Summary of the LPEA Insights : 360 GP View conference (26/04/2017)

LPEA Insights: summary notes and video

360 GP View | 26/04/2017

This summary captures the presentations and panel discussions of the LPEA Insights – 360 GP View conference held on 26th April 2017 in the Philharmonic Luxembourg. The conference was attended by roughly 80 GP’s and 90 other Asset Managers among an audience of 330 participants with 82% coming from Luxembourg. The goal of the conference was to showcase an asset class that continues to attract new investors and deliver consistent returns. It also aimed to highlight the growing community, how it has changed in recent years and finally to honor the members of the LPEA who helped to come this far. The conference started with a get-together in the hallway of the Philharmonie Luxembourg early in the afternoon.

1. Opening & keynote speech
Before officially opening the conference, the musical trio “Les trois anches de Luxembourg” set the mood and played some excerpts from “Music for the Royal Fireworks” (G.F. Haendel, 1685 – 1759). Rajaa Mekouar (Kharis Capital) was announced as the conference host and shared some opening remarks about the goals of the conference and the wish to demystify the private equity asset class. After the president of the LPEA Jérôme Wittamer had welcomed the audience and talked about the size of the private equity market in Luxembourg, Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg’s Ministry of finance, addressed the audience with a video message. He highlighted the growing FinTech industry in Luxembourg and the recent launch of the Green Cornerstone Bond Fund in Luxembourg which aims to fight global warming in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. After his address the keynote speaker Mark Florman (LPEQ) took the stage. In his presentation he explained the concept of the total rate of return (TRR), which consists of the internal (IRR) and the external rate of return (ERR), with the ERR being the value that is added to society, for example by creating jobs. He also emphasised that the private equity industry has to do a better job reporting these external contributions to gain understanding and support from the society. This concept turned out to be one of the most important takeaways of the afternoon, with several panelists later referring to it and the ERR in particular.

2. What it takes to succeed in private equity
The second session and first panel discussion was moderated by Pierre Weimerskirch (Luxembourg Investment Solutions), with the panelists being Stephanie Delperdange (Sofina), Claus Mansfeldt (Swancap) and Manuel Roumain (Kharis Capital). Claus Mansfeldt placed emphasis on the selection of the investments being the main driver of fund performance and the importance of a positive track record of a fund. Manuel Roumain advised not to invest less than 10% in asset classes including private equity. Doing so is critical to feel the impact on the return and that is key to be active as an investor and do fewer deals in order to add value. Stephanie Delperdange highlighted the importance of access to the best GP’s as the main success factor for LP’s, with the challenge being how to get access to them. All panelists agreed on this challenge and furthermore called private equity a “must-have investment”.

3. Luxembourg in the global Venture Capital ecosystem
Session 3 was moderated by Gilles Dusemon (Arendt & Medernach) with the panelists being Uli Grabenwarter (European Investment Fund), Rodrigo Sepulveda Schulz (Expon Capital) and Hans-Jürgen Schmitz (Mangrove Capital Partners). Gilles Dusemon started the conversation by stating that the venture capital industry is part of the real economy and not just of the financial sector. Hans-Jürgen Schmitz used Skype’s exit as an example to show that huge venture capital-backed companies cannot just be built in the U.S. but in Europe as well and said that there are currently more than 60 unicorns in Europe. In a mostly general discussion about venture capital, Uli Grabenwarter highlighted the outperformance of venture capital versus private equity and that there is no wrong time to invest in venture capital because of its long-term orientation. Rodrigo Sepulveda Schulz stated the importance of looking at the track record of the team of partners rather than single partners alone. He also advised individuals against investing in startups themselves since the individual cannot be as selective in their investment decisions as a venture capital fund can. Furthermore, he used his own personal experience as a business angel to underline that one will miss out on many deals for financial reasons when investing alone and cautioned to only invest in startups with the help of professionals.
4. The rise of direct lending in Europe
After a short coffee break and the chance to network, it was time for the fourth session of the afternoon which was about direct lending. The panelists were Peter Gibbs (Permira Debt Managers), Chris Birt (CORDET Capital) and Edouard Guillet (IPF Partners) with Maximilien Dambax (AlterDomus) moderating the debate. Peter Gibbs talked about direct lending being a growth market, that there is still huge potential in Europe and that institutional investors like pension funds are more and more shifting their asset allocation towards direct lending. Chris Birt agreed that Europe is still catching up and explained this with direct lending being a new asset class. Edouard Guillet expressed that some pension funds still have regulatory requirements which prohibit them from investing in these funds in Luxembourg. This is changing though, which is seen as positive for the industry. The panelists furthermore agreed that significantly increasing interest rates could become a challenge in the future, but that moderate increases will probably not be harmful for the industry.

5. Luxembourg in the crossroads of Emerging Markets
Session 5 saw Julien Kinic (Idi Emerging Markets), Jean Philippe de Schrevel (Bamboo Capital) and Carlos Heneine (Quilvest Private Equity) as panelists while Anja Grenner (SGG) moderated the debate. The discussion started off with calling emerging markets “still a niche market” (Anja Grenner) and noticing, that the “audience has shrunk over the last 10 years with returns being similar to those of the U.S.” (Carlos Heneine). Asked about the reasons to invest into emerging markets, Julien Kinic mentioned that although the overall risk and performance profile is similar to the one of developed markets, there is still an existing chance to find potential national champions which he called “hidden jewels”. Jean Philippe de Schrevel used the ERR concept of Mark Florman to talk about PE investments in emerging markets having the chance to build industries and sectors in these countries. He also discussed some of the difficulties when investing in emerging markets, namely the often complicated regulatory/legal environment and the need of having specialists on the ground, something that all panelists agreed upon. Asked about emerging markets today, Carlos Heneine offered his opinion that Africa would still offer great opportunities.

