Luxembourg’s Advantages

With a worldwide reputation across the financial industry continually improving over the last 10 years, Luxembourg is now considered one of the major international centres, benefiting from political, economic and fiscal stability and an AAA rating (S&P’s).

Today Luxembourg is the heart of private banking in Europe, the largest centre outside the US for the management and administration of investment funds, and the capital of the pan-European cross-border life insurance industry.

A Luxembourg insurance company provides key advantages to investors:

A tax-efficient environment

Interest, income, dividends and capital gains from life insurance funds in Luxembourg are reinvested gross of taxes. Moreover, certain withholding taxes can be refunded on the basis of the broad Double Tax Treaties network (81). Although, a client’s tax situation will ultimately depend on the rules of their country of residence, the tax-exempt status of Luxembourg life insurance funds provides a strong advantage.

Europe’s strongest investor protection regime

Luxembourg legislation provides full protection to life insurance policyholders. The main advantage of this investment protection regime is the legal requirement that all investor assets be held by an independent custodian bank appointed by the life insurance company and approved by the Luxembourg insurance regulator. This protection system is known as the “triangle of security”. It ensures the legal separation of the policy assets from the insurance company’s assets, meaning that the company’s creditors have no claim on the assets of the policy. Furthermore, the custodian bank is not permitted to use the clients’ assets for any other purpose than the investment, and is bound by regulation to protect policyholders’ interests. Luxembourg’s regulations implement the European directives.

The “Triangle of Security”

GB Life Luxembourg S.A.

  • Authorised and supervised by the Luxembourg supervisory authority for insurance (CAA)
  • Deposits all policyholder assets with an independent Custodian Bank
  • Maintains a register of all assets (“Permanent Inventory”), which is submitted to the CAA on a quarterly basis
  • Maintains a safe and comfortable legal solvency margin at all times
  • Without exception, policyholder assets are held separately from GB Life Luxembourg’s assets
  • Policyholders’ assets are protected in the event of failure of GB Life Luxembourg

Commissariat aux Assurances (CAA) - the Luxembourg supervisory authority

  • Responsible for the supervision of the Luxembourg insurance industry
  • Approves the appointment of the Custodian Bank
  • Carries out regular monitoring of policyholder assets and how they are invested
  • Monitors insurance companies’ solvency
  • Has the power to issue orders to “freeze” bank accounts holding policyholder assets in custody

The Custodian Bank

  • Entirely independent from GB Life Luxembourg
  • Clients’ securities (e.g. investment funds, shares and bonds) are held in segregated accounts off the bank’s balance sheet
  • If the bank fails, these securities remain in segregated client accounts
  • Policyholders have preferential rights over the assets in the segregated accounts
  • Cash deposits are not segregated from the bank’s assets, and are potentially at risk. However, cash held in monetary funds is treated as securities and is protected
  • May delegate the custody, but maintains full responsibility for the safekeeping of policyholder assets
  • In the event of a freezing order from the CAA, no activity is allowed on custody accounts without prior CAA approval

Marc Stevens

Chief Marketing & Distribution Officer (CMDO)

Marc Stevens has extended experience in international insurance industry. Before taking on the role of Director of Marketing and Distribution at GB Life Luxembourg in November 2018, he worked for ABB Insurances and OHRA Leven (Delta Lloyd Life) where he was Commercial Director. Following that, he was General Manager at VITIS LIFE and then CEO of OneLife Luxembourg. He is a visiting professor for the Master’s in Personal Financial Planning course at the Management School of the University of Antwerp. Marc holds a Master’s degree in criminology from the Catholic University of Louvain and a postgraduate diploma in Marketing from the Business School of the University of Antwerp.

José Bustillo

Chief Operations Officer (COO)

José Bustillo has a long-standing experience in managing and auditing complex and large projects in back-office operations environments. He joined GB Life Luxembourg in 2017 as Chief Operation Officer after more than 30 years of experience in the financial industry among others with Euroclear. Prior to joining GB Life Management Team, José was a partner with a risk management specialized consultancy firm, now part of McKinsey & Company. His main focus was on Solvency II. José holds a Civil Engineering degree from the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

Gaëlle Leclaire

Chief Risk & Compliance Officer

Gaëlle Leclaire has 20 years of experience in the life insurance sector. She started her career as a financial auditor in France before moving to Luxembourg. She has previously worked for Mazars, PWC and ABN AMRO Life S.A.. She joined GB Life Luxembourg in 2008 and joined the Board in 2009 as CFO. She took over the position of COO in 2015, where she was also responsible for Product Management. In 2017, she took over the position of Chief Legal and Compliance Officer within GB Life Luxembourg. Gaëlle is graduated from a Business School and has professional certification in Accountancy and Finance.

