Independence and discretion, two key values for Pleion Wealth Manager

Founded in 1980, Pleion is specialised in wealth management, acting as family office. With 60 employees in Switzerland and 180 worldwide, the group relies on a strong network of expertise. In Verbier, Pleion opened its doors three years ago. It is the most recent branch opened by the group. At its helm, Serge Dorsaz, who has extensive professional experience in the banking sector. Alongside him, Carine Perraudin, an invaluable assistant. Interview with Serge and Carine.

Serge Dorsaz devant son bureau

What is the role of Pleion ?

Our company offers wealth management services, not just wealth accumulation, although the latter is our main focus. Indeed, our expertise extends to various areas such as retirement planning, legal services, domiciliation, and negotiation of packages. In each domain, we collaborate with domain specialists.

Being part of a group, we benefit from the strength of its structure, especially in compliance, investments, and economic research.

What are the advantages of consulting a wealth manager ?

Firstly, no funds are deposited with us. As independent wealth managers, we have the advantage of negotiating with banking institutions to find the best solutions for our clients. It is this independence that most often attracts people to us.

Secondly, we provide a diversity of advice that goes beyond mere wealth management.

Thirdly, we prioritise personalised client relationships. We have no profitability requirements. That is why we value the quality of the services we provide rather than the quantity of clients.

Finally, we complement traditional banks with whom we maintain excellent relationships. It’s worth noting that 30 % of funds deposited in Swiss banks are managed by independent wealth managers. Also, our management fees are not higher than those charged by banks for standard management mandates.

Carine Perraudin

Could you describe the typical profile of a client at Pleion ?

Our clients are mostly individuals from the EU or Switzerland who own properties in the region. Most of the time, our company is recommended through word of mouth.

What is the approach to managing wealth ?

First and foremost, it is crucial to define the client’s risk profile. This helps us understand their needs and risk tolerance. Based on this, we determine the appropriate asset allocation among stocks, bonds, precious metals, or real estate funds.

There are two types of management in general. There’s advisory management where we provide a diversity of service offerings that require client approval. And there’s discretionary management where the client entrusts us with the complete management, and our company decides on the most suitable investments based on their preferences and profile.

How do you determine the best investments ?

We strive to constantly innovate. That’s why we keep track of new market trends. The focus on sustainability, specifically ESG criteria (Environment, Social, and Governance), is becoming increasingly important. New technologies also receive special attention, such as blockchain.

In terms of non-publicly traded investments, private placements interest our clients. These are investments in companies venturing into new fields, with a typical investment horizon of 5-10 years. For example, investing in solar farms.

People are also seeking alternative investments like precious metals or real estate.

Serge Dorsaz with a client.

Could you provide examples of other services you offer as wealth managers ?

At times, we come across retirement planning challenges with individuals nearing retirement. We study their situation and propose optimisation solutions for their second pillar (pension funds).

Additionally, we have clients who prefer not to handle their administrative tasks, insurance matters, or payments, and they entrust us with the mandate.

What are your connections with Verbier ?

We collaborate with various stakeholders in Verbier, such as fiduciaries or real estate agencies. We have strong ties with the locals.

Do you have an anecdote to share ?

One client who owns a residential property noticed a commercial space for sale in the same building. After analysing the investment, we saw a great opportunity to purchase it and establish a successful commercial activity well-known in Verbier today. This story illustrates our comprehensive approach to wealth management in a unique way. We truly act as partners to our clients.

Patrick Héritier

A few word froms from Patrick Héritier

Former fighter and commercial pilot, Patrick Héritier later transitioned into real estate investment for a bank before becoming a wealth manager in 2000. After holding positions of responsibility in various financial institutions, he took over the leadership of Pleion in 2017 when it was known as Plurigestion.

What was your main mission at the core of Pleion when you arrived ?

My goal was to restore growth and enhance the existing infrastructure. We aimed to be exemplary to attract the right people. That’s why we anticipated FINMA’s requirements and obtained the highest license in wealth management, the LPCC (Collective Investment Schemes Act), in 2019.

We also changed our company’s image, including its name (from Plurigestion to Pleion) and logo.

What does Pleion mean ?

The word comes from Ancient Greek, meaning the desire to improve and strive for excellence. In this sense, the logo is significant. The client is at the centre, surrounded by a diversity of skills and professional teams.

Why did the merger between Probus and Pleion take place in 2022 ?

We were very entrepreneurial and had regained growth. Our image was dynamic, and we had successfully attracted new talents. However, we lacked certain competencies and resources to continue our momentum.

Probus had a presence in Dubai, a strategic location, and offered complementary skills to ours. The company had significant liquidity but did not possess a FINMA license.

Both companies shared values, work methods, corporate culture, and the same Valais origin. This merger strengthened our position and brought new services and jurisdictions.

What is Pleion’s next challenge ?

We are currently integrating a company called Finstoy, which is a platform for automated financial advice. This robo-advisor allows for the creation of individualised portfolios with lower amounts compared to traditional portfolios. We aim to reach a younger clientele, in their 30s-40s, who are familiar with artificial intelligence.

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