Ms. Daurelle, how did you start your career and what are your main objectives as MFEX Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as you lead the integration of the two companies?
I began my career in the insurance sector, where I refined the strategic partnership with one of CNP’s main distribution networks and boosted its commercial development. Shortly after 2000, I joined Euroclear, a globally recognized Financial Market infrastructure that specializes in post-trade services, where I was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of three of its Central Securities Depositories (CSD) - Euroclear Belgium, Euroclear France and Euroclear Nederland. During my six years as CEO, I worked to consolidate these three national CSDs onto a single platform.
Those initiatives that I have contributed to at Euroclear along with the experience I have built over the years, have played a role in my nomination to lead the integration of MFEX into the Euroclear group, and to ensure the smooth transition of not only the technology but also the cultures of the two companies, which I am very pleased to say has been going very well.
My role as CEO encompasses servicing a much bigger family of clients, now that we can plug the two platforms together. Our plan is to provide the transparency that MFEX has consistently offered to fund management companies and distributors for all scopes of activities. My efforts will be directed towards elevating the client experience with our complementary services and capabilities, while bringing together the scalability of the Euroclear platforms and the flexibility and tailor-made solutions that MFEX offers, to remain, together one of the world’s leading Funds platforms.
What is the new combined company’s global strategy?
MFEX and Euroclear have been working together for a long time, but now, thanks to this partnership we can make full use of our complimentary approaches and capabilities to maximize our competitive advantages and furthermore elevate the customer’s experience in the financial market.
As more clients outsource their funds' processing activities to market infrastructures and platforms, we see a bigger role for us to support the sector’s growth to meet the market’s ever-growing demands and reduce legal and regulatory complexities of today. Therefore, the strategy will have to encompass different criteria. Moreover, we plan for this partnership to furthermore reinforce our presence and value proposition in existing European markets, especially in Switzerland, France, as well as expand our international footprint. Tuning into different markets will provide the proximity we need in order to meet specific market demands and tailor our product offerings accordingly.
Besides having a big ecosystem and a strong network of fund management companies and distributors, we plan to develop new services together. This will help us create an environment for other players to be able to plug in as well, and not just distributors and fund management companies. This will further enhance clients’ experience and will help overcome the challenges of a fragmented market.
We will leverage the complementarity of services between the two entities to produce significant value through revenue synergies and combine our missions under the name «MFEX by Euroclear». This new offer is well-positioned to optimize business opportunities in partnership with the clients in order to enhance our overall offering.
Focus on Swiss market: what is the local strategy?
Switzerland is considered as key in the funds industry both in terms of assets and customers (rated fourth in terms of assets in Luxembourg domiciled funds at end of September 2021, representing 14.1 percent - namely 789 bn Euros - after the United States, United Kingdom and Germany according to the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier).
With offices in Geneva and Zurich, we are looking to strengthen our footprint in this market. We count amongst our clients in the Swiss market, some of the biggest private banks as well as major players in online trading. Most of these clients have signed with us over the past two years.
Our office in Zurich has welcomed a new employee which reinforces our local presence. This creates a significant opportunity to continue to leverage our solid foundation built in the region over the past years with fund distributors as well as asset managers. Considering the importance of Zurich’s financial center which houses major banks and institutional clients - among them insurers and pension funds - we expect to increase our customer base thanks to our unique model, characterized by excellent customer service and tailor-made solutions.
We are also delighted to announce that we recently opened a representative office in Basel enhancing our market coverage. With a strong customer base of private banks and insurers well established in this region, this new expansion offers proximity to our customer segment, allowing us to best understand and answer their needs locally, which is highly appreciated.
We continue to build upon our operations in Switzerland, having even broader ambitions to explore opportunities and to extend our services to both German and Austrian markets. The robustness and well-established processes of Euroclear’s trading platform coupled with both the agility and tailor-made oriented solutions of MFEX in the distribution chain segment, will offer a strong and efficient solution to enter these new markets successfully.
What products do you consider as the most promising in the next years?
We will invest in digital and data services, such as providing data analytics up to the end-investor level and offering digital compliance tools. Considering both increasing regulation requirements and real appetite from asset managers and fund distributors for data flows and data accuracy, we are significantly improving our data offering to address those needs.
Our existing data service offering for fund management companies and fund distributors is today being enhanced with new modules. The strategy is two-fold. We are first implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions across all business lines, in order to enrich the data flow captures on our platform and unleash powerful economies of scale.
Beyond these considerable advances in data quality driven by AI, we are also focusing on market intelligence tools that will allow both fund management companies and distributors to improve investment decisions based on trends and benchmarking. Investment trends including both region and product parameters and insights are key in terms of distribution strategy for our partners.
In addition, providing data can also help investors in tracking ESG strategies and whether it is in line with their principles of avoiding «greenwashing». This mission is aligned with the MFEX by Euroclear corporate strategy of being a systemically important, resilient, and robust infrastructure at the heart of the financial industry’s ecosystem. Data is not the only domain we are focusing on. Compliance is also a matter we want to help our partners with.
About the person
Brigitte Daurelle was appointed CEO of MFEX by Euroclear in October 2021. She was CEO of Euroclear Belgium, Euroclear France & Euroclear Nederland for the six years prior to that. She consolidated these three national CSDs onto a single platform, ESES, and connected them to Target 2 Securities. Brigitte Daurelle currently sits on the board of directors of SFIL. She began her career in the insurance sector, where she refined the strategic partnership with one of CNP’s main distribution networks and boosted its commercial development.
Interview, 28th December 2021 fundplat.com
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