Regional Executive Europe and member of the Group Executive Board
A people-driven industry
While technological development is an important factor in remaining competitive, our services are above all about human capabilities and relationships, says Sandra Legrand, Regional Executive Europe at Alter Domus.
How has Alter Domus developed over the years?
Our company was created 18 years ago as a spin-off of one of the big four, and initially employed 80 people providing mostly Corporate Services. Today, we count more than 3,000 employees spread across 20 countries and 36 offices and we offer a wider range of services, dedicated to clients active in the alternative fund industry. Our aim has always been to support our clients’ needs and this is reflected also in Alter Domus’ geographical expansion over the years. The opening of our Australian office is a perfect example. It was initiated as an answer to the needs of one of our largest clients, satisfied with our services in Luxembourg and Jersey, who prompted us to establish a presence in its home market. This does say a lot about our commitment to satisfy our clients, I presume. More recently, our latest acquisitions in the US – IPS Fund Services in Boston and Strata Fund Solutions in Salt Lake City- have really helped us increase our footprint in North America. While Alter Domus remains headquartered in Luxembourg with approximately 900 employees, we are now pleased to count over 900 colleagues in the US and more than 400 in the Asia-Pacific region.
How does your vertical integration strategy operate in practice?
Our vertical integrated model is fairly unique in our industry in the sense that it aims to support all the needs of asset managers, besides advisory functions of course. From investors’ on-boarding, fund domiciliation, depositary and Management Company services, NAV calculation and regulatory reporting, we have the necessary skillsets, experience and people to support all of our clients’ needs from simple to more complex structures, both locally and globally. Our aim is to always add value and enable asset managers to focus on their core functions. This is clearly crucial for our clients, but can only be achieved thanks to our people and the good relations that we are building every day with our clients. This is essential, especially in our industry where human relations play an important role.
What trends do you see emerging in the future?
In Luxembourg, the alternative fund industry is extremely active, with strong demand for new structures in asset classes including real estate, debt, private equity and infrastructure. With the advent of the Brexit, we do believe in the ever-greater attractiveness of jurisdictions such as Luxembourg, Ireland but also France and The Netherlands – countries where Alter Domus does have a strong footprint. In the US, asset managers are slowly starting to outsource the administration of their funds, which has historically often been carried out in-house. We count on our extended footprint in the US to capitalise on this trend. With over 60% of our current clients headquartered in the US, we believe we are well positioned to take advantage of this new trend and eager to bring our 18 years of dedicated alternative industry expertise to the US. While confident for the future, we have to remain watchful. As Regional Executive Europe, I always need to anticipate the possibility of a future downturn and seek ways to secure our business and our employees’ future. Technology? As the others, we are continuously monitoring, assessing and considering new ways or means to remain competitive, but don’t get me wrong – it is people, not technology, who drive everything in our industry.
Facts & Figures
Birth place: Bastogne, Belgium
Number of children: 2
Languages: French and English
Hobbies: reading, hiking, gardening, playing with my kids
Towns: Paris, Chicago, London
Places: Corsica, French Alps
Book: : Any type of novels
Restaurants:Italian and French food (restaurant Ma Langue Sourit)
Music: rock, pop, alternative
Artwork (or artist): Toma (French painter)