ALFI conference: The world spins around Luxembourg

The Alfi Global Distribution Conference 2022 promises to bring together distributors and fund managers under one roof for two days.

The prospect of delivering alternative investments to retail investors is one of the topics that will be discussed by funds luminaries at this year’s Global Distribution Conference 2022, organised by the Luxembourg investment funds association, Alfi.

Representatives from a number of asset managers – such as Franklin Templeton Investors, BlackRock and M&G investments – will take part in the discussions, which predominantly centre on distribution.

With delegates from trade bodies in Hong Kong and the US joining Alfi, international perspectives will also be available. The schedule includes panels on the Middle East and Latin America.

The annual flagship Alfi conference takes place on September 20-21 at the European Convention Center, in-person and virtual.

Here, Funds Europe offers selected highlights of the official agenda, which is available at


09.00 – Corinne Lamesch, chairperson of Alfi, welcome address.

09.15 – Opening by morning sessions chairperson Steven Libby, PwC’s asset and wealth management Emea leader.

09.25 – What does the future hold for the distribution of financial products?

Aleksandar Ivanovic, head of Emea and Switzerland for UBS Asset Management, talks about how recent major events such as Covid-19 lockdowns and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as regulation and the sustainability trends in asset management, affect longer-term planning asset management and how investor sentiment will shape the design and the distribution of financial products.

09.55 – Regulatory changes impacting distribution – friend or foe?

Micaela_ForelliCraig Blair, general manager and conducting officer at Franklin Templeton International Services, moderates a panel looking at recent and future regulatory changes – such as the Cross-Border Fund Distribution Directive and the Ucits and AIFMD reviews – that could impact distribution.

On this panel will be:

  • Micaela Forelli (pictured right), Europe managing director, distribution director, M&G Investments
  • Florence Stainier, partner, Arendt & Medernach

11.05 – Good long-term outcomes have never been so important to retail investors. Are private markets the solution?

With this panel, Alfi’s 2022 conference delves into the growing topic of the ‘retailisation of private equity’.

Moderated by Robert White, partner, EY, the panel considers how the wide range of choices that private equity now offers in terms of asset class and risk profile, deal size and time horizon could mean that private assets become more widely bought and sold by retail investors looking for returns.

On this panel are:

  • Claire Prospert, partner, Linklaters
  • Joshua Stone, FO head of strategic initiatives, EQT Fund Management
  • Ed Venner, COO global distribution, Franklin Templeton Investments

11.45 – Focus on China: distribution developments impacting international asset managers.

Another panel, this time looking at distribution in China, where a series of regulatory changes are taking place that impact distribution locally and across borders.

  • Riccardo Millich (moderator), director, business development Asia and Asia-Europe corridors, HSBC Hong Kong
  • Jessie Meng, investment director, FIL Fund Management (China)
  • Eleanor Wan, chief executive officer, BEA Union Investment Management

14.00 – Sinor Chhor, managing director of Nordea Investment Funds, chairs the after-lunch sessions.

14.10 – News from Asia and the US.

Camille ThommesThe Hong Kong Investment Funds Association (HKIFA) and US asset management association Nicsa join with Alfi to show how the organisation support members, particularly in these uncertain times.

  • Camille Thommes (moderator, pictured right), director general of Alfi
  • Sally Wong, CEO of the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association
  • Jim Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of Nicsa

14.40 – Changing needs and requirements of private banking clients.

Jean-Christophe Cabilin, director, AM/AI regulatory and risk advisory, KPMG, moderates a panel that considers topics such as the acceleration in client demand for digitally enabled remote engagement. Also, ESG and alternatives, all in the face of competition from platforms. Panellists are:

  • Claude Hirtzig, head of department, retail and private banking, Spuerkeess
  • Marco Paolucci, head of investments, Fideuram Bank Luxembourg
  • Mike Schmit, head of investment management, Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management (Luxembourg)

15.50 – ESG: How should asset managers reconcile the regulatory requirements to make ESG meaningful to retail investors?

Maren Stadler-Tjan, partner at Clifford Chance, moderates this panel on the areas that asset managers might prioritise to meet the sustainable finance and ESG requirements of their investors.

Specifically, the panel will look at product design, MiFID requirements on investor preferences, and the four remaining taxonomy environmental objectives.

During the discussion, the panel will consider if the ESG Environment Template is fit for purpose. Panellists are:

  • Geoffroy Marcassoli, partner – ESG and sustainable finance, PwC
  • Anastasia Petraki, investment director, sustainability, Schroders Investment Management
  • Julia Sauer, senior structuring professional, Partners Group

16.30 – How are institutional asset owners reacting to current high geopolitical tensions, interest rates trending higher, and inflation at a 40-year high?

