Robert Dennewald did not hesitate when he was asked in 2015 to become a member of the board of directors and investor of HLD Europe.
The owner and Chairman of the Board of Chaux de Contern and long-time Fedil President is enthusiastic about the work of the French investment fund and had encouraged its founders to settle in Luxembourg.
“What fascinated me about the project was the approach of Jean-Bernard Lafonta and his partners,” explained Dennewald. “HLD is not an ordinary investment fund, as the group invests not only money, but also know-how.”
The team around founder Lafonta is always on the lookout for promising companies with ambitious expansion projects. If HLD decides to invest in a company, a long-term co-operation between the management of the company and the experts of HLD usually begins.
“The group usually tries to become majority shareholders of these companies and binds their management very closely with their work,” said Dennewald. “And so, in a relatively short time, HLD has put together a remarkable holdings portfolio.”
These include companies from a wide range of sectors, such as cosmetics, IT, hotel, and online retail, to name but a few. The money comes from high-profile investors, including the globally active expert on outdoor advertising JC Decaux.
Luxembourg, the land of short paths
When the founders of HLD decided to come to Luxembourg, it was clear that they would not just open a mailbox company, explained Dennewald. “They really wanted to bring substance to Luxembourg.” That is why the company’s core is in Luxembourg.
The four Luxembourg employees are responsible for the administrative and financial interests of the fund. “We only give the scope of the analysis to the colleagues in Paris,” said Dennewald. “There we have a whole team of analysts preparing the dossiers. In Luxembourg, decisions are taken on how to implement them.”