From beer to banque privée

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Quilvest Gestion’s Matthias Bernard discusses how his group developed from financial adviser to an Argentinian brewery to a rigorous fund selector

Quilvest Gestion’s history is entwined with that of an Argentinian brewery established over a century ago. In 1888, an entrepreneurial German family with French roots, the Bembergs, founded La Brasserie Argentine Quilmes basing its production lines in the southern Buenos Aires suburb of Quilmes. The Bembergs developed the business over the course of seven generations until it eventually evolved into the iconic Argentinian beer label, Cerveza Quilmes.

Quilvest Group was originally set up as an independent adviser to support the Bemberg family in the management of its estate in France. It has since opened up to external clients including high net worth families with over €100m of assets, private investors and institutions. Quilvest now runs over $18bn across its two business lines: wealth management and private equity. Its 400 professionals operate from eleven offices across the US, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.

Quilvest’s wealth management business was created in 2011 following the merger of its wealth management activities in Paris and Zurich with Luxembourg-based Compagnie de Banque Privée. Quilvest Wealth Management is now divided between Quilvest Switzerland ($6bn of assets, founded 1932) and Quilvest Banque Privée ($4bn of assets, founded 1917).

New activities

Quilvest Banque Privée includes new activities, such as corporate finance and institutional asset management. It hosts two management companies, both regulated by the French Autorité des marches financiers (AMF): Quilvest Gestion and Quilvest Copgest Finance.

Matthias Bernard has been in charge of OPVCM (Ucits) manager selection at Quilvest Gestion since August 2008. He believes clients are attracted to Quilvest due to falling interest in the wealth management heavyweights. His clients are looking for dynamic organisations with a human, empathetic touch, he says. Many of them are private clients or entrepreneurs who want proximity, transparency and care from their wealth managers – values which Bernard believes Quilvest Gestion shares.

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