with both traditional and private market assets to be provided from Luxembourg. The ability to offer a semi-liquid evergreen ELTIF corresponds with the broader trend for having some liquidity in private credit strategies – and, again, we are seeing increasing interest from clients to offer these to their investors.”   

FACTS & FIGURES 

 

  • Birthday: 20 February 1978 

  • Place of birth: Namur, Belgium 

  • Nationality: Belgian 

  • Children: 2 children  

  • Languages: French, English and very basic Dutch. 

  • Hobbies: Travelling, playing padel, sailing. 

 

MY FAVOURITE

 

  • Cities:  Rome, Singapore or Malbosc (for some moments out of time) 

  • Restaurants: La Co(o)rniche, Um Plateau, Ma Langue Sourit, Dal Notaro (for a nice family evening) 

  • Places : Close to the sea please 😊 

  • Books :  Atomic Habits (James Clear), L’ Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) 

  • Music:  Jazz and contemporary music (house or lounge music) 

  • Artists: Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Helmut Newton 

 

POSITION

 

CEO and Country Head Northern Trust Global Services S.E. ​​​

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