As Eurozone’s premier financial center and second largest investment attraction pole, Luxembourg can be viewed as the first country in the world to have FinTech fully integrated within its traditional financial offer. With dedicated platforms like the LHoFT Foundation, it is clear that the country’s government is now working hand in hand with finance professionals to enable The Grand Duchy becoming a major player in FinTech startups incubation. The disruptive financial technologies sector has now its own national awards and the annual Luxembourg FinTech Conference has been a long awaited event for the fourth time now. International finance giants were not mistaken when they choose to companion the movement, especially that now it is clear that Brexit will not serve the interests of their assets in Great Britain.
Welcome to the LHoFT
The shortest path for new and especially disruptive ideas to be accepted is to get them backed and funded by both the public and the private sectors. The LHoFT Foundation is a public/private sector initiative. It has been designed to drive technology innovation for Luxembourg’s financial services industry. Its purpose is to connect FinTech community, both domestic and international, in order to give birth to tomorrow’s solutions. The Luxembourg House of Financial Technology wants to be much more than a simple classic incubator. Its members do support the FinTech community to get full access to the right and best solutions and resources. It should also be of a great help through practical training, education and research.
LHoFT’s board has been carefully selected to reflect what Luxembourg FinTech of tomorrow ought to be. Senior executives from 13 leading private sector institutions as well as representatives from the Luxembourg Government watch over the destiny of Luxembourg Fintech. Chairman is Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg Minister of Finance. He sits alongside leaders of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Luxembourg for Finance and PROFIL, the Luxembourg Financial Industry Federation. The private sector is well represented by international finance heavyweights such as PWC, BNP Paribas, Clearstream, KPMG, Société Générale and Deloitte Digital. Both Amazon Web Services and Microsoft are associate partners.
The well-established Grand Duchy FinTech has its awards now
FinTech Awards Luxembourg is “Where startups come to meet the giants of finance.” For the fourth year in a row this long awaited event has unearthed outstanding FinTech startups from around the world. The ultimate goal of the awards is to introduce them to potential new clients as well as funding opportunities in Luxembourg. No surprise that this major happening is organized by LHoFT and KPMG, alongside with more and more highly motivated sponsors. Under the benevolent presence of Luxembourg Minister of Finance and 35 finance industry CEOs, 4 FinTech startups won the 4 prizes. The 200+ attendees at the Grand Final could meet 192 applicants from 41 countries.
New young plants flourish every other day
FinTech Awards Luxembourg’s first prize winner, Hydrogen, puts the bar very high with its set of APIs. These modules, designed to provide a framework for the Financial Web 3.0, allow to build cutting edge financial applications anywhere globally. Digital infrastructure, financial engineering, and blockchain can be added to financial apps in minutes. Lingua Custodia, the competition runner up, is the only company providing a fully automated financial document translator. VERTO, the company’s acclaimed product, is a software as a service translator which let finance professionals free to render documents from one language to another in their own words. Apiax, second runner up, is both a Regtech and a Fintech. The company builds digital tools to cope with regulatory complexity. Their solutions are able to “…transform complex regulations into digital regulatory rules and to manage the full lifecycle of digital regulations.” BitValley, this year’s Finance Inclusion Award, offers Blockchain Advisory Services. For both HyperLedger and Ethereum blockchains, the company proposes project-oriented trainings. It has also developed a set of common blockchain APIs that acts as a middleware to reduce time to market.
It is not only about money, ideas are needed too
Flourishing of new ideas has to be nourished by funding, but it needs intellectual fuel to reach the highest level of creativity. The University of Luxembourg, together with the Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL) and the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT) are hosting the Luxembourg FinTech Conference. This event adresses all FinTech hot topics. This year, for the 4th edition, speakers include professors from the University of Luxembourg and experts from universities in Berkeley, Bremen, Chicago, New York, Oxford, Singapore and Tilburg. All topics covered attest the real importance FinTech has taken in Luxembourg’s finance studies. “FinTech as a game changer for law and regulation” is a topic that speaks for itself. Major concerns about cryptocurrencies and cryptoassets, as well as crowdfunding and crowdlending were also expressed. FinTech, fund and asset management and FinTech and systemic risk were covered. It is now the whole FinTech ecosystem that is operational in Luxembourg and it is the right time.