With its 360° approach, private banking group REYL & Cie stays ahead of the curve by drawing on synergies from its five complementary business lines to deliver tailor-made solutions to its entrepreneurial clients.
The Corporate Advisory & Structuring (CAS) business line represents one vital part of the group’s offering. Here, Xavier Ledru, Head of Corporate Advisory & Structuring at REYL, shares his insights and knowledge on how his business operates, and how he approaches client relationships to figure out and achieve their goals.
When did REYL launch its CAS business, and what opportunities did the group identify in this area at that time?
When REYL launched its CAS activities in 2012, very early on it identified that there was potential in proposing investment banking services to its entrepreneurial clients, as a complement to its more traditional private banking offering.
We quickly realised that many clients of the larger banks had issues that were linked with their businesses, on which REYL could assist in the capacity of an independent, unconflicted, and trusted advisor.
We were basically filling a gap by bringing together investment banking services within a wider wealth management offering.
How well has REYL’s CAS business grown since launch?
When I joined REYL in 2014, the CAS team was composed of just four people. As a business, we have made the choice to grow organically and step-by-step. It has taken some time and effort, but we’ve made incredible progress in a short timeframe. Today, the business is made up of 15 investment banking professionals. It is now a far more mature business, and the potential for development has become even greater since we have entered a strategic partnership with Intesa Sanpaolo.
This partnership gives us the ability to propose a broader scope of services and provides access to one of the largest balance sheets in Europe and, in the end, get access to larger mandates. This is a win-win situation as on our side we are also willing to provide the Intesa Sanpaolo group access to other categories of international corporate clients.
Which types of company does the CAS team typically target?
The companies we target are international groups, typically with an enterprise value of €200-300m or larger. We serve our clients in a broad range of areas and can help with diverse matters including mergers & acquisitions, debt advisory and equity capital markets. The various sectors we cover include renewables, real estate and hospitality, consumer goods, industrials, and TMT.
How do you identify new clients and develop new relationships?
We act in a fully integrated way with the other business lines of the REYL group. Of course, we work closely with our Wealth Management team, but also with Entrepreneur & Family Office Services, Asset Management and Asset Services. Because of this integration we can cross reference clients to each other and enhance all our businesses. But, more importantly, it allows us to propose additional sets of expertise and networks coming from various fields to our counterparts.
Describe the collaborative process with a client. How are goals set, and strategies agreed upon?
At REYL, we like to say that because we are a long-term partner to our clients, we have enough time to wait with them until the moment is just right to pursue a corporate development. For example, if we believe it’s too soon for them to sell their business, we will not hesitate to say so. We will not go anywhere and will always be there to listen and adapt with the client to ever-changing environments.
Please provide an example of a recent successful project. What positive feedback did your client provide?
One recent successful project we are very proud of is the pre-IPO private placement, and subsequent CHF 400m listing, of Ultima Capital, a Swiss luxury hospitality group. The case provides a good example of how we work at REYL. The transaction was originated by our Entrepreneur & Family Office Services department, and we succeeded in building a global relationship, not only with the Corporate Advisory & Structuring department but with all the other business lines of the bank in a real 360° approach. The greatest compliment we received from the client was that they referred business to us after that, which in turn led to other successful collaborations.