After 25 years of existence, Forum Finance intends to continue its growth by attracting talent

Geneva, September xx, 2019. On the occasion of its jubilee, the Geneva-based wealth management company The Forum Finance Group intends to take full advantage of its experience to implement its further development plans. Indeed, after 25 years of existence and with more than CHF 1.5 billion under management, Forum Finance ranks amongst the Top 10% of the largest independent managers in Switzerland and has the necessary resources to ensure its future growth. In addition, thanks to its proven corporate governance, which provides access to its capital and ensures a smooth transition between generations of managing partners, the company can attract talented individuals.

On the occasion of its first quarter century, Forum Finance can be proud of its first 25 years of existence. Indeed, not only has it reached a size that allows it to finance its future development, but above all it has been able to renew itself, thanks to effective governance that has allowed a smooth transition from one generation of partners to the next. Forum Finance is thus different from most independent management companies, which are often first generation companies where the transfer to new managers has often not been planned. The experience acquired in this field therefore gives it a head start over its competitors and is a powerful argument to convince managers looking for a new home.

"When not well prepared, the departure of the founder(s) of a management company can be traumatic. As far as we are concerned, we had clear rules in place from the outset on this subject and we have had several opportunities to check their validity in practice. We have also taken care to maintain a balance between age groups in order to avoid, as is sometimes the case, that all partners leave at the same time. 20% of our employees are under the age of 30 and are particularly well trained. It is very reassuring to see talented young graduates prefer a management boutique like ours rather than larger institutions," explained Hervé Chanut, Chairman of the board of Forum Finance.

Forum Finance has been able to anticipate the changes in the wealth management industry. As a result, Forum Finance set up solid internal structures in 2016 that enabled it to obtain an LPCC licence from FINMA and to be ready today for the arrival of the LSFin/LEFin (the Swiss equivalent of MiFid II). The company is also registered with the SEC to handle US clients, which is an additional guarantee of reliability and transparency. In addition, Forum Finance has invested for years in analytical, management and wealth management tools, which enables it to respond to the changing needs of its clients.

"Estate and tax planning has become an essential element in any well-designed wealth management. And in this respect, it is perhaps what makes the difference: our ability to listen and above all to understand the specific problems of each of our clients, which allows us to provide them with a management truly adapted to their individual situation. In the end, by putting customer relations first rather than short-term profitability, I believe that we are what private banks should never have ceased to be. " said Etienne Gounod, CEO of Forum Finance.

 


Swiss Wealth 2019: Forum Finance at the Top 50 awards ceremony

Our CIO, Nigel Turner, took the stage to accept our award, as one of the TOP 50 players in the Swiss wealth management space at Citywire Swiss Wealth ceremony in Basel.

 


Citywire’s Top 50 Independent Asset Managers- February 2019

Citywire’s ‘Top50 Independent Asset Managers’ looks at some of Switzerland’s largest independent wealth managers, which manage combined client assets in excess of CHF 130 billion. Undoubtedly, to emerge as one of the top players in the field is a challenge.

Forum Finance is featured as one of the “Top50” players in the Swiss wealth management space !

 


Asian equities: Take it or leave it?

In the last issue of Citywire magazine, our fund manager Mikhail Myakishev shares with you his point of view on Asian equities.

Watch for risk in Asian plays

Asian equities play an important diversification role within our emerging market exposure, because the region has historically been a strong performance contributor, despite occasional periods of high volatility.

As with all portfolio components, emerging market exposure- and particularly Asia- is more of a risk management task than a simple capital allocation.

We use actively managed funds for our strategic emerging market allocation, whereas ETFs are reserved for tactical opportunities. The funds we select have to demonstrate a proven track record of picking companies with strong balance sheets and good corporate governance. Our Asia-centric investments are especially tilted towards a manager with a “forensic accounting” capacity to mitigate additional risks.

Since the beginning of the year, we have steadily increased our pan Asian exposure on the back of attractive valuations. Emerging markets in general have been under pressure this year, not just the Asian region.

