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Interview with Antonio Thomas, Managing Director of RBS (Luxembourg) S.A.

How does Luxembourg fit into RBS group’s global strategy?

Being 100% owned by the RBS Group, the Luxembourg Management Company subsidiary benefits from the vast resources and strength of one of the world’s leading financial services companies. RBS (Luxembourg) S.A. was launched in 2004, in response to the the substance requirements of UCITS III and this experience enables us to provide fully-compliant UCITS IV management-company and unbundled substance-services such as Investment Restriction Monitoring or Risk Management services to third-party Fund Promoters. We are the eyes and ears on the ground for clients sitting several thousand miles away from Luxembourg. This makes us a partner of choice that they can trust, with direct contact with the Luxembourg Regulator and marketplace. Thanks to the cross-border nature of UCITS IV, we have set the standard in providing independent governance and substance services to both UCITS and non-UCITS funds within Europe. You could say that Luxembourg excellence in this domain is now being exported to other jurisdictions.

What part do UCITS funds play in your local activities?

UCITS funds represent 85% of the 18 billion euro of assets for which we act as management company. All of the assets are held within Luxembourg-domiciled products, via 46 investment fund vehicles. We also support an additional 51 billion euro worth of third party assets from a regulatory compliance perspective, all in UCITS funds domiciled in Luxembourg and investment funds domiciled in the UK, Ireland and Switzerland. A similar cross-border servicing model applies to the risk monitoring services that we provide to third party assets of ca. 72 billion euro, of which 80% are in UCITS funds.

How do you see the future of RBS Luxembourg?

We have seen growing demand since 2011 for both full management company and unbundled services to support non-UCITS and alternative strategies, such as hedge funds, using the SIF structure. In a crisis-hit environment, fund managers do not want too many providers and turn to players they can truly rely on. They also want a harmonised approach, which avoids additional investment in systems and people. So, they are coming to RBS (Luxembourg) S.A., because they are familiar with RBS’s expertise and trust the excellence of Luxembourg-based professionals. I expect increased growth in the unbundled side of the business. This will be supporting existing management companies in Luxembourg, but also other EU-based management companies and vehicles which require harmonised reporting or substance. The new wave of clients is coming from Hong Kong, Singapore, China… They are launching here and some are distributing to their own domestic markets.

September 6, 2012 11:36:52 AM CEST

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