6. Structuring benchmark
In a last, shortened podium discussion which was moderated by David Capocci (KPMG), Andrea Neuböck-Escher (EQT Fund Mangement) and Aurélie Comptour (Sienna Capital) talked about Luxembourg as a financial center. Aurélie Comptour stated that Luxembourg is cherished for offering stability, business-orientation and expertise for administration and banking, while Andrea Neuböck-Escher called stability and predictability Luxembourg’s major advantages and the smaller market enabling it to build connections more easily. They furthermore welcomed the increasing regulations and called it an opportunity to become more transparent.

Closing speeches
After the last podium discussion was over, François Tesch (Luxempart) took the stage and talked about his investment philosophies as CEO of Luxempart (which is celebrating 25 years!), highlighting the long-term orientation of his investments, the geographical focus on countries in Western Europe and doing PE deals with local teams in the respective countries. He also used the moment to offer his political hope to avoid closed borders and that he is proud, that 50% of people in Luxembourg are from outside.
Last but not least, Paul Junck, Managing Director of LPEA, thanked all participants of the conference, the organisational team and said that he is looking forward to the 2nd LPEA Insights Conference in 2018.
Cocktails and canapés concluded the 1st LPEA Insights Conference which was overall a huge success and received great response from its participants with a full room.

LPEA thanks Philipp Schwarzenbart, Master of Science in Business Administration (University of Trier), for kindly assembling these notes. 

For more pictures and videos visit the event webpage.

Private equity: une alternative désormais mainstream

Private equity: une alternative désormais mainstream

LPEA Insights: 360 GP View

The Philhamornie will be the meeting point of the Private Equity community in Luxembourg on April 26th 2017.

A first GP-focused conference was held in July 2016 with Mojo Capital, Expon Capital, Sofina, Grosvenor Estate, Target Global VC and Fuchs Group.

Le Luxembourg s’est progressivement imposé comme la juridiction de choix pour les gérants de Private Equity/Venture Capital (PE/VC) désireux d’avoir une présence européenne et de lever des fonds auprès d’investisseurs européens.

En effet, aujourd’hui, plus de 100 fonds sont (partiellement ou totalement) domiciliés au Grand-Duché, dont 13 des plus grands fonds mondiaux, suivant un phénomène qui a commencé il y a 10 ans seulement. Le volet structuration a constitué le point de départ historique de l’envol du Luxembourg comme hub européen pour le PE/VC. Mais de plus en plus, le scope de la chaîne de valeur au Luxembourg s’élargit vers des activités «middle» et «front-office»; ceci grâce, entre autres, à l’approche pragmatique et «client focused» que l’écosystème luxembourgeois a adoptée dès le départ, et à la position stratégique du Grand Duché, qu’il s’agisse de son emplacement géographique ou de la qualité de son infrastructure.

C’est dans ce contexte d’évolutions importantes que la LPEA (Luxembourg Private Equity and Venture Capital Association), l’association qui représente l’industrie du PE/VC, a choisi d’innover en organisant la première grande conférence qui traite directement du PE/VC en tant que classe d’actifs gérée à partir du Luxembourg: «LPEA Insights: 360 GP View».

Pour présenter le fait que des acteurs de premier plan sont basés au Luxembourg la LPEA a ainsi sélectionné une 20aine de gestionnaires de fonds PE/VC qui partageront leurs expériences avec des participants de tous horizons lors de discussions-débats sous forme de panels interactifs.

La conférence se donne ainsi un but également éducatif, pour ceux des investisseurs moins familiers avec le PE/VC, qu’il s’agisse de gérants d’actifs «traditionnels» ou d’investisseurs privés qui souhaitent se diversifier dans des placements plus décorrélés. Dans un monde de taux d’intérêt bas (voire négatifs), la quête du «yield»» est en effet un sujet d’intérêt quasi général. Or, le PE/VC a su délivrer, depuis plus de 15 ans, des taux de rendement supérieurs a ceux des marchés boursiers, ce qui attise la curiosité grandissante de tous types d’investisseurs.

D’après la co-initiatrice de la conférence, Rajaa Mekouar, installée au Luxembourg depuis peu après 15 ans à Londres et Board Member de la LPEA: «Ces derniers temps ont vu les media multiplier les articles se rapportant aux projets d’expansion de grands fonds d’investissement comme Carlyle, Blackstone, ou ICG, qui renforcent leurs activités au Luxembourg; alors même que l’industrie continue de croître dans son ensemble, tirée par ses belles performances sur le long terme. La LPEA se veut partie prenante de ce mouvement et s’attache à illustrer la réalité d’aujourd’hui sur le terrain, et les opportunités de demain  qu’offre le Luxembourg, désormais un hub européen pour l’industrie du PE/VC. Les grandes tendances d’investissement qui marquent notre époque y seront abordées, a travers les témoignages de premier plan de professionnels du secteur.»

Le monde du PE/VC se donne ainsi rendez-vous le 26 avril à la Philharmonie pour un programme riche en diversité et en originalité.

