Rajaa Mekouar-Schneider pictured with François Masquelier at the Luxembourg Finance Awards 2020; Credit: Jazmin Campbell

The laureates of this year's Luxembourg Finance Awards were announced on Thursday evening during the first edition of the European Finance Summit held at the European Convention Center in Luxembourg-Kirchberg.

The European Finance Summit, organised by Farvest, was composed of an "InFinance Summit" and an "Open Air Conference". The event was split into three main parts: a morning session dedicated to payments; an afternoon session addressing the new financial landscape; and finally, the 11th edition of the Luxembourg Finance Awards.

A total of six awards were presented to acknowledge the best practices and solutions available in Luxembourg. Prior to the awards ceremony, local experts shared their expertise and experience with the many finance professionals attending. Although turnout was visibly lower this year, namely due to coronavirus fears, the European Finance Summit and Luxembourg Finance Awards went ahead as planned at a time when various events are being cancelled.

Moderator François Masquelier, CEO of Simply Treasury and Chairman of Luxembourg Corporate Treasury at ATEL, announced the following winners at the awards ceremony:

Financial Software Provider of the Year: Governance.com

- Best Marketing Campaign in Finance: BIL 

Finance Team of the Year: Data Studio (Foyer Assurances)

Fintech Solution of the Year: Lingua Custodia

- Treasury Manager of the Year (prize supported by ATEL): Johan Claudot, Head of Treasury at The Blackstone Group

- Inspirational Woman in Finance: Rajaa Mekouar-Schneider, CEO of the Luxembourg Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (LPEA)

The awards announcement was preceded by the presentation of a local charity: Fondation SOS Kannerduerf Lëtzebuerg, an NGO under the high patronage of Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess. Managing Director Jean-Paul Karpen presented the NGO's mission and activities, namely working to ensure the well-being of children, which the local branch has been doing since 1968 (and which the larger SOS Children's Villages network has been doing since its creation in Austria in 1949).

Jean-Paul Karpen stressed that the charity is built on a family-based care concept with four pillars: mother, house, siblings and a village. He explained that Luxembourg's Ministry of Education, Children and Youth finances around 80% of the local charity's work, with the rest being financed by donations. The Fondation SOS Kannerduerf Lëtzebuerg currently counts 160 employees who care for around 400 children and young people, in both its fixed villages (120 children) and through its ambulatory projects (280 children), namely via its socio-therapeutic centre, animal-assisted pedagogy, art therapy, vocational training centre, assisted living, family strengthening service and foster families. Indeed, Fondation SOS Kannerduerf Lëtzebuerg currently owns 28 buildings in Luxembourg. The NGO's Managing Director added that there was ongoing discussion with the government and various companies to potentially implement programmes aimed at young people over the age of 18 (the usual age limit for using these services).

During the ceremony, François Masquelier also announced the semi-finalists of the Pitch Your Startup event, which took place earlier that day at the Summit. 25 startups participated but there could be only one winner in each of the three categories: Fintech, Regtech and Insurtech. The winners are invited to the finals in September for the chance to win €50,000. Each of today's winning startups also secured partnership with Farvest and exposure in Beast magazine.

The event ended with the traditional networking cocktail, allowing finance professionals to further discuss the latest trends of the sector.