The Architects of Wealth
The Architects of Wealth
Banque Heritage is a family-controlled financial group with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and overseeing CHF 5 billion of assets. It focuses on Private Banking and Asset Management activities (UHNWI, Families, and Institutions), and its strategy is based on acquiring new clients in Switzerland and across Growth / Emerging markets.
Banque Heritage traces its roots to the 170-year history of the merchant business of the Esteve family which operates today as ECOM Agroindustrial Corp., a global commodity trading and processing company that plays a top-tier role in commodities such as coffee, cotton and cocoa. Despite its international scope and market leadership, the company remains proudly family-held by the Esteve family.
Furthermore, it should be noted that ECOM’s engagement with Switzerland has a longstanding history. In 1967, a sales and treasury center for the European branch of ECOM Agroindustrial Corp. was established in Lausanne; this eventually became the holding company of the agribusiness group. This fact clearly strengthened the family’s ties with and commitment to Switzerland, paving the way for the vision that Carlos Esteve had as an undergraduate and which will take shape a couple of decades later.
Heritage was established in Lausanne in 1986 as a family office under the name of Heritage Finance & Trust. Six years later, in 1992, the headquarters were transferred to Geneva. In 2004 the Swiss Federal Banking Commission, currently known as FINMA, granted Heritage the Swiss Federal Banking License. The license allowed it to develop its commercial perspectives after having operated as a non-bank financial institution since 2000.
As part of the Bank’s international growth strategy, the Group acquired a 60% stake in Banco Surinvest, a Uruguayan Bank formed in 1981 by several large financial institutions such as IFC, Rabobank, and HSBC. This shareholding was later increased to 100%. The Group’s confidence in its subsidiary, Banque Heritage (Uruguay) S.A., has been reinforced in 2013 with the acquisition of the retail, commercial and corporate banking operations from Lloyds TSB Bank plc. in Montevideo.
Marcos Esteve - CEO
"We offer a harmonized range of banking activities to a new generation of clients for whom we aim to combine the wisdom of experience with the highest order of day-to-day financial intelligence."
Marcos Esteve - CEO
Banque Heritage grew out of the trust inherent in strong family relationships. Wherever practical we avoid making a division between relationship and investment management. Our clients value being close to the person who helps to tailor-make their portfolios and then directly oversees their performance. We combine the traditional virtues of consistent and highly customised service with the widest opportunities for enhancing portfolio performance.
We take great care to recognise the distinctive priorities held by each of our clients, and build with them a portfolio that maps to their specific requirements, always avoiding the application of generic solutions. We understand too that life circumstances and market conditions change, and that our approach must have the capacity to adapt successfully to events that are both anticipated and unexpected.
Just as any growing bank, we have our own products and funds, which in our judgement can provide valuable components in any of our client portfolios. However, we are committed to the principle of an open but focused architecture platform, meaning that we buy only the most appropriate and best performing assets for our clients – irrespective of their provenance.
We develop our own macro-economic and currency allocation models, using research we buy from specialist, independent research organisations. By deriving our market and economic source data from companies that have no brokerage models of their own, we avoid any possibility of working with potentially conflicted information.
The ethos of the private bank overlaps with our reading of modern portfolio theory, where steady performance and low volatility best serve both markets and investors alike. Through a strategy committee drawn from a small number of key investment professionals in the firm, debate based on a set of in-house indicators and criteria results in an assessment of the characteristics of the market environment and the relative attractiveness of each asset and sub-asset class.
Free from reporting performance relative to benchmarks established by aggregations of more limited portfolio ranges, we have been able to cross-fertilise the measurement criteria of alternative investments into our understanding of the performance of traditional equity and bond investments. This unified measurement of all our efforts enables us to allocate assets on behalf of our clients free from the constraints of any particular asset class. As a result of this we enjoy a sustained advantage to deliver consistent positive returns.
Successful private banking is about the establishment and maintenance of successful relationships. In selecting individuals to work at Banque Heritage we demand not only deep competence in a particular field of expertise, but also a general intellectual and cultural fit with the way we operate. The result is an eclectic mix of working styles that we have demonstrated to provide remarkable levels of innovative synergies at the same time as a common cultural commitment to excellence in service and performance.
