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Money Management

Luxembourg a draw for firms’ Brexit relocation

Luxembourg emerged as a popular choice for money management and other financial firms to base the European Union business in 2018, shows analysis by Luxembourg for Finance.

The firm, the agency for the development of the country as a financial center, said Wednesday that Luxembourg had "consolidated and strengthened its role as the go-to hub for financial institutions operating on a cross-border basis in the European market."

Analysis showed Luxembourg's financial regulators awarded 80 new licenses for banks, management companies, alternative money managers, insurers and money management firms, which included several companies that have publicly announced their decision to relocate some activities due to the U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union.

Luxembourg for Finance said that, to date, 47 financial institutions have disclosed Brexit relocation plans involving the country, half of which are money managers.

Last May, Columbia Threadneedle Investments said it planned to transfer EU customer assets to Luxembourg strategies from a U.K. set of funds, in order to "best serve European clients after the U.K. departs from the EU."

Wells Fargo Asset Management said in December it had expanded its license in Luxembourg to support the European market, as well as establishing branches in Frankfurt and Paris, as part of its Brexit arrangements.

"We are known as a cross-border focused center and this status has only been underscored by Brexit," said Nicolas Mackel, CEO of Luxembourg for Finance, in a statement accompanying the analysis. "The progress we have made over the last year in sustainable finance, digitalization, and in deepening relationships with global brands and major economies like China is testament to that approach."

As of Nov. 30, Luxembourg's money management industry accounted for €4.19 trillion ($4.77 trillion) in assets under management, up 1.37% for the year.