CEO and managing partner
Q. What is your business model?
As a multi-family office, our business model is based on three pillars: investment management, from asset allocation to portfolio and risk management; wealth management, encompassing property acquisition, succession planning and family governance; and administrative services such as legal services, estate management and concierge. We are based in Geneva and Singapore.
Q. How many people do you have in the Singapore office?
We are a team of 10 people: six in Singapore and four in Geneva.
Q. What is the firm’s growth strategy?
Costs and regulations demand a higher scale than what family offices typically have currently, which is less than $1 billion in assets under management.
We are aware of the situation and are looking at a combination of three strategies to grow. We are in talks with big families and a few private bankers that we already know would like to join us.
We are actively contemplating acquisitions or mergers in Geneva and Singapore as well.
Q. How do you charge clients?
We only get paid by our clients. That means no retrocessions, rebates or conflicts of interest. Our remuneration scheme is simple and transparent and based on a management fee and a performance fee.
Q. What’s your client mix?
Thanks to our dual location, we have a mix of European and Asian clients based in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, UK, France, Switzerland and Belgium.
Q. How are you advising clients who are keen in investing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain?
Cryptocurrencies and blockchain have been a hot trend like the gold rush in the Wild West. There is no doubt cryptocurrencies, digital tokens and blockchain-based business models are here to stay.
However, there are a number of key risks. We have technology constraints, currency convertibility, extortion, cyberattack, technological and regulatory risks and human error to name but a few. We are not in a position right now to control the risk of the asset class. We would need to see stronger regulations being implemented before we get comfortable with the asset class.
Investing through a wrapper can increase the diversification at many levels – private equity funds of funds, for instance – and the tax efficiency over a longer period of time in terms of dividendsCyril Malapert
Q. Do you have any in-house funds?
We are contemplating the option to create in-house funds to hold some specific asset classes. Investing through a wrapper can increase the diversification at many levels – private equity funds of funds, for instance – and the tax efficiency over a longer period of time in terms of dividends.
Q. What precautions are you taking to ensure the security of client data?
In order to minimise the risks of confidential client data reaching the wrong people, we restrict employee access to client information. We have multi-layered security software in place and update security software and operating systems regularly. Regarding mobile devices, we use remote swiping software to delete data in case a laptop is stolen or lost.
We have a very competent IT partner helping us remain committed to the protection of client data.
Q. Do you foresee big tech players becoming a potential competitor?
While digital channels are used for consultation, information and transactions, it appears that an interaction with a person is preferred if you look for advice for complex transactions.
We shouldn’t understate what’s happening with technology, but I believe wealth management is a people business.
Q. What are some new regulations you’re watching?
If I have to name one, I would say the regulation on cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Regulating cryptocurrencies as securities would affect who can buy, hold, deal and custodise cryptocurrencies, and require varying disclosures. This would hugely benefit the asset class.