L-R: Luís Galveias (LPEA); Michaela Viskupicova (LPEA); Rajaa Mekouar-Schneider (LPEA); Stephane Pesch (LPEA); Claus Mansfeldt (LPEA/Swancap); Credit: LPEA

The Luxembourg Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (LPEA) celebrated its 10th Anniversary on Tuesday with a New Year Party.

The celebrations included live music and keynote speeches, bringing together more than 250 distinguished guests, most of them representatives of the LPEA´s member firms (260 including PE firms, Family Offices, Private Banks and advisers) and many leaders from the Luxembourg financial world. 

Luxembourg's Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna, was the guest of honour of the evening as keynote, where he congratulated the LPEA for its “x10” over its first ten years. He highlighted the need for further adoption of "digitalisation” and the importance of making “sustainability” the core of the financial sector value chain. He also called for more growth to be generated by Private Equity and the Alternatives industry in general to support further the financial marketplace, a strategic priority for the Grand Duchy.

CEO Rajaa Mekouar-Schneider recalled the importance for the LPEA community to collaborate more proactively, to make the PE voice heard more broadly as a key contributor to the “real community”, while continuing to promote the growing diversity of its membership base with PE, as a reflection of the increasing appeal of the asset class. She also underlined the need for more training for its locally based workforce and for inbound talent looking to join the industry.

For his part, Hans-Jürgen Schmitz, the founding President of LPEA, drew an analogy between the venture capital world, which is also covered by LPEA, and the development of the association, which went from start-up level to its current “scale-up” phase, institutionalising itself while preserving its spirit of entrepreneurship and nimble mindset. He underlined the humble beginnings of LPEA, back in 2009-2010, which started with 20 key members who had deep convictions about the potential of PE to develop as an industry and in Luxembourg.

Claus Mansfeldt, LPEA President, then shared his vision for the sector with ten predictions for the next ten years. He called, in particular, for the “further democratisation of access to Private Equity, an asset class which is as of today inaccessible to retail investors despite being one of the most attractive investment areas”. He also predicted that the growth of PE, and with it the LPEA, would continue over the next decade because PE managers have proven their ability to outperform public markets when benefiting from, inter alia, more efficient decision-making and deeper due diligence.

Herman Klein-Wassink, Managing Director of Partners Group, a key member of the LPEA, presented his strong local team that structures and executes investments. Further details about the success story of Partners Group can be read in LPEA’s latest “Private Equity Insight/ Out Magazine”, which has a cover story about the firm, “Entrepreneurs in the Boardroom” and was released during the evening.

To underpin its values and ethos as it enters its second decade, the LPEA chose to acquire a piece of art by a locally established artist, Jhemp Bastin, known for his sculptures carved out of wood. According to the LPEA, the sculpture, named “Eon” after the Greek god of time and eternity, is a symbol of the nature of PE and what it nurtures to make its success perennial, regardless of the macro environment. “Eon” has become LPEA´s symbol and has been reproduced in miniatures to be given to its members as symbolic gift. 

The LPEA will continue its 10th anniversary celebrations with its annual LPEA INSIGHTS conference, which showcases the PE / VC industry during an entire day, with the participation of high-profile investors from all over the world, scheduled to take place on 12 May 2020.