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Peter Brown (Aztec Group): The Bright Alternative


Aztec Group opened its doors in Luxembourg in 2007 in response to strong client demand, and now employs more than 600 people in the Grand Duchy with a mission to provide a ‘bright alternative’ fund administration service to private investment markets. Head of Luxembourg, Peter Brown, shares the company’s ethos.

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Tell us more about Aztec Group, and your recent growth in Luxembourg?

At Aztec Group, our strategy is focused – we provide a range of fund and corporate services to institutionally backed alternative fund managers in Europe, and now also the US. Given we are owner managed, we are able to invest long term, with our growth to date being organic. Our new offices in the US and Ireland, and new service offerings in areas like ESG, insight led data services, and AIFM have all been driven by growing demand from our clients and their investors. Luxembourg is now our largest office with over 35% of our colleagues working here. A collaborative culture is key to our success in attracting both talent and clients – we invest heavily in our teams, supporting them to achieve their own aspirations, while also delivering an exceptional service to our clients, and embedding a continuous improvement mindset.


"Luxembourg remains our key engine of growth, and is at the heart of our plans to bring a ‘bright alternative’ to private markets globally"


What do you see as the current challenges for the alternative funds market?

Attracting and retaining the best talent is the biggest challenge for the industry. In this ‘war for talent’, the winners will be businesses that listen to and invest in their people, provide interesting development opportunities, and engage them in values-led activities such as community support, and sustainability. New roles are also emerging which will require different skills, for example ESG managers and data engineers. We are also in a period of considerable economic uncertainty, with interest rates much higher, stubborn inflation, and also recent financial instability in the banking markets. This is having an impact on the ability to raise new capital, but also affecting asset values which is driving down investing activity. However, these conditions also provide opportunity with the reduction in bank lending opening the door to private credit to fill the gaps, with enhanced risk-adjusted returns. Finally, increasing substance requirements through regulations like ATAD 3 will drive the need for more specialised expertise on the ground, and increase costs.


And finally, how do you see the future of Luxembourg?


Luxembourg remains the second largest funds domicile globally, and continues to be the jurisdiction of choice for alternative fund managers seeking access to capital from European investors. There is a strong culture of innovation here, with investment in Fintech through organisations such as the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology, a real focus on sustainable finance initiatives such as the Green Bond exchange, and also expected rapid adoption of ELTIF 2.0 which willprovide greater access to retail investors looking to increase exposure to alternative assets. While Ireland is emerging as a competitor, particularly with US managers, the deep pool of expertise flexible alternative funds ‘toolkit’, and a central position in Europe will continue to drive strong growth in Luxembourg over the coming years. A significant enabler for Luxembourg is the continued investment in infrastructure, and access to affordable housing, which will be key to attracting and retaining the talent needed to supportexpected growth.


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