A panel that does what it says on the tin. Steven Libby, PwC, will moderate this session. Joining him are:

  • Matti Leppälä, secretary general, PensionsEurope
  • Andreas Meier, chief investment officer, Lombard International Assurance
  • Jean-Paul Olinger, board member, member of investment committee, FDC

The Broadridge Distribution Achievement Awards at 17.35 and chairperson’s wrap-up finish the day.


09.00 – Camille Thommes, Alfi director general, welcome address.

09.15 – Geoff Radcliffe, managing director, BlackRock (Luxembourg), chairs the morning sessions.

09.25 – The way ahead in a troubled world.

Top UK television journalist Jon Snow addresses Alfi on major themes in the world today such as Nato expansion, doubts around globalisation, and energy.

09.50 – Net inflows by asset class and geographies.

Speaker Liam Martin, director, global insights at Broadridge, looks at fund flows across countries, regions and strategies.

Also considered are efficiencies and costs in cross-border distribution.

11.00 – How can evolving digital transformation enable retail investors’ cost-effective access to investment solutions?

Panellists discuss blockchain, cloud computing and AI. They seek to explain how this could provide opportunities to improve investors’ experiences and support professionals working in distribution.

Real-world examples of direct-to-consumer distribution targeting retail investors are promised.

  • Biba Homsy (moderator), founder, Homsy Legal
  • Emmanuelle Pecenicic, head of digital propositions and partnerships, APACxJ Fidelity
  • Olivier Portenseigne, CEO, FundsDLT
  • Charles Sayac, head of sales – wealth and distribution, Amundi Technology

11.45 – Millennials and Gen Z investment preferences: does it include investment funds?

Three investors from the younger generation discuss their investment landscape and the relevance of investment funds. They comment on their appetite for traditional asset classes versus digital assets such as cryptocurrencies.

  • Olivia Moessner (moderator), partner, Elvinger Hoss Prussen
  • Julie Leclerc, student in Master 2 in European banking and finance law, University of Luxembourg
  • Anna Letta, sustainability operations officer, Luxembourg Finance Labelling Agency (LuxFLAG)
  • Filip Persson, corporate administrator, Triton Partners

Silke_Bernard14.00 – Silke Bernard (pictured right), partner, Linklaters, acts as afternoon chairperson.

14.10 – Explore the financial dynamics and regulatory landscape of the Middle East region.

This “deep dive into the Middle East” is aimed at firms looking to distribute conventional or Sharia-compliant funds in Bahrain, Dubai or Riyadh, among other topics relevant to businesses in the region.

  • Emmanuelle Entringer (moderator), counsel investment, Arendt & Medernach
  • Jeff Evans, managing director and chief business development officer, Greenstone Equity Partners
  • Hazem Rasbeih, managing director, Wafra Capital Partners

14.40 – Latin America is charmingly noisy and huge, both in terms of numbers of potential investors and assets under management (US$3 trillion).

Said to be seeing “transformational investor behaviour”, this panel will discuss pension reform across the Latin America region, and greater international portfolio diversification. The panel will also consider digital distribution and opportunities for private equity, real estate and venture capital investors.

  • Jefferson L. Matias Oliveira (moderator), asset and wealth management director, PwC Luxembourg
  • Eduardo Bernardes, head of international business development, Bradesco Asset Management
  • Maria de las Nieves Lanzagorta, vicepresidenta liaison, Mexican Pension Funds Association – AMAFORE
  • Daniel Walter Maeda Bernardo, vice presidente liaison, director of Institutional Investors Supervision (SIN), Securities and Exchange Commission – Brazil (CVM)

15.15 – Capturing leading investor demand in Europe.

This panel – moderated by Johan Lindberg, managing director, head of Nordics, client coverage, at RBC Investor & Treasury Services – looks at the need for asset managers to carefully select their distribution strategies amidst a fragmented European distribution landscape and as they face cost pressures and limited in-house sales reach. The panellists are:

  • Sara Hanvik, global head of distribution markets, SEB Investment Management
  • Pierre Mottion, head of DLT and Strategy, Clearstream Banking
  • Willi Müller, head of portfolio management and distribution, Union Investment Luxembourg

15.45 – Chairperson’s wrap-up and closing remarks.

The Alfi Global Distribution Conference takes place September 20-21 at the European Convention Center, Luxembourg

© 2022 funds europe



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