Rajaa Mekouar

Syndicate, Investments & Partnerships of Kharis Capital and Board member of LPEA.

Private equity at the heart of the economy

Private equity at the heart of the economy

Featured in Duke 08, 22/03/2017

For 7 years, the LPEA has supported the development of a major industry within the Lxuembourg economy. Its President Jérôme Wittamer analyses its prospects to mark the first “LPEA Insights – 360 GP View” conference organised by the association.

The aim of the LPEA INSIGHTS – 360 GP VIEW conference is to demonstrate that the LPEA is a major player within the sector, by inviting family offices, wealth managers and private bankers to our event and to understand our investment strategies. Since the 2008 recession, Luxembourg’s private banking sector has evolved towards high-end asset management, in which private equity plays an increasingly significant role. It is important to make the link.

How would you assess the LPEA‘s performance since it was founded?

When it was founded in 2010, the LPEA had about 20 members. Since then, Luxembourg has become the European hub for private equity. This established the association’s international credibility. The expertise of our committees has enabled us to fulfil our threefold mission: to represent, promote and protect the activities of our 140 current members. Our strategy is focused on two levels:

1. At a national level, we show the Luxembourg political world the opportunities which this sector offers. We suggest tools and solutions to be implemented on the legislative side to ensure that Luxembourg is competitive and welcomes industry players. Our constructive proposals have made it possible to improve the existing legislative, regulatory and fiscal framework regarding the competitiveness of the financial market.

2. At an international level, we’ve promoted the Luxembourg industry in major financial cities including London, Zurich, Munich, Paris, Stockholm and New York. This has led to the creation of a number of reports on the subject. This intense promotion has paid off: private equity is currently the country’s most flourishing industry. Each year, a growing number of players open offices here. Moreover, it’s a very positive industry because it invests 100% in the economy. Lastly, we’ve also invested in training through our collaboration with the House of Training and the University.

What are the prospects for the “private equity – venture capital” sector in Luxembourg today?

They are excellent. Brexit has created unbearable uncertainty for players in the UK, a country in which a considerable part of the European private equity industry has been concentrated until recently. Luxembourg offers stability and favourable regulation. This allows industry professionals, who are making decisions for 10-year funds, to focus on developing their business.

A recent article in the Financial Times highlighted these different aspects. The article recognised our work and had a very positive impact as this newspaper has an influential effect in our industry, especially when it quotes references within the sector such as Carlyle and Blackstone. News about large private equity groups opening offices in the country and the development of existing groups are sure to follow. At the same time, our competitors aren’t resting on their laurels: we must continue to act.

You are organising the first LPEA Insight conference in April. Why?

Surprisingly, our industry is more visible abroad than in Luxembourg. The aim of the “LPEA INSIGHTS – 360 GP VIEW “conference is to demonstrate that the LPEA is a major player within the sector, by inviting family offices, wealth managers and private bankers to our event and to understand our investment strategies. Since the 2008 recession, Luxembourg’s private banking sector has evolved towards high-end asset management, in which private equity plays an increasingly significant role. It is important to make the link.

What are the expectations of members and individuals who contact the LPEA? 

Expectations differ, depending on the members’ profiles. “GPs” – General Partners – ask us to defend their interests at national and European levels. They express their concerns about regulatory, legal and tax issues and are actively involved in improving the sector. Meanwhile, service providers seek to participate in the development of the sector through specialist committees, to develop their network, to find out more information and to promote their company. They also want to be involved in the evolution of a growing industry in Luxembourg.

Private equity invests 100% in the economy.

Surprisingly, our industry is more visible abroad than in Luxembourg.

LPEA Insights – 360 GP View

LPEA Insights

360 GP View

The LPEA Insights: 360 GP View conference is a new concept proposed by the Luxembourg Private Equity and Venture Capital Association. This new initiative brought on stage General Partners (GPs) and Limited Partners (LPs) to discuss and showcase the industry from the “360” perspective of local practitioners, together with additional contributions from guest speakers specially invited to the event. 

The conference was open to private equity and venture capital managers as well as to asset managers, family offices and other types of asset managers who saw in this conference an opportunity to learn more about the PE/VC asset class and to learn that Luxembourg plays a key role in the industry.

With 350 attendees and high-level discussions, the conference was by all means a success and will certainly have a 2018 edition!






