Fabian Zellweger and Michel Wicki have started their own advisory firm Valvest Partners, Citywire Switzerland can reveal.
Both investment specialists used to work at a Zurich-based independent adviser Albin Kistler, where Graubündner Kantonalbank bought a 25% share in August 2016.
They launched the firm together with two other independent asset managers, Sebastian Hunkeler and Sven Lötscher.
The firm is in Zurich at Fraumünsterstrasse 13 and will unveil its website next month.
‘We always had the idea to start a business on our own. When we met two independent asset managers with an office and systems in place it was a very good match,’ Zellweger said.
Lötscher and Hunkeler will contribute their relationship management expertise and will continue to run their respective firms. Valvest Partners will focus on private Swiss clients and traditional asset management.
Zellweger and Wicki will leverage their experience as analysts looking for attractive companies across the globe.
‘At my previous workplace I was covering the industrial and consumer staples sectors,’ Zelleweger said. ‘Due to our proximity and the proven quality, small and mid caps in Switzerland will play a big role in the allocation, however we are not restricted to them, we try to invest in the best companies worldwide.’
Zelleweger said what distinguishes Valvest Partners from the competition is its focus on transparency and clients, and a thorough investment approach.
‘Our goal is to find the best long term solution for the client, not to maximize our quarterly profits. We see ourselves as partners of our clients, we work together with them and are ready to find a good match in our network for legal, tax or real estate services if they need them.’
The asset manager said when assessing the companies the team primarily focuses on cash flows rather than net earnings or Ebidta.
‘We use a Bloomberg terminal that scans the equity market and narrows the investment pool down to a few companies. We then analyze the qualitative side of the companies, paying attention to the company’s market position, margin development and product pipeline. We put a lot of emphasis on the overall resilience of the company, future growth and whether the company is still prospering in ten years’ time. ’
Zellweger said the firm is planning to have a vehicle for smaller clients in the next couple of years.
‘At the moment we start a mandate with minimum half a million Swiss francs. For the future we are planning to set up a fund for smaller and pension related mandates.’