Will Romero

Member of the Board

Will has served in leadership positions at Financial Guaranty, Benfield, Swiss RE, Ernst & Young and New York Life. Most recently, he created Factor Re, a low cost and efficient financing vehicle for the embedded value in life insurance blocks. Will holds a B.A. with honors from Yale University, a J.D. from the University of Colorado, and an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University.

Matteo Castelvetri

Member of the Board

Matteo spent 19 years in Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. As a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley’s Financial Institution Group, he led the European Insurance effort and held primary coverage responsibility for several European large cap insurers. He has advised on over 50 transactions and has originated and executed some of the most prominent insurance M&A events, restructuring and IPOs in Europe. Matteo started his career at Goldman Sachs as a government bond and distressed debt investor first and then as an advisor to banks and insurers. He received a summa cum laude Bachelor Degree in Economics from Bocconi University in Milan and also holds a Bachelor Degree in Classical Guitar.

Victor Rod

Chairman of the Board

Victor Rod earned a law degree at University of Nancy (France) in 1973. After a short period as an attorney at the Luxembourg bar, he served as secretary general of the Luxembourg insurance companies association (ACA).

In 1980 he was appointed first full time director of the Luxembourg insurance supervisory authority (Commissariat aux assurances). He has been the longest serving head of an insurance supervisor in Europe until his retirement on 31.12.2014

Victor served as Alternate Chair of the European Insurance and Occupational Pension Authority (EIOPA) headquartered in Frankfurt since its inception until his retirement.(2010 – 2014)

He was also Luxembourg’s delegate at European Insurance and Occupational Pension Committee (EIOPC) in Brussels and a member of the executive committee of the global standard setter in insurance matters International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) in Basel.

Victor served as a chairman of a Luxembourg Bank for 25 years. In addition to serving as chairman and independent director of GBLife, Victor is sitting on the board of a large domestic retail insurance company and he has a 20 years experience as a non-executive board member of World’s largest satellite operator.

Since 2015, Victor serves as Of Counsel with Luxembourg’s largest independent law firm Arendt & Medernach (A & M) where he mainly advises on insurance and reinsurance legal, regulatory and technical matters.

Christophe Hucque

Chief Finance Officer (CFO)

Christophe Hucque has an extensive experience in the insurance domain. Christophe joined GB Life Luxembourg (formerly ING Life Luxembourg) in 2000 as Actuary. Since 2006, he has covered several leading position within GB Life Luxembourg. He joined the Management Team in 2006 as CFO/CRO. Between 2007 and 2009, he combined the CFO position for both ING Life Luxembourg and ING Variable Annuities Europe (The Hague, NL), dealing with the Europe-wide roll-out of the Variable Annuities product suite. Christophe moved to the COO position in 2009 where he was also responsible for Product Management and the commercial relationship with ING Bank. He has been back in the CFO position since 2015, also responsible for Risk between 2015 and 2017. Christophe holds several degrees in Mathematics and in Actuarial Sciences.

Pieter Coopmans

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), GB Life Luxembourg

Pieter Coopmans has over 20 years of experience in the insurance and banking industries, in different leadership positions. Before joining GB Life Luxembourg in 2012 as Chief Executive Officer and Dirigeant Agréé, he held management/executive roles in leading financial service providers such as NN Group, Zurich Financial Services, SNS Reaal and ING Group. Pieter has played a key role in the disentanglement and rebranding process of GB Life from the ING/NN Group and the repositioning of the company in the cross border life insurance space. Under his responsibility, the leadership team prepared and executed the sale of GB Life to an affiliate of Global Bankers Insurance Group in 2017. Pieter holds a Bachelor in BA from European University and a Master in BA from Nyenrode University in Breukelen.