As head of Alfi, Camille Thommes has seen the rapid development of the fund sector. But he has also seen several crises. This tireless traveller is one of the driving forces behind the dynamics of the financial centre. Nicolas Mackel, CEO of Luxembourg for Finance, introduces the leader, who is ranked 4th among the country’s most influential economic decision-makers.
Managing an organisation representing the interests of investors who entrust the country with more than €5,000bn inevitably brings influence. Having accompanied a doubling of assets under management in 15 years in this role also generates respect which in turn translates into influence. Having achieved this feat while maintaining a certain discretion earns you the recognition of an entire sector, which contributes a little more to strengthening your aura.
Camille ThommesCamille Thommes has been the head of the Luxembourg Association of Investment Funds (Alfi) since 2007, after a career with two major banks–first at the BGL and then Spuerkeess (or BCEE). As CEO of Alfi, he has been on the front line during a period that has seen not only very significant growth in the fund industry, but also successive crises. Together with his successive presidents, deputy presidents and team of experts, he has contributed to making this association a body that has a place at the top table in the European and global forums of the collective management industry. Camille’s unanimously recognised expertise has earned him invitations to speak at major financial meetings and to advise Alfi’s sister association in China.
An orchestra conductor who has long since stopped counting his hours
As a representative of what has become, over the years, the backbone of the country’s main economic sector, Camille Thommes intervenes both with the Luxembourg and European authorities to help shape a regulatory framework that safeguards the interests of individual and institutional investors, the public good, but also those of financial players.
As head of Alfi, he coordinates, leads and facilitates a multitude of working groups which aim to help industry players to develop industry positions on legislative and regulatory projects, or to properly implement these regulations once adopted. These groups bring together experts on various strategic issues, such as the use of blockchain or the implementation of EU sustainable investment regulations.
If Luxembourg can claim to be a pioneer and a leader in these areas, it is because, behind the scenes, a lot of work is being done with a conductor who, for a long time, has not been counting his hours. This is why you can arrive at the House of Finance garage very early or very late, and systematically find that Camille Thommes’ car is either already there or still there.
If his car is not there, it is because he is also a tireless traveller who can be found at distant airports. He has been travelling the world for 15 years, so much so that his friends at Lufthansa have made him a senator for life… He tries to explain the finer points of European Ucits regulation to local authorities. Thanks to his tireless work, new markets are opening up for Luxembourg funds. Jobs are being created at home and tax revenues are flowing into the coffers of the Luxembourg treasury.
Despite this, he remains discreet, more so than the large sums at stake in the sector it represents might lead one to imagine. While this is probably partly due to his personality, it is also, unfortunately, due to the limited interest of most Luxembourg media in the investment fund sector.
While this sector finances the economic activity of companies, underpins our savings and our future pensions, it is often perceived as too technical a subject to enrich beautiful reports. Happy is the country that can thus limit its interest in the sector that feeds its well-being and in which it is European champion and vice-champion of the world.