An interview with Pierre Oberlé, Senior Business Development Manager, ALFI
Pierre Oberlé joined ALFI 10 years ago after a Master in International Business from the University of Caen, a Master in Economics from the University of Strasbourg, and an MBA from the University of St Thomas, Minneapolis, in the USA. He is now Senior Business Development Manager with ALFI.
What are your current responsibilities and what is a working day at ALFI like?
My main role is to contribute to the development of the Luxembourg fund industry. This means helping to open new markets for the distribution of Luxembourg investment funds, attracting new players to create funds in Luxembourg and also to contribute to the development of new sectors in Luxembourg such as impact investing, Islamic finance and responsible investing in general.
I also coordinate ALFI’s Strategic Advisory Board, Executive Committee and the different projects of these internal bodies.
I am the coordinator of several ALFI working groups and committees such as ALFI’s distribution and responsible investing technical committees. The responsible investing technical committee is composed of several working groups in which more than 60 experts from the industry work together, among other things, on the preparation of ALFI’s answers to public consultations related to responsible investing topics, the elaboration of LuxFLAG’s labels and the organisation of ALFI’s annual Impact Investing conference.
It is hard to describe my typical working day at ALFI because every day is different!
How is ALFI involved in inclusive finance and impact investing?
ALFI has identified three pillars for the development of the fund industry in Luxembourg: UCITS, alternative funds and responsible investing. Inclusive finance is included in the responsible investing pillar. ALFI’s responsible investing technical committee, that I mentioned before, also deals with inclusive finance topics (for example microfinance) and impact investing.
From the outset ALFI was involved in the creation of LuxFLAG. In addition, as mentioned, our association organises every year a conference on an impact investing. This year’s edition took place just a few days ago (on 26 April) and gathered over 200 participants. The focus this year was on climate change and social development.
What is your key interest in inclusive finance?
Finance can sometimes seem abstract but inclusive finance shows how it serves meaningful projects for example in helping to fight against poverty. Impact investing is also a subject in which I am interested.
For you, is inclusive finance a passion, job or learning experience ?
Inclusive finance and impact investing are fascinating areas. They are for me also a great learning experience and a chance to meet inspiring people passionate about what they do.
What is the biggest project you are currently handling?
The latest biggest project related to impact investing and inclusive finance for the ALFI team was our Impact Investing conference.
Personally, the biggest project I’m currently handling is an exemption for Luxembourg players from the obligation to hold a financial services (AFS) license in Australia to provide financial services in Australia.
This exemption applies to Chapter 15 Management Companies and Self-Managed SICAV regulated by the Luxembourg financial supervisory authority (CSSF) and enables Australia’s institutional investors, including the local pension funds, to get easier access to Luxembourg UCITS funds. The negotiations took several years and the Australian authorities granted us that exemption in November 2016. I’m now busy with the follow-up and with raising awareness about this relief. It is interesting to note that Australian pension funds often tend to have strict ESG criteria for their investments. Luxembourg being a leading domicile for ESG funds, we hope that this relief will strengthen the relations between Australian pension funds and asset managers with ESG funds domiciled in Luxembourg.
InFiNe.lu is the Luxembourg platform that brings together public, private and civil society actors involved in inclusive finance. The value of InFiNe.lu lies in the wide range of expertise characterised by the diversity of its members.
With the support of
Picture 1 © Pallab Seth