Well-known for its annual surveys and sector rankings – published for more than 20 years and which are available in 50 countries – Décideurs Magazine (Leaders League Group) has just issued its 2019 rankings for Luxembourg life insurance companies active in France, voted anonymously by French wealth managers. Lombard International Assurance S.A. is listed in the highest category as a “Leading” actor.
We took this opportunity to have a chat with David Liebmann, Director, Head of the French market, who shared his impressions on this great achievement.
David, what does this ranking mean to you?
It’s a real achievement for us. It makes me and all my team dedicated to the French market really proud. Beyond being a mark of recognition from the industry, it is a truly gratifying reward for us considering the continuous effort we have put in recent years with our French partners and clients. France represents the main market for Luxembourg life insurance and the one with the highest growth, with over €8 billion in premiums collected in 2018. We are already recognised as a leading player in many countries and I am truly proud to see that France is now becoming one of them. To me this is a great motivator but just the beginning and we still have a long way to go.
What do you think makes Lombard International Assurance S.A. stand out on the French market, particularly in light of recent events?
The appetite for life insurance-based solutions in France is well-known and the range of products available is therefore very diverse. What makes us different is that we are a fully independent insurer, based out of Luxembourg and solely focused on unit-linked solutions. We do not offer “fonds euros”, which is a choice we have made since our foundation back in 1991. What is essential for us and our partners is expertise. Our added value lies specifically in our unrivalled expertise in asset structuring and estate planning through life insurance. We have 60 multi-jurisdictional experts capable of meeting the most complex needs of mobile wealthy clients, with bespoke solutions that are portable across borders.
What also differentiates us is our know-how in the acceptance and administration of non-traditional assets (private equity, debt funds, real estate, etc.). This is truly unique in our sector and now represents 10% of our total assets under administration in Europe. In the current low interest-rate environment in which “fonds euros” are becoming less attractive, we clearly have a head start in this area.
What are your next development areas for the French market?
We currently have a team of 25 people entirely dedicated to the French market, as well as representative offices in Paris and Geneva. We will continue our efforts to provide support and expertise to our partners, because we are convinced that Luxembourg life insurance represents an efficient tool for wealth managers and their clients in their wealth and succession planning strategies. We therefore take an inter-professional approach to our work with them, providing expertise which complements theirs as well as tools to facilitate their professional practice.
For example, we have just launched the second version of our digital platform on the French market, allowing 100% secure online subscription using an electronic signature enabled system. Feedback has been very positive and we will continue to invest in more functionalities which will be available in the coming months. Keeping up with their expectations and needs is our priority.