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Jervis Smith and Darren Robinson (L3A): Attracting Alternative Talent to Luxembourg

Founded to develop Luxembourg as an alternative investment hub, the Luxembourg Alternative Administrators Association (L3A) recently created three committees to shape its work. Jervis Smith (Country Managing Director, Vistra) and Darren Robinson (Managing Partner, Anderson Wise), co-chairs of the HR & Talent Management Committee, talk about bringing talent to Luxembourg. Interview.

As co-chairs of the L3A's newly created HR & Talent Management Committee, can you explain its role?

L3A is working hard to understand the issues facing alternative investment. As part of this, we created three new thematic permanent committees. Our committee deals with HR & Talent Management, but there are also two others, with their own specialisms: one for Operations, the other Tax & Regulatory. L3A members represent a vibrant ecosystem full of knowledge and experience in alternative investment administration. Using these committees, we can focus that expertise to identify critical challenges in the sector and concrete solutions to those problems.

Our particular committee’s purpose is to monitor developments around human capital in Luxembourg’s alternative administration sector. We’ll review the state of play and provide expert advice on improving HR and talent management within the alternative funds administration industry.

Working together through an organisation like L3A means that we’re not just looking out for ourselves; we’re collaborating to grow and strengthen Luxembourg’s financial services eco-system.

“We’re not just looking out for ourselves; we’re collaborating to grow and strengthen Luxembourg’s financial services eco-system.” - Jervis Smith and Darren Robinson, L3A

Have the first working meetings enabled you to identify common issues for the companies represented by the committee members? Which ones?

As you might expect, our member companies all face similar challenges, and working together has been valuable in identifying them. Perhaps the most pressing is how to make careers in the alternative administration market more attractive.

This isn’t just about encouraging gifted people to start working here; it’s about motivating them to stick around and develop their career. We’re currently talking with other industry bodies about a collective campaign to attract international talent.

We also want to create industry-specific qualifications, in partnership with academic institutions and other Luxembourg associations, to support staff in developing their skills.

Other issues we’ve discussed include tax breaks for new arrivals in the country, flexible working, speeding up visa applications, providing training for student entry, and accommodation subsidies .

There are a lot of options available, the challenge is identifying and implementing the right ones.

Can you tell us a little more about the committee's mode of operation and governance? What actions will you put in place?

The committee is always chaired by two co-chairs, both representatives of member firms, with at least one representative of a full member of L3A. Co-chairs are appointed for three years and a maximum of two terms.

So far this year, the co-chairs have appointed 12 committee representatives from our members as well as additional guest committee members from UEL, ADEM, LFF and ILA. The committee meets at least four times each year and can delegate authority to workgroups.

We’re currently establishing a dedicated training workgroup. This will look into setting up industry specific training courses, either alone or in conjunction with other industry bodies. Other actions are likely to include attracting experienced people back to work after parental breaks or early retirement.

We’re also planning to work with the government through PROFIL, to lobby for tax breaks for young foreigners coming to Luxembourg by helping them afford accommodation costs.


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