Swiss banks create platform for private credit, equity and real estate

A trio of Swiss private banks have launched Hermance to access alternative assets.

Several Swiss banks have backed the development of a new platform offering private debt, private equity and real estate investments.

The launch of Geneva-based Hermance Capital Partners is being backed by Bank Pâris Bertrand Sturdza, Bordier & Cie and REYL & Cie.

The banks said they wanted to work together to develop an exclusive, high-performance investment solution for the private markets.

Hermance will operate as an independent, self-governing entity, offering services to clients of the banks, with each owning an equal share alongside the management team.

Michel Juvet, partner at Bordier & Cie, said the project was a “realisation of our conviction at Bordier & Cie that non-listed investments can reduce correlations in clients’ portfolios as well as offering higher expected returns than listed assets in the years ahead”.

Hermance will be led by Jacques Chillemi, who has been head of private equity at Bank Pâris Bertrand Sturdza since 2015 and was head of private equity for Pictet & Cie from 2003 until 2014.

Chillemi co-founded Hermance with Pierre Pâris who will act a senior adviser to the firm. Pâris co-founded Banque Pâris Bertrand Sturdza in 2009. Previously he headed up UBS’s investments in France and has also spent time at Barings and Morgan Stanley.

The firm will look to invest existing and new client money into its three target asset classes through primary and secondary transactions, co-investments and direct investments. Hermance said a “modular fund-based approach” will give investors flexibility to build portfolios according to their own diversification restrictions.

Hermance is already operating two strategies as funds of funds, with one focused on real estate debt and the other in buy-outs of small and mid-sized US firms. It intended to eventually expand to six or more strategies with a European class of its buy-out strategy to launch this month.

The firm said it wants to give small and midsize investors access to private market strategies they would not normally be able to access and intends to service private clients, family offices and selected Swiss and European institutions. It hopes to manage several billion Swiss francs over the medium term.