CBH banks on expanded reach to share its wealth management expertise
CBH attributes its stellar growth to a strategic realignment towards wealth management that was initiated in 2009 after the Benhamou family gained majority shareholding
Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports www.discoveryreports.com
Over the past six years, CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvétique has seen its assets under management increase sevenfold, reaching 6.5 billion Swiss francs
(HK$50.6 billion) at the end of fiscal year 2015. In the same period, the Geneva-based independent private bank reported a consolidated equity of 159.5 million Swiss francs with a tier 1 capital ratio of 24.4 per cent – one of the highest among financial institutions in Switzerland.
CBH attributes its stellar growth to a strategic realignment towards wealth management that was initiated in 2009 after the Benhamou family gained majority shareholding. The strong results also reflect a successful expansion strategy via acquisitions. In December last year, CBH announced its latest acquisition – the private banking activities of Fibi Bank (Switzerland), a subsidiary of First International Bank of Israel. The two banks share common values and approaches, making them an excellent strategic and geographic fit.
Another notable deal was the purchase of TTG (HK) – an independent wealth management firm headquartered in Hong Kong. Acquired in May 2015 and operating as a wholly owned subsidiary, TTG complements CBH as both have a rich experience in protecting and growing their clients’ wealth.
“TTG will play a vital role in establishing the CBH brand in Asia,” says Joseph Benhamou, member of the board of directors. “This will take time, but we’re in Asia for the long haul. We are focused on completely integrating TTG into the group.”
In September 2014, CBH acquired part of the wealth management business of Banque Privée Espírito Santo (BPES). The transaction has allowed CBH to carve a presence in the Latin American and Iberian markets – representing a major step forward for the bank’s overseas expansion. CBH and BPES are known for their high standard of service and close client relationships.
Established in Switzerland – the world’s largest wealth management centre, CBH competes with many Swiss private banks offering a full range of asset management services to the niche segment of ultrawealthy individuals and institutions. CBH, however, distinguishes itself by emphasising its values of discretion, integrity and continuity rooted in its family-owned enterprise culture. In addition to decades of wealth management experience, high-net-worth individuals are also assured of getting unbiased advice from CBH as it operates as an independent bank that is not influenced by any larger financial institution. Using an open architecture product platform, CBH offers third-party products and is not limited to its proprietary solutions. This is a guarantee to clients that CBH is working to meet their distinct financial goals.
Incorporating a holistic approach and entrepreneurial spirit, CBH provides its clients with a solid set of services encompassing all the aspects of their wealth and family needs. Its comprehensive wealth management plans are tailor-made according to a client’s investment objectives and may incorporate credit and banking services, tax management, and retirement and estate planning.
“We always try to be close to our clients to understand their needs in a deeper sense,” says CEO Philippe Cordonier. “We strive to build real partnerships based on transparency and trust as with these come a steady stream of client referrals – still the most effective marketing tool.”
Since its founding in 1975, CBH has progressively extended its global reach to serve its growing list of non-European clients, with many coming from the former Soviet republics, South America and the Mediterranean region. CBH operates through subsidiaries in the Bahamas, London and Hong Kong, and has a representative office in Tel Aviv. In addition to its headquarters in Geneva, the bank maintains a branch in Zurich and a representative office in St Moritz. To bolster its overseas network, CBH is keen on partnering with strong local players with established connections and who share the bank’s emphasis on customer service.
CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvétique