Finance Monthly speaks to Pierre-Noël Formigé, the Founder and CEO of Swiss company SEQUOIA, about the wealth management and estate planning solutions that his company provides, as well as his tips on maintaining and growing wealth for future generations.
Can you tell us about the core services that SEQUOIA offers?
SEQUOIA offers a holistic approach of wealth management thanks to a genuine “open architecture” which includes: wealth management, establishment of funds, management of funds – advice and follow-up, estate planning (trusts, foundations, companies), services of family offices, life insurance, financing (real estate, aircrafts, boats), reports and record keeping, risk management, compliance and regulatory assistance.