Banque Heritage was founded 1986 in Lausanne, Switzerland and moved its headquarters to Geneva in 1992. The bank has branches in Zurich and Sion. The bank is mainly family owned. The roots go back to the 170-year-old history of the Esteve family, which operates today the ECOM Agricultural Corp., a global commodity processing, and trading company. The Heritage Group has subsidiaries in Guernsey, HFT International (Guernsey) Ltd. and in Montevideo, Banque Heritage (Uruguay) Ltd., and wholly owned participations in Sion, GP Gestion Privée, and Heritage & Partners, in Geneva and majority participation in Lausanne, Meridian Wealth Management.
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Philosophy and Strategy
The focus of Banque Heritage is on their clients and their client needs. The client has the top priority. During 2017 the bank put the Asset Management and the Private Banking closer together, and this results in making the services more evident to the client. There are ongoing regulation changes in the banking industry, and Banque Heritage is adapting to these changes rapidly. The Swiss version of MIFID, FinSa, and FinIA, the creation of uniform competitive conditions for financial intermediaries will protect the clients even more.
The environment for the clients will change and how they will be served. Banque Heritage wants to be different from the competition and therefore is putting great emphasis on their investment accounts. The aim in the coming years is to further focus on the client’s profile. Instead of being a custodian to the client, the bank wants to transform these assets into either advisory or discretionary mandates.
Banque Heritage has a highly flexible investment approach and is observant of the client’s needs. The bank is open to innovations and ideas but is still very prudent and disciplined in the stewardship of wealth. In the Private Banking department, the bank will focus on their core markets. The implementation of MIFID II gives the bank no other choice, then to concentrate on core countries. In 2017 the bank closed several relationships in non-core countries.
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Services and Solutions
Banque Heritage’s primary business is Private Banking and Asset Management. The Asset Management sees a lot of regulatory changes, and it is vital to react to these changes quickly. It is crucial how information is distributed to the client and how the client gets the recommendations. The Asset Management of Banque Heritage is very strong, and it is essential that the client takes a proactive stance to achieve their expected returns. The wealth management has three different mandates, the advisory, the discretionary and the custody. Banque Heritage is a reliable partner for external asset managers. The client can also get engaged in Lombard loans or other credit facilities.
The bank has to manage several bank-specific risks, namely credit risk, liquidity risk, market risk, legal risk and operational risk. The priority of the bank is to identify, monitor, measure and manage these risks. The key points are a thorough risk policy, the use of approved risk management and risk measurement principles, the appropriate risk limits and the corresponding reporting and monitoring, timely reporting of all risks, high risk awareness and a robust risk management team.
The risk management is the responsibility of the Board of Directors. It specifies the risk policy and the risk philosophy. A comprehensive risk report is presented to the Board on a regular basis. The credit risk includes loans to clients and the counterparty risk. The market risk consists of the currency risk, the liquidity, and the trading operations. Operations risk is the failure and error of human beings or systems.
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There was a careful due diligence process in the Asset Management department to find the best possible services for the clients. This fact led the bank to the decision to participate in the development of a financial technology platform (FINTECH). The bank put many emphases to digitalize the core part of their business. The bank is launching an investment platform, and this will allow it to deliver valuations, risk reports, investment advice and tailor-made services digitally to the clients.
In 2015 Banque Heritage introduced the Heritam Equinox Fund, a fund that invests in Cat bonds (catastrophe bonds). The launch of Heritage & Partners Ltd., a SEC regulated entity, gives US clients the opportunity to open new relationships. Banque Heritage holds no proprietary trading positions. Banque Heritage has open-ended investment vehicles, like fixed income funds, equity funds, alternative funds, allocation funds and structured products. The bank published fixed income and equity research monthly. It also provides E-Services.
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Few banks do not disclose their Annual Reports to the public. Therefore, we collected reliable information on a best-efforts basis. We renounced to collecting information from unreliable sources. Until today, Swiss law does not impose the duty of publication to the banks as it is the case in the EU. Therefore, for a few banks, the information from the annual reports was not summarized and published.
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