Some of the volatility is related to idiosyncratic matters, such as politics and fears of escalating sanctions, while other concerns are applicable for all markets, including developed ones: tightening of financial conditions and resulting US dollar strength, increasing trade tensions, and rising energy prices.

Most of these matters are nothing new for emerging markets and tend to have a greater impact on economies that failed to take precautionary measures during the good times- by diversifying their energy consumption or securing other energy sources, for example, or reducing and diversifying non local currency debt issuance.

However, emerging markets are now in a much better position than during some of the past reference periods used by investors. In most cases, their currencies seem to be undervalued.

 

Read the article 


New Partner at Forum Finance

Geneva, 20 June 2018. Geneva-based wealth management company The Forum Finance Group has announced the appointment of Jean-François Andrade as a partner. He joins Etienne Gounod, Philippe Kern, Egon Vorfeld and Hippolyte de Weck after Hervé Chanut's retirement as equity partner, but who remains Chairman of the Board of Directors. Jean-François Andrade joined Forum Finance in 2013 from Pictet & Cie.

Jean-François Andrade began his career in 1999 with Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild as junior portfolio manager and assistant to the CFO. After several positions in wealth management at various financial institutions, he joined Julius Baer in 2004 as asset manager, then Pictet Wealth Management in 2008, where he worked for 5 years in the Latin America team. In 2013, he left Pictet & Cie for The Forum Finance Group with Philippe Kern and Lucia Bruel.

Jean-François Andrade holds a Master HEC from the University of Geneva.

 

"We are delighted to welcome Jean-François Andrade to the partnership. This decision is in line with the policy we defined a long time ago. Indeed, some 22 years ago, we put in place solid governance, with several generations of partners who ensure a smooth handover. We are thus offering a genuine long-term entrepreneurial project to attract talented managers who wish to join a human-sized project with which they can identify," said Etienne Gounod, Managing Partner and CEO of Forum Finance.

Founded in 1994 in Geneva, Forum Finance employs around 20 people who manage and supervise approximately CHF 1.5 billion in assets. In April 2018, Forum Finance announced its diversification into asset management with the launch of a strong conviction global equity fund. Under an LPCC license, the company is regulated and supervised by FINMA and is registered with the SEC.


Forum Finance launches a high conviction global equity strategy

The Forum Finance Group is launching a new high conviction global equity strategy. The implementation of the investment strategy has been entrusted to Charles-Henri de Marignac, who joined Forum Finance in 2017 to develop it. The strategy is structured in the form of a Luxembourg Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (or RAIF), which is not registered for distribution in Switzerland and is only available to qualified investors.

 

A manager with strong convictions

Before joining Forum Finance in February 2017, Charles-Henri de Marignac spent four years at Mirabaud & Cie as portfolio manager. Prior to that, he was an equity analyst and fund manager at S.W. Mitchell Capital in London between 2008 and 2012.
The investment approach developed by Charles-Henri de Marignac is based on a fundamental "bottom-up" analysis to find investment opportunities with a medium-term perspective. Very different from the more common standardized products, the strategy does not seek to reproduce its reference benchmark and can thus deviate significantly from it. The use of leverage is possible but limited to 30% per position.

This investment philosophy results in a concentrated portfolio with few positions (between 7 and 20) on which the manager has strong convictions. To ensure alignment of interests, he personally invests alongside investors.

The strategy is structured in the form of a Luxembourg Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (or RAIF), which is not registered for distribution in Switzerland and is only available to qualified investors. The fund’s objective is to outperform significantly the MSCI World equity index over a full economic cycle.

 

A management philosophy based on four golden rules

The manager seeks companies with a solid and well-established model that generate surplus cash flow on a sustainable basis. It favours companies that meet four fundamental principles: an easily understandable business model, clear perspectives, reliable management and accounting methods, and a reasonable valuation. A scoring system determines the maximum weighting of individual positions.

 

"There are exceptional companies like Coca-Cola or Swedish Match, whose products enjoy strong customer loyalty. This allows them to set higher prices and invest continuously to stay one step ahead. So when we find the rare bird and its value is attractive to us, we can invest up to 15% of the portfolio”.
explains Charles-Henri de Marignac, Fund Manager.