(as of 19/04/2017) Alpes Capital, Ambrosia Investments, Amethis Finance, AMFIE, Andbank Luxembourg, Apax, Apollo Real Estate Investment, Athys Capital Advisors, Aulien Partners, AXA Seed Factory, AXA Wealth Europe, Bamboo Capital Partners, Banque de Luxembourg, BC Partners, BCEE Luxembourg, Bear Value Management, Bemaco SA, BGL BNP Paribas, BI Invest (Invest Industrial), BIL, BIP Investment Partner, BNY Mellon (Luxembourg), CA Indosuez Wealth (Europe), Calibrium AG, CAPITA, Capital at Work (Foyer Group), Castik Capital S.a r.l., Cordet Capital Partners, Cinven, CIR International, Cordet Capital, CPP Investment Board, Creafund Management, Creon Capital, CVC Capital Partners, Degroof Petercam Asset Services, DEMETER-EMERTEC, Deutsche Bank Luxemborg SA, E² Capital, Edifice Capital Luxembourg, Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity, Encevo Group, Epiphron, EQC Agrifund, EQT Ventures, European Investment Bank, Expon Capital, European Investment Fund, Fieldpoint, Financière Fonds Privés, Fordham S.A., Foyer, Frame, Fuchs Asset Management, FWU Invest, Genii Capital SA, Gratix SA, Hephaestus VC, Hld Associés Europe, HSBC, ICBC (Europe) S.A., IDI Emerging Markets, IK Investment Partners Luxembourg,  ILP, Inserm Transfert Initiative, IPF Partners, IWI International Wealth Insurance SA, J.P. Morgan Bank Luxembourg, KBC Asset Management, KBL, Kharis Capital, KOHD Capital, LBAN, Lemanik Asset Management S.A., L-GAM Advisers LLP, Lalcap (UK), LuxempartMangrove Capital Partners, Marble Arch Capital Ventures LLP, Marguerite Adviser SA, MC Square S.A., MIM 3 SA Luxembourg, Mirabaud & Cie Europe, Mitsubishi Bank, Moai Partners SARL, Mojo.Capital, Monarch, MUFG Lux Management Company S.A., New Angle Capital, Nordea Bank, Palmarium Fund Managers SA, Park Square Capital, Partners Group, Pemberton Asset Management SA, Permira Debt Managers, Permira Luxembourg SARL, PMM Participations, Pure Capital, Quilvest Private Equity, responsAbility Investments AG, REYL Private Office, RIAM GmbH, RLCF, Rockerway Lux Sarl, Royalton Partners SA, RMI Partners, Senthera Capital UG, Sienna Capital, Société Générale Bank & Trust – SGSS, Sogelife, Sodires, Sofina, Spirit AM, SwanCap Investment Management, Tenzing Capital Partners SARL, Triton, TwentyTwo Group Holding, UniCredit Luxembourg, Varde Partners (Wert Investment Holdings Sarl), Victida SARL, VP Bank (Luxembourg) SA, Wendel.


  • 1.45 p.m.

    Registration & Welcome Coffee

  • Conference Host: Rajaa Mekouar, Kharis Capital

  • 2.30 p.m.

    Opening & Keynote Speech

      • Welcome by Jerome Wittamer, President of LPEA/ Founding Partner, Expon Capital
      • Welcome by the Minister of Finance H.E. Pierre Gramegna
      • “The future of Europe: People, Purpose & Private Equity” by Mark Florman, LPEQ
  • 3.00 p.m.

    What it takes to succeed in Private Equity
    How to drive success from different portfolio strategies: direct investing, co-investing and fund of fund investing.
    Testimonials from managers of buyout and growth funds raised from institutional investors and family offices.

      • Claus Mansfeldt, Swancap
      • Manuel Roumain, Kharis Capital
      • Stephanie Delperdange, Sofina
      • Pierre Weimerskirch, Luxembourg Investment Solutions (moderator)
  • 3.30 p.m.

    Luxembourg in the global Venture Capital ecosystem
    Why Venture Capital investing requires deep expertise. Why is it the best time ever to be an Entrepreneur in Europe and what are the new opportunities in technology? How is the VC scene changing? What does VC bring to an investment portfolio? Who is investing in this asset class?

    • Uli Grabenwarter, Luxembourg Future Fund/ EIF
    • Rodrigo Sepulveda Schulz, Expon Capital
    • Hans Jürgen Schmitz, Mangrove Capital Partners
    • Gilles Dusemon, Arendt & Medernach (moderator)
  • 4.00 p.m.

    Coffee Break

  • 4.30 p.m.

    The rise of direct lending in Europe
    What is the range of private debt opportunities and investment strategies ? How conservative is this asset class? How to best get access to it?
    Does it replace traditional bond portfolios? Who is investing in this asset class?

      • Peter Gibbs, Permira Debt Managers
      • Edouard Guillet, IPF Partners
      • Chris Birt, Cordet Capital Partners
      • Maximilien Dambax, AlterDomus (moderator)
  • 5.00 p.m.

    Luxembourg in the crossroads of Emerging Markets
    What is Emerging Markets investing and why is it relevant today? Where are the opportunities ? What is the best way to address these markets? Is this strategy for all types of investors?

      • Julien Kinic, IDI Emerging Markets
      • Jean Philippe de Schrevel, Bamboo Capital
      • Carlos Heneine, Quilvest Private Equity
      • Anja Grenner, SGG (moderator)
  • 5.30 p.m.

    Structuring benchmark
    How to navigate the different alternatives structures and pick the right one for your investment strategy.

      • Andrea Neuböck-Escher, EQT Fund Management
      • Aurélie Comptour, Sienna Capital
      • David Capocci, KPMG (moderator)
  • 6.00 p.m.

    Closing Speech

    François Tesch, Luxempart

  • 6.15 p.m.


  • 7.00 p.m.



Pierre Weimerskirch

Managing Partner, Luxembourg Investment Solutions

How has Luxembourg PE/VC scene evolved over the past years?

From a secret, hardly known industry several years ago, the PE/VC industry has developed into a recognized sector of the financial industry in Luxembourg. This is mainly due to the work of the PE/VC industry associations but also due to the fact that major international VC/PE managers are now present in Luxembourg. Moreover, the latest figures in terms of VC/PE investment structures and AuM attest Luxembourg’s raising significance in the broader European VC/PE landscape. At the same time the service providers in Luxembourg have gained substantially in specific know how and experience to provide quality service to the VC/PE managers.

