Signia Wealth puts down roots
It has all the elements of a pretty fairy tale: French vineyards, private banks, family fortunes and powerful heiresses. But like her father’s St Emilion estates, the fast-growing business of Signia Wealth, headed by Nathalie Dauriac-Stoebe, is grounded in day-to-day hard work.
Signia Wealth Management has just decamped from the City in London to the West End, to a row of Georgian mansions just behind Marble Arch. The offices are so new the paintings and pot plants are not in yet.
Nathalie Dauriac-Stoebe, CEO and founder, whirls through the desks, and immediately admits to the somewhat sparse décor. She plans to fill the walls with work from up-andcoming artists. “People gave me a break when I was young,” she explained. “I am happy to do the same for others.”
She is 32. (The secret is out after a previous newspaper interview). Earlier this year, after 12 years in banking and finance, first with Lazard and then with Royal Bank of Scotland-owned Coutts, she broke away to set up her own firm.
“Banks were not giving clients what they want. I saw it as an opportunity to make a difference,” she said. “Mostly, it was the service that was promised and not delivered. But also the independent status of banks has been compromised, and people started buying products they did not understand.” Signia aims to provide innovative solutions for each client, combining transparency with a dynamic, institutional approach.
Yet she will not participate in bank-bashing. “It is understandable that banks have been trying to protect their balance sheets. Make no mistake, we need them, and we need them to work efficiently. They have a very important function, which is to lend money and give us access to our
cash. That is their core business, which they should stick to.”
Mid-interview, she takes a call from her father Christian Dauriac, clearly an important figure in her life. He presides over three vineyards around St Emilion in the Bordeaux region of France, and has guided his daughter’s own expanding wine interests.
His mother bought the family’s first estate, Chateau Destieux, in 1971. Christian was working as a hospital intern and taking part time courses in oenology and ampelology (studying the cultivation and production of vines). He was set for a solid medical career as a biologist. But he formed what would become a critical friendship with Michel Rolland, himself from a renowned Pomerol wine family, and now one of the world’s most influential and acclaimed oenologists.
At his mother’s urging, and with Rolland’s help, Dauriac started producing wine in 1976. He gradually expanded, buying the nearby Château Montlisse in 1984 and the Château La Clémence in 1996. The combination of scientific analysis, deep regional roots and an absolute passion for the business has propelled both Dauriac and Rolland to the top of the industry globally.