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August 31, 2021updated 11 Jan 2022 3:11pm

Private banking for entrepreneurs: Understanding the REYL client

Established in Geneva in 1973 and with offices in London, Luxembourg, Malta, Singapore and Dubai, REYL Group is a private banking group with a commitment to serving the complex needs of a growing, international clientele with bespoke solutions and trusted advice.

The bank operates across five integrated business lines: Wealth Management, Entrepreneur & Family Office Services, Corporate Advisory & Structuring, Asset Services, and Asset Management.

Unlike many of its peers, REYL understood early that the needs of its clients go far beyond the scope of traditional wealth management services. As a company managed by former investment bankers, REYL has always been closely associated with entrepreneurship.

To address these needs, the bank has developed a full range of investment banking services (M&A, Equity Capital Markets, Private Debt and Private Equity) focusing on long-term corporate value creation for entrepreneurs. The team, which is growing, is composed of fifteen experienced investments bankers located in Zurich, London and Geneva, who are able to advise on large and sometimes complex transactions in a wide range of areas and jurisdictions.

Perhaps the best way to truly understand a company, however, is by looking at their clients. To this end, Private Banker International spoke to Xavier Ledru, Head of Corporate Advisory & Structuring at REYL, to find out more about REYL’s clients, the challenges they face, and how the Geneva-based banking group is supporting them to success.

Ledru summarises that the key REYL client is simply “the entrepreneur and his/her company”. He says: “Most of our clients are well-educated entrepreneurs; they’ve built successful groups and there are maybe a few challenges or opportunities they have where REYL can assist with objective, non-conflicted advice. We generally help them deal with the intricacies of an increasingly complex finance world, including all the technicalities of financial, legal, and tax matters linked to international business.”

Standing alongside its clients as a trusted advisor is at the heart of the REYL ethos, and this success depends largely on REYL’s highly personalised approach, possible only through its in-depth understanding of each client’s personal and professional parameters.

From informal conversations to longstanding partnerships

Central to REYL Group is its long-term partnerships with clients, as opposed to one-way relationships. Yet many of these start out through informal conversations, often when an entrepreneur comes to REYL for advice linked to a corporate development they are contemplating or succession planning issues.

“An entrepreneur may want to sell or expand their business, or merge it with a competitor. What they are looking for is advice from someone who is independent, whose judgment will not be biased,” explains Ledru.

For Ledru, the long-term approach is unique to the way REYL builds relationships with clients, and something that sets it apart from an increasing number of its peers. “Most of the time, initial conversations evolve progressively into a business relationship. And because we have this long-term view, we’re very much able to just have an open dialogue for some time.

“Whenever the time is good for them, whenever they feel the right moment, they can take another step and work more formally with us towards a goal that we will have set together. If it is better for the client to wait to sell their business, we’ll say so, and wait alongside them; we will not push things” he explains.

360° approach

Another point Ledru is passionate to explore is the REYL 360° approach to serving its clients. This means drawing from the synergies of its five complementary business lines to deliver tailor-made solutions that solve all the challenges an entrepreneur may face.

“It’s about REYL putting at the disposal of its clients a set of services that fits their needs. Once you have this, then your mantra is adapting to your client’s evolving challenges,” says Ledru. “Most of the time, clients will have one person within REYL who is really there to understand their needs. This person then coordinates internally to get the right people in front of the clients, for whatever they need to discuss.

“If I were to put myself in the shoes of a wealthy and busy entrepreneur, this is definitely something I would appreciate. Most of the time the issues we need to address for our clients involve creative thinking and innovative solutions by experts from various business lines, not just one.”

From discussions about shareholding and succession planning to wealth management and trending investments, REYL Group establishes itself as a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs and their families looking for a banking partner to help them succeed in their financial and business ventures.

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