Growth inevitably changes the dynamics of any organisation. While we accept that a private bank with a commercial appetite will never retain the closeness of a tied family office, we relish the challenges of success – how to retain the integrity of our philosophy and how to capture the benefits of scale without compromising the intimacy of our relationships. Our solution addresses these issues directly, to ensure that we continue to operate a culture that remains both uniquely attractive to talented employees and absolutely dedicated to performance on behalf of our clients.
In simple terms, we invest our own money alongside that of our clients. We could never tell our clients one thing and do another; but equally nor could we offer advice and not act on it ourselves. We are constitutionally bound to share the investment experiences of our clients. The only way to demonstrate the confidence we have in our methods, from the hard-headed intellectual rigor of our investment modelling to the instinctive responsiveness of our client relationships, is to put our own money into the same assets we recommend to everyone that entrusts us with the management of their wealth.
Paul-André Sanglard is an independent Economist in the banking and insurance sectors since 1989. He began his career in political economics at the University of Geneva. He joined the Swiss Federal Office of External Economic Affairs as an economist before becoming a research fellow at Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978. A year later, he became Head of the Canton of Jura’s financial services unit and has as well served as a member of the World Economic Forum Executive Committee during 5 years. He was also in charge of public finance classes at the University of Geneva from 1982 to 1995.
Mr. Sanglard is a Board Member of various companies in the banking and insurance sectors. Among others, he is Chairman of the Board of Vaudoise Assurances and acts as Vice-Chairman of Banque Cantonale Vaudoise, QNB Banque Privée and Société Générale Private Banking.
Mr. Sanglard holds a PhD in Economics with a specialization in Political Economy from the University of Geneva.
Maître Pierre-Alain Schmidt is a founding Member and Associate of the law firm Schmidt, Jaton & Associés (SJA Avocats) founded in 1985. His main areas of activity include commercial law, contract law, corporate law, banking and finance law, Swiss and International tax law, the right to prosecution and bankruptcy, the establishment of persons, arbitration and civil law.
Maître Schmidt is also a member of the Boards of various companies, President and Founder of the "Conteurs sans frontières" foundation, President of Assprop Vaud (Association of Owners) and Mayor of the Municipality of Mies since 2011.
Maître Schmidt holds a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of Geneva and is a member of the Bar Association of the Canton of Geneva and of the Swiss Bar Federation.
Christian Wagner is an Independent Economist and Advisor since 1994. He started his career at Banque Morgan Grenfell & Co in London where he acted as Deputy Chief Executive during many years.
Mr. Wagner is a Member of the Board of various companies and trusteeships outside of Switzerland.
Mr. Wagner holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Lausanne, HEC.
Ramon Esteve is a business leader with more than 30 years of experience in the Agricultural commodity sector. He has held various Senior Management positions throughout his career within the ECOM group and continues being involved in all aspects of the business, primarily in the US and Europe.
A member of the Board of ECOM AgroIndustrial, he is also Vice-President of the Swiss-Latin American Chamber of Commerce as well as Vice-President of the Executive Board of the Swiss Trading and Shipping Association.
Mr. Esteve holds a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of Lausanne.
Although Carlos Esteve developed the initial idea for Banque Heritage as an undergraduate, he worked for ten years – first with Arthur Andersen in audit and consulting, then with Morgan Grenfell in private banking – before he gave shape to his vision in 1986. Since establishing the Family Office, Mr. Esteve has guided its growth into becoming the Bank it is today.
Mr. Esteve is a Member of the Board of various companies and trusteeships outside of Switzerland.
Mr. Esteve holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Lausanne, HEC.
Alain Nicod is an independent Consultant in the field of banking, information technology and consumer goods since 1989. With his entrepreneurial background, he is very active in various companies such as his role since 2002 of Managing Partner at VI Partners, a venture capital organization active in Switzerland whose share-holders are blue chip companies. Mr. Nicod is also one of the founders of leshop.ch where he acted as CEO during several years. He started his career at Arthur Andersen and McKinsey & Co.
Mr. Nicod is a member of the Board of VI backed companies: LESS Optics, Nexthink, SilentSoft, Myotest, Chairman of the Board of VTX-Telecom and a member of the Board of Châteauform. He also acts as Board Member on a pro-bono basis for various Foundations.
