Our corporate history Switzerland / Asia / Middle East / Europe
The first company of the Group, Capitalis Ltd. was incorporated in 2001 in Zurich, Switzerland by Jean-Charles Brandt.
The founder along with the management team already enjoyed a backpack full of a wide experience in the most prestigious Swiss wealth banking industry.
The initial activity was to serve institutional and professional customers mainly based in Switzerland (e.g. banks, insurance companies, pension funds and independent portfolio managers) proposing/creating own tailor-made sophisticated structured products in partnership with international banks such as Société Générale, BNP Paribas, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, HSBC, ING, ABN Amro etc.
These structured products had the aim to create value-add vehicles that delivered performance and increase the protection and diversification of customer portfolios.
From the onset, we were pioneers in offering innovative products. The challenge to simplify complicated structures for our clients to understand all potential gains or risks with high transparency and comprehensive documentation – is our brilliance. To scale up our services, institutional portfolio and investment fund management was added. Since the beginning we aim to be compliant with all regulatory requirement against money laundering, terrorism financing and other global compliance needs.
In 2002 CAPITALIS is accredited by VQF, an SRO regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority “FINMA”. In 2005, when the activities in fund management increased, CAPITALIS first applied for an authorization as investment fund distributors from the Swiss Federal Banking Commission SFBC.
Pursuing the increase in regulatory requirements, CAPITALIS headed for the FINMA licence, as asset managers of collective investment schemes. The company was one of the first in Switzerland to receive the licence in 2008.
In those years, the management observed the market was saturated with providers offering simple structured products, mainly reverse convertibles and all mostly overpriced. The market became a retail market what the Group never wanted to represent. CAPITALIS then decided to broaden the scope of its focuses by opening group companies outside of Switzerland each specialising in different key services, whilst keeping a dedicated niche approach for professional customers.
Priority was given to fine financial engineering, setting up various structures, as well as administrative and management services. The tailor-made approach for qualified / accredited investors was kept, but the focus shifted from single products to more universally tailored structures.
In 2008 the Group opened local Companies in Hong Kong (Capitalis Asia Ltd) and Singapore (Capitalis Asia Pte. Ltd.) and in 2010 in Luxembourg (Capitalis Fund Management Sarl) with its own SICAV structure.
Later, few other related companies were opened, e.g. in the United Arab Emirates in 2011 and in 2012 we participated in the creation and minority shareholding of GVA Associes SA, completing the range of services proposed.
During the financial crisis, many financial entities decided or were obliged to reduce its size and services. We, CAPITALIS owner and members expanded, being convinced the financial world would continue to tighten regulations and along with the globalisation would make the bank industry complicated and thus tailored solutions were going to be needed more than ever.
The strategic decision of the companies being physically present in different countries enabled the group to maintain its Swiss excellence and dedicated approach, whilst finding international pragmatical solutions. The activities in Asia increased rapidly and the Group’s status was upgraded in Singapore to be hold a Capital Markets Services Licence as licenced fund management company under the supervision of the Monetary Authority of Singapore “MAS”.
In the United Arab Emirates, the company is authorized since inception with a licence from the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority “RAKIA” newly renamed “RAKEZ” for management services, real estate consultancy and management consultancy.
Having broken down many hurdles on our way of independence, our orientation to details is crucial. Passion and discipline mandatory. Many achievements of the Group were said to be impossible and a lot of battles were fought and won.
Our expertise as entrepreneurs and our strong disposition to find customized solutions is part of our history and aim. We will always seek answers to quantifiably add value to our clients.
Meanwhile, the Group is well established, regulated and present in various countries. The client base is international with various expectations and categories as institutional, corporate, SME, qualified / accredited / high net worth individuals, independent portfolio managers and family offices.
We combine various expertise (financial engineering, bank & insurance, wealth and asset management, real estate & private equity, commodities, legal services in the field of financial contracts, taxes & audit, estate planning and asset protection).
Professional skills are shared between 40 hand-picked professionals (partners and management 15), (senior and junior advisors / representative 12), (administrative employees 13).
The business is operating in Switzerland, Europe, Asia & Middle East and we offer a wide range of language resources to our customers: English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Mandarin, Cantonese, Russian and Serbian.
The current business volume of the group is: asset management and administration > USD 1.4 billion, financial engineering & advisory > USD 2.5 billion.
We deliver most of the services directly within the group companies. Should external support be required, we rely on our various related companies or cooperation partners. As counterparty in the fund business and structured products industry we are of course accredited by the main large banks. By all means, we dispose of excellent longstanding contacts with local and international investment-, wealth management- and commercial banks.
2021 Capitalis will be celebrating 20 years of successful business in the financial services industry.