Which major challenges and opportunities do you identify in our industry today?

PE/VC industry is currently on “drugs”. The low interest rates and the easy money available paired with no real investment alternatives makes money pouring into PE/VC. 2016 was a record year in terms of capital raising. On the other hand, the superabundance of money is chasing good deals which pushes valuations up. The opportunities lie in the niche markets. The uncertainty around Brexit will probably channel more PE/VC managers to Luxembourg. The broad range of available investment vehicles and the depth of the service infrastructure will certainly favor Luxembourg over other jurisdictions.

David Capocci

Partner, Head of Alternative Investments, KPMG

How has Luxembourg PE/VC scene evolved over the past years?

Luxembourg has clearly evolved from a holding jurisdiction to a successful environment for alternative investments. Private equity (PE) firms are indeed facing an ever-changing and sophisticated regulatory and tax environment. The main driver for choosing a location is clearly not tax neutrality anymore but rather the stability and predictability of the legislation as well as the presence of regulators and service providers with expertise and know-how in the industry. Not only the skilful labour force, but also professional organisations such as the LPEA that were set up to help the industry grow and to facilitate exchanges of information, have acted as catalysts for the development of PE, making Luxembourg an attractive and safe place for investment in general.

Which major challenges and opportunities do you identify in our industry today?

Opportunities are knocking at the door. Brexit is reshuffling the overall PE landscape, as are the latest tax and regulatory changes. Luxembourg is often (if not always) one of the key places considered when it comes to creating a hub for fund domiciliation or AIFM setup. Today, there is a convergence of regulatory and tax substance which positions Luxembourg as the place to be for alternative investment players. Without doubt, this is the reason why several major key PE players have already chosen and announced Luxembourg as their future hub. The major challenge is probably going to be continuing to attract talents to Luxembourg. Pressure on fees and increasing reporting requirements will also oblige funds to streamline their processes and invest in IT solutions. Finally, ensuring that the benefits of private equity are understood and accepted by the public will help keep a stable regulatory environment, which is necessary for the investors’ confidence.

Edouard Guillet

Partner, IPF Partners

Which are the type of investors driving the growing appetite for debt funds?
Insurance companies, pension funds and family offices looking for yield.

Which major challenges and opportunities do you identify in our industry today?
Challenges: credit bubble, US reporting for a fund with no US investor, Brexit and the cost of CSSF and of service providers.
Opportunities: sector specialization and less debt available from banks for SMEs.

Julien Kinic

Managing Partner, Idi Emerging Markets

What brought you to Luxembourg?

We decided in 2008 to set up a private equity platform in Luxembourg to invest in emerging markets. Our idea was to be located in a stable environment with a strong private equity culture so as to face the complexity of our markets in a more serene way.

How has Luxembourg PE/VC scene evolved over the past years?

The least I can say is that Luxembourg is always on the move. We have witnessed the arrival of more investment structures over the years. It looks like Luxembourg ecosystem is gradually moving from a model with large PE firms having a local finance hub to a broader number of more diversified players with more investment & operational teams on the ground.

Which major challenges and opportunities do you identify in our industry today?

From an investment point of view, I think that major opportunities are today in the unstoppable rise of middle classes in emerging markets that will represent an addition of 2.5 billion consumers in 15 years. It is the core of my investment thesis.

From a structuring point of view, the current challenge is to continue to work on the definition of healthy regulations protecting investors and applicable to the private equity industry. We are all evolving in a complex and fast-moving world: offering adequate transparency and clarity to investors is key. I also see that as a great opportunity for PE managers to show the quality of what they do and promote the excellence of their asset class.

Chris Birt

Investment Professional, CORDET Capital

Which are the type of investors driving the growing appetite for debt funds?
We see strong appetite from pension funds and insurers. The low interest rate environment increased the pressure to allocate capital in non-core asset classes in order to generate return. The illiquidity premium of private debt provides attractive risk adjusted returns and additional risk diversification for their portfolios.

Due to the long-term investment horizon of pension funds and insurers, they are a natural partner to the private debt industry (especially given regulatory pressures on the banking system borrowing short term and lending long term).

Many large pension funds and insurance companies were among the early movers into private debt and acted as a catalyst to many others that are now starting to build up an understanding of the market and a detailed expertise in the different segments. We see increasing interest from family offices and other niche players.

How has Luxembourg PE/VC scene evolved over the past years?

Luxembourg has been among the primary location for PE/VC and private debt funds in Europe for a number of years. The regulatory framework allows a cost effective and transparent set-up that institutional investors are familiar with.

The recent uncertainty from the referendum in the UK and the uncertainty around passporting rights and other elements affecting the free flow of capital and the ability to conduct trans-national business in Europe has led to a number of large players to increase their presence in Luxembourg as an important location in continental Europe.

Which major challenges and opportunities do you identify in our industry today?

Overall, the private debt industry has seen enormous growth in recent years with respect to the number of funds as well as size of the funds.

We are seeing the emergence of a handful of mega-managers with multi-billion funds that now need to focus on increasingly larger deals. In a volatile HY market these funds offer an alternative to capital markets and syndicated bank finance.

The large amount of dry powder in the industry resulted in an increasing competition in the market leading to increasing margin pressure, increasing leverage and a higher portion of ‘covenant lite’ transactions. The manager’s ability to price risk correctly will undoubtedly be the biggest challenge in our industry in the coming years.