Mr. Nicod holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from INSEAD as well as a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Lausanne, HEC.
Torsten Koster is an Independent Advisor since 2016 and acts as CCO at Qualysense in parallel with his other activities. Previously, he had a long-standing and varied career within the Nestlé Group where he acted, notably, as Group CFO (Skin Health SA, Nespresso SA) and CFO and Member of the Management Board for Nestlé Russia & Eurasia, based in Moscow.
Mr. Koster is a Member of the Board of Sodastream International.
Mr. Koster has completed a Program for Executive Development at IMD and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Lausanne, HEC.
Marcos Esteve joined the Bank in 2006 and has held a number of key senior management positions before being named Chief Executive Officer in July, 2017.
From January 2014 to July 2017, Mr. Esteve was Global Head of Private Banking. His prior assignments included Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the Bank, positions which afforded him an in-depth and thorough understanding of the intricacies of banking operations, the inherent regulatory framework, and the Bank’s client service offering. Before joining Banque Heritage, he was Chief Financial Officer at a leading firm in the global fashion industry where he was responsible for the financial management of the group and where he also sat on the Board of Directors. During this time, he was appointed a member of the Board of Directors and of the Executive, Audit, and IT committees at Banque Heritage.
Mr. Esteve started his professional career in the corporate internal audit division of Nestlé’s Swiss headquarters.
Mr. Esteve holds a Master’s degree in Business Information Systems from the University of Lausanne, HEC as well as a Master’s degree in Economics, majoring in Business Administration from the same establishement.
François Oesch joined the Bank in 2005.
During the 28 years of his banking career, Mr. Oesch has held different management positions in the investment banking and FX trading areas, both in London for Barclays Bank and in Geneva for Swiss Bank Corporation. In the mid 1990's, Mr. Oesch founded a financial company active in asset and liability management as well as in currency overlay. He then joined the Private Banking sector as Head of Capital Markets for Credit Lyonnais (Suisse) with a strong emphasis on servicing HNWI. Since joining Banque Heritage, Mr. Oesch has served assignments in the Trading Room as Senior Foreign Exchange Trader and in the Asset Management Department as Senior Portfolio Manager. From 2012 to July 2017, Mr. Oesch has served as Chief Investment Officer and has also been responsible for Trading, Execution, and Middle Office Operations since 2014.
Mr. Oesch has completed an Executive Training for Senior Executives at IMD and holds a diploma from the High Commercial School in Lausanne.
Thierry Zumstein, an accomplished business lawyer and expert in banking and financial law, has more than 25 years of experience and know-how in the legal arena, both in the banking industry as well as a lawyer.
Most recently, he acted as Senior Legal Counsel for Bonnant Warluzel & Associés. Previously, during almost 10 years, he was General Counsel of Société Générale Private Banking (Suisse) and Member of its Executive Committee. Prior to that he has held senior assignments at different financial institutions in Geneva.
Mr. Zumstein holds a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of Geneva and is qualified as an attorney-at-law.
Nicolas Vetsch joined the Bank in 2015. He brings along more than 20 years of experience in the financial and accounting field. After graduating from HEC Lausanne, he initially started his career with KPMG in the audit field before acquiring, over several years, various experiences as Finance and Administration Director in different industries. He joined us from Banque Privée Espirito Santo where he previously spent 14 years as CFO.
Mr. Vetsch holds a licence in Economics from the University of Lausanne, HEC.
Eric Buehler, an accomplished Head of Compliance joined the Bank in March 2018. He has a proven track record of more than 25 years of experience and know-how in the areas of Compliance, Audit and Client Services within the banking industry.
Before joining Banque Heritage, Mr. Buehler was in charge of Compliance at CA Indosuez (Suisse), leading a substantial team. His experiences also include senior roles in Compliance, Client Services as well as Operations at Mirabaud & Cie and BNP Paribas. Mr. Buehler began his career as an auditor (KPMG, CS, Rothschild, BNP) both in Switzerland and in Monaco.
Mr. Buehler holds an Advanced Certificate in Compliance from the University of Geneva as well as a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Lausanne, HEC.