Expert interview – Vanessa Engel

What’s your role at BIL, and how did you get there?

I head the Non-European Private Banking team in Wealth Management. We serve clients from areas that include Eastern Europe, China and the Middle East.

I joined BIL 21 years ago as a junior Relationship Manager in the Eastern European Private Banking team. I certainly didn’t know then how far I would go. As my experience deepened and my level of responsibility increased, I worked with other markets such as Germany and had the opportunity to grow as a Manager.

How does your team fit into the strategy of BIL?

Wealth Management is a really important part of our five-year strategic plan Create Together 2025. We want to focus on right-to-win markets, those in which we see ourselves as carrying a distinct advantage. The countries that my team covers are considered as core and active markets. Also, one of our aims is to become the best bank for entrepreneurs, whether local or from abroad. Wealth management is a real growth engine and helps to attract new clients who may then stay with us for other banking needs.

In a very competitive environment, what makes BIL Wealth Management special?

BIL is one of the oldest bank in Luxembourg, and we offer stability and safety, which is attractive, especially in these rather uncertain times. We have a unique combination of cross-border expertise, a solid balance sheet, and preferred access to Luxembourg’s economic and political stability. Also, given our size, we offer some services and products that many of our peers don’t, such as financing second homes in 10 countries in Europe and financing yacht acquisitions, for example.

Why should a candidate choose BIL Wealth Management rather than another financial institution?

BIL is a really welcoming workplace where it’s easy to fit in. Because of my team’s mission and diverse makeup, we are particularly open. Out of 15 people, 10 different languages are spoken.

We also offer a lot in terms of giving invaluable experience. We’re a large and respected bank, in the top three in Luxembourg in terms of market share, and yet we have a strong focus on international markets. Employees can really grow and thrive in such an environment. As we are a universal bank, our team members enjoy a high-flying career and gain experience across business lines. Also, because we’re headquartered in Luxembourg, employees are exactly where major decisions are taken.

2021 was a landmark year for the regulation of sustainable finance. How does BIL Wealth Management position itself with regard to that?

This is an area in which we are taking a firm stance, due not only to internal and regulatory pressure, but also in response to our clients themselves, 81 percent of whom stated in a survey earlier this year that they would take ESG criteria into account in their investment choices. Last year, we implemented a sustainability strategy, and we are doing our bit to help to direct capital toward companies that are committed to sustainability. We now have six in-house funds composed of Article 8 (i.e. ESG) products. In May 2022, we have implemented our Green Bond Framework and we now issue Green Bonds – which is very exciting.


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