In our view, the lower mid-market is less affected by competition and deteriorating terms than the larger end of the mid-market and it provides attractive opportunities for alternative lenders, particularly in the sponsor-less space.

Geographically, we see strong deal flow in the UK. However, there is growing awareness of direct lending as alternative to the banking community in the DACH region and the Nordics and we are expecting growing deal flow from these regions in the future.

Carlos Heneine

Co-head of Emerging Markets, Quilvest Private Equity

Which are the key success factors to invest in Emerging Markets?

An old dictum that says “it takes one to know one” is probably a good place to start. Emerging Markets political peculiarities, business dynamics, network effects and consumer behaviour make for a somewhat different investment context than the developed world.

The conviction of many actors in EM investing in the alignment of the stars for their respective country and business plans, requires a healthy degree of skepticism. Being a native of an Emerging Market, having been brought up there or done business in one of the countries in question does provide investors with some immunity to over reaching.

However, some level of vision and imagination is needed to ensure one does not miss out on unique opportunities, often available to the courageous but well-grounded investors.

Of course having good business acumen and experience of investments across the globe is a pre-requisite to benchmark knowledge of business models elsewhere and how they might apply in the particular context one is evaluating.

Which major challenges and opportunities do you identify in our industry today?

A lot of money and herd instincts amongst investors underlie almost all of the challenges of our industry today. The rest is accounted for by the haste of operators in PE who want to capture the value of tomorrow today. The two feed on one another.

LPs tend to feel safer in a crowd and will end up investing in the same GPs with a successful and proven track record. They will also try and exchange commitments against access to co-investments, in a quest to reduce friction cost. The pressure on fund and deal size, which ironically aligns with GP’s economic interests but not with the long-term health of their business, creates a bifurcation in our industry. Ever-larger funds with diminishing returns and promising future leaders flailing for funding means economic benefits accrue to those who are least creative and entrepreneurial.  Not a healthy dynamic.

Andrea Neuböck-Escher

Manager, EQT Fund Management S.à r.l.

What brought you to Luxembourg?

I was based in Munich in 2009 when EQT asked me to transfer to Luxembourg to help build up the operations. Back then we had a couple of investments structured through Luxembourg but quickly saw an increase.

How has Luxembourg PE/VC scene evolved over the past years?

It appears more professional and there has been a joint effort in better connecting various stakeholders which makes the industry and Luxembourg as a place of business much stronger and interesting.

Which major challenges and opportunities do you identify in our industry today?

I would like to see further education of the public and transparency to build more trust and at the same time the various players need to act socially, environmentally and ethically responsible to gain and keep this trust from the public, their LPs and their potential target companies.

Claus Mansfeldt

Chairman / Managing Director, SwanCap Investment Management SA

What brought you to Luxembourg?
New AIFM and new PE fund launches.

How has Luxembourg PE/VC scene evolved over the past years?
Seems to have grown and become more professional (amongst service providers/accountants) and broader in focus (also on investing side). A lot of Fintech focus.

Which major challenges and opportunities do you identify in our industry today?
Challenge is to persuade more/local asset managers, pension funds and family offices to invest in PE. Herein also lies the opportunity.

François Tesch

CEO/Managing Director of Luxempart

How has Luxembourg PE/VC scene evolved over the past years? 
Luxembourg has evolved from a main back-office service provider to a back- and middle service provider, offering one-stop-shop to private equity players
This is the result of the attractiveness of Luxembourg especially over the last 10 years, due to:
• its political stability over time
• its legislative responsiveness to PE/VC requirements (structures)
• its fiscal competitiveness compared to other European countries (double taxation treaty, tax deferral, investment flexibility…) within a European framework
• its multilingualism
• its international culture
• its central location
• its knowledge cluster of European laws and rules (legal, tax consultancy…)
• the trend to increase substance in Luxembourg for tax purposes to additional legislative requirements to improve transparency, customer protection, local responsibility…

Which major challenges and opportunities do you identify in our industry today?
To implement a fully-fledged PE competence centre, the major challenges for Luxembourg are:
• to attract talents to Luxembourg
• the complexity of the administrative hurdles for non-permanent residents (split pay-rolls)
• unsatisfactory travel routes within Europe associated with high costs
• unfavourable comparison of social live, education compared to larger cities such as London, Paris…
• big efforts from the government to improve infrastructure are being undertaken. Interesting to note is that once foreigners have experienced Luxembourg as residence, they tend to love it, provided they are married.


Chris Birt

Investment Professional, CORDET Capital

Chris has 13 years experience of lending in the mid market across corporate, credit and leverage finance roles and has completed over 65 mid market buyouts/recapitalisations with debt of £5m-£100m in the last 10 years. Prior to joining CORDET, Chris was a Director in the lower mid market Acquisition Finance team at Lloyds Bank responsible for originating, structuring and executing senior, super senior, first loss/second loss and mezzanine transactions. Prior to this Chris held roles in credit, Capital Markets origination, syndication and distribution, Commercial Relationship Banking and Global Corporate Banking in New York.

Aurélie Comptour

CFO, Sienna Capital

Sienna Capital is the alternative investments platform of the publicly traded investment holding company Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (“GBL”). Aurélie Comptour joined Sienna Capital in 2014 as CFO. Earlier in her career, Comptour worked at Ernst & Young in Luxembourg for more than 7 years including most recently as an Audit Manager specialized in private equity. Aurélie Comptour holds a master’s degree in Management from the University of Paris Dauphine and a master’s degree in Banking & Finance from the University Paris Descartes.

