Best private banking boutique in Europe

Geneva-based wealth manager Reyl & Cie is typically used by Swiss customers alongside some much larger names. “Many of our clients use us for several services from across our five business lines, illustrating the depth of our relationships and the trust we have built with them,” says Francois Reyl, the firm’s CEO. “This is because we are entrepreneurs ourselves and acutely understand the needs and priorities of our entrepreneurial client base.” The boutique’s growing reputation both in Geneva and beyond shows that for wealthy investors, is no longer necessary to choose a mega-size private bank ahead of a smaller, more client-focused firm. Reyl, managing close to $17bn in client assets, claims to offer a full range of services comparable to larger peers, but within a boutique structure enabling rapid response to clients’ evolving needs. “This dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit can sometimes be harder to foster within a larger business,” believes Mr Reyl. How long he will be able to maintain this unique culture in his firm is, however, a moot point, bearing in mind the boutique is going through a link-up in Switzerland with Italian asset manager Fideuram. “The strategic partnership with Fideuram does of course mark a new chapter in Reyl’s corporate history, as it will create a sizeable group with a presence across the EU, Latin America, the Middle East, and the Far East,” says Mr Reyl.“Together, we have an opportunity to build a leading new international private banking player, but what is most important is that we have each found a partner with an acute understanding of the entrepreneurial world.” The strength of long-term relationships was particularly important during recent lockdowns, necessitated by Covid-19, he says, with conversations about environmental, social and governance investing particularly capturing clients’ imaginations. Demand for dual goals of positive financial returns and positive societal impact led to the group’s launch of impact specialist Asteria Investment Managers in 2019, followed by the acquisition of Obviam in 2020.