Getting to know better : Anne-Catherine Grave
Anne Catherine is the Partner in charge of Corporate Secretarial Service at Deloitte Luxembourg. She is a Chartered Accountant in Luxembourg and a qualified attorney in France and Luxembourg. She has over 17 years of experience in the Private Equity and Real Estate sectors.
Anne Catherine gained her extensive experience as part of the Management/Executive Committees of one of the biggest trust players in Luxembourg acting under the supervision of the CSSF, as well as in her position as Executive Director of the Luxembourg Trust & Fund business of a Jersey Group. In both positions, she served as a Director on the board of various client companies, regulated and non-regulated. She started her career as a tax advisor in a big four in Luxembourg and New York, before transitioning into a Senior Tax Lawyer position at a Luxembourg law firm.
Anne Catherine holds Master degrees in Economics and in International & European law, as well as post-graduate diplomas in Political Sciences and in International Business Law. She is also qualified as a Certified International Control Specialist.
What are in your opinion, the key attributes for a Director?
From my point of view, a Director should have strong ethics and very good communication skills, be open-minded and diplomatic. She/He should listen, while asking the right questions and challenging assumptions. She/He should focus on important things, be able to adapt and be intellectually curious. Finally, she/he should be able to deal with high-pressure situations and always keep her/his impartiality.
What do you think makes a great Board?
A great board is the result of having great board members. The size and the composition of a board should reflect the scale and complexity of the company’s activities. Diversity is a key element: diversity of industries, perspectives, skills, backgrounds and gender balance. Board renewal is important to ensure a flow of new ideas. An appropriate number of independent Directors is a key step in the development of the company’s governance. Finally, having a talented company secretary who guides the board members with respect to their duties and responsibilities and ensures that the company complies with all relevant laws and regulations is a key element.
What would you change to improve the effectiveness of Luxembourg Boards?
It is very important that the board members receive sufficient information in advance to be able to make informed decisions. Usually, the main concern is not the quantity of the information that the board members receive but the quality. The company secretary can assist the board members by providing them with an executive summary that makes the information accessible and useful to them. The use of technologies such as electronic board packs should become a standard.
What does the outlook of Luxembourg look like, 10 years from now?
Whatever the new challenge, I am convinced that Luxembourg will succeed in converting threats into new opportunities. Luxembourg has always demonstrated in the past that it is capable of adapting to changes.
Technology will play a central role in the optimization of regulatory operations/support costs in the next decade.
How can ILA contribute to the economy, better boards and society?
ILA plays a key role in supporting board members and company secretaries with trainings and guidance that increase the quality of corporate governance of Luxembourg entities.