Stephanie Delperdange

Head of Luxembourg Office, Sofina

Stéphanie Delperdange joined Sofina in 2007. She is heading the Luxembourg office of Sofina group in charge of managing a diversified portfolio of venture and private equity funds, mainly focused on the United States, but also Europe, India and China. In her role, she is implicated in the selection of GP’s as well as on the day-to-day management of the Luxembourg entities of the group. Earlier in her career, Stéphanie was audit manager at KPMG Luxembourg. She is a graduate of the ICHEC business school in Brussels and is a Luxembourg chartered accountant.

Mark Florman

Chairman of LPEQ

Mark Florman’s career in financial services spans some 30 years. Following an early career in banking, including the creation and leadership of one of the leading independent investment banks in Europe, he was a Senior Principal at Doughty Hanson from 2001 to 2008. He went on to form the private equity business 8 Miles and was CEO of the BVCA from January 2011 until April 2013, where he encouraged a new dialogue with regulators and politicians focusing on the role of private equity and venture capital in driving economic growth in Europe’s economies. In 2014, Mark became a Trustee of the BBC Trust and is the BBC Trustee for England. In 2016 Mark was appointed Chairman of  the Listed Private Equity Association (LPEQ).

Peter Gibbs

COO, Permira Debt Managers

Peter joined Permira in 2001 and has been closely involved with Permira Debt Managers since its inception in 2007. He is responsible for all operational aspects of the Permira Debt Managers business with a particular focus on capital raising, legal and compliance issues as well as the investment process. Peter oversees the finance and administration function. Peter continues to be Chief Fund Counsel for Permira’s Private Equity business and is responsible for legal and structuring issues relating to the raising‎ and ongoing operation of private equity funds. Prior to joining Permira in 2001, Peter worked as a Solicitor for Clifford Chance in the Private Equity Group.

Uli Grabenwarter

Deputy Director, European Investment Fund

Uli Grabenwarter is Deputy Director at the EIF overseeing activities in Impact Investing, Technology Transfer and Venture Capital. Previously he was responsible for EIF’s strategic development for equity and has led the build-up of the Social Impact Accelerator, the first pan-European social impact investing fund-of-funds. From 2010 to 2012 he conducted a research project on impact investing in collaboration with IESE University of Navarra (Barcelona) and the Family Office Circle Foundation in Switzerland, analysing best-market-practice for impact investing in private equity and VC.

Edouard Guillet

Partner, IPF Partners

Edouard Guillet is Partner of IPF Partners, leading alternative financing provider focused on the European healthcare sector. With 18 years of experience in the healthcare industry & consulting, Guillet is a former Business Unit head at Gilead Sciences and Manager at Medtronic and the Boston Consulting Group. He has an extensive experience in healthcare product, project and general management and an MsC from HEC School of Management in Paris.

Carlos Heneine

Co-head of Emerging Markets, Quilvest Private Equity

Carlos Héneiné manages the team at Quilvest that oversees PE Investments in Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe as well as Middle East and Africa. He is based in Dubai, where he is a Managing Director of the office that handles co-investor relationships with regional family offices and institutions. Carlos started his career at British Aerospace and after his MBA embarked on a 10 year stint in Consulting at Booz Allen and Hamilton and Mercer Management (now Oliver Wyman). He shifted to the financial sector in 1999 when he joined Banque Saradar as Head of Strategy before assuming his current functions at Quilvest in 2005. Carlos holds an MBA from INSEAD and a Bachelors degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Imperial College of Science and Technology at London University.

Julien Kinic

Managing Partner, Idi Emerging Markets

Julien Kinic is the co-founder and managing partner of Idi Emerging Markets Partners, a growth capital Private Equity platform dedicated to major emerging markets. Julien is an active board member of numerous PE funds and companies in emerging countries. Prior to Idi EM, Julien was at Proparco, the private PE arm of the Agence Française de Développement in France, contributed to the development of its direct and indirect investments in emerging and developing countries. Previously he was with Cognetas, a pan-European LBO fund manager formerly known as Electra Partners Europe, with investment responsibilities, as well as at Arthur Andersen in Paris with focus on audit, merger and acquisitions.

Claus Mansfeldt

Chairman / Managing Director, SwanCap Investment Management SA

Prior to SwanCap, Claus was heading UniCredit’s Principal Investments unit in London for 10 years where he was responsible for managing the origination, structuring and execution of private equity investments with a focus on Central & Eastern Europe (CEE). Before UniCredit Claus worked for Commerzbank in the Corporate Finance & Capital Markets division in London and was responsible for origination in the Nordic Region. Prior to this Claus also worked 12 years for Nomura International plc (London), in the Merchant Banking division, focused on direct investments in CEE (1995-2000) and in the Capital Markets division (1988-1995). Education: BSc.(Econ), London School of Economics.

Rajaa Mekouar

Syndicate, Investments & Partnerships, Kharis Capital

Rajaa Mekouar has joined Kharis Capital in 2016 after 15 years of experience in Private Equity. Arriving in Luxembourg to set up a PE division in Fuchs Group, Rajaa has a long career with GP roles at Draper Fisher Jurvetson ePlanet Ventures, Lazard European Private Equity Partners, Change Capital Partners and Serendipity as well with an advisor/ LP focus in Massena Partners, Terra Magna Capital and Maera Capital. Graduated by HEC Grande Ecole and MBA INSEAD, Rajaa started her career at Procter & Gamble and Dresdner Kleinwort (M&A).

Andrea Neuböck-Escher

Manager, EQT Fund Management S.à r.l.

Andrea has over 9 years of professional Private Equity experience gained in various roles for EQT with a strong focus on transaction structuring and management in and through Luxembourg. She started at EQT Partners in Munich in 2008 in the investment team and moved to Luxembourg in 2009 to help building up EQT‘s team and office there. Following the rapid growth of the group and the decision to put funds on-shore, she most recently spent most of her time on structuring and fundraising a big Luxembourg domiciled buy-out fund.

Manuel Roumain

Co-founder of Kharis Capital

Manuel Roumain managed direct and LP investments across all asset classes during his 10-year tenure as the Chief Investment Officer of a prominent Family Office in Geneva, the Edmond Safra Philanthropic Foundation, after having gained extensive Capital Markets experience with major Wall Street firms Goldman Sachs, UBS and Citigroup. Manuel serves as a non-executive board member of BK SEE, and Managing Partner of le Club B, a leading non-profit family office forum, connecting over 250 prominent families. His strategic thinking, focus and accountability have also allowed him to establish and foster key relationships with Fund Managers and long term investors.

Hans-Jürgen Schmitz

Co-founder, Mangrove Capital Partners

Hans-Jurgen Schmitz grew up in Germany in an entrepreneurial family where he was exposed early on to the chances and challenges of running a company. He co-founded his firm in 2000 with Mark and Gerard because he believed they were a complementary team, something he keep considering a key success factor in every investment opportunity he look at. He is focused on finding innovative and disruptive businesses in the universe of e-commerce across Europe and emerging countries such as Russia and India, recognizing that in this field solid execution skills from the outset are equally as crucial as entrepreneurial spirit and vision to build big businesses.

Jean-Philippe de Schrevel

Founder & Managing Partner, Bamboo Capital

Jean-Philippe de Schrevel leads business development at Bamboo Finance. Previously, he co-founded BlueOrchard Finance in 2001. Prior to that, he was the Dexia Micro-Credit Fund Manager at Dexia Asset Management, a Junior economist in Romania for a EU PHARE technical assistance program, Field Consultant in Microfinance for a Belgian NGO, an Associate with McKinsey & Co, the Operations Director of a private Microfinance Foundation in Argentina, and a Consultant for the UNCTAD Microfinance Unit in Geneva. Jean-Philippe is fluent in French, Spanish and English. He holds a MA in Economics from Université Notre-dame de la Paix in Namur, Belgium, and a MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

Rodrigo Sepúlveda Schulz

Managing Partner, Expon Capital

Rodrigo Sepúlveda Schulz is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Expon Capital. He started his career working with industrial, banking, retail and media clients for two large consultancies co-creating the Internet security, Internet strategy and online marketplaces practices. He co-founded in 2002 Glowria, a video-rental and VOD service (#1 in France & #2 in Germany). In 2005, he co-founded and ran, an award-winning multi-media content management software. Both had significant venture-capital financing and were acquired. In 2009, he became an active business angel and startup mentor with a strong focus on consumers investing in companies such as Amiando, Trigami, GetAround, RecargaPay, ManifestCommerce, Boostable, Roomorama, Tribe, Holberton School,, etc.

François Tesch

CEO/Managing Director of Luxempart

François Tesch serves as the CEO of Luxempart S.A. and as the Chairman of the board of Foyer S.A. and since 1985 has been its Director-General (now Chief Executive Officer). He serves as Vice Chairman of SES, S.A. and as Chairman of the Board Financière de Tubize S.A. He worked as a Financial Analyst at W.R. Grace & Co in New York and as a Financial Director at W.R. Grace & Co in Paris.

Jérôme Wittamer

President of LPEA

Jérôme Wittamer started investing in technology 25 years ago and has been active both as an investor and as an entrepreneur, all in the technology, telecom and internet space, most recently with Genii Capital for whom he led the successful sale of SecureIT, the datacenter used by Skype since day 1 in Luxembourg. At BIP Investment Partners he led successful investments in media and communication technology companies such as EVS (IPO), Option (IPO) and Evertz (IPO), all of which became a world leader in their field. During that period, he contributed to the foundation of VOXmobile, a mobile operator (sold to Orange).


David Capocci

Partner, Head of Alternative Investments, KPMG

Maximilien Dambax

Head of Debt Administration Services, Alterdomus

Gilles Dusemon

Partner, Private Equity & Real Estate, Arendt & Medernach

Anja Grenner

Fund Services Leader, SGG Luxembourg

Pierre Weimerskirch

Managing Partner, Luxembourg Investment Solutions






The Luxembourg Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (LPEA) is the representative body of private equity and venture capital professionals in Luxembourg.

With over 140 members, LPEA plays a leading role in the discussion and development of the investment framework and actively promotes the industry beyond the country’s borders.

Luxembourg disposes of a stable tax regime and is today at the forefront of international PE regulation providing a flexible, secure, predictable and multi-lingual jurisdiction to operate in.

LPEA provides a dynamic and interactive platform for its members to discuss and exchange information and organises working meetings and networking opportunities on a regular basis.

If Luxembourg is your location of choice for private equity, LPEA is where you actually join the industry!

Philharmonie Luxembourg

1, place de l’Europe
L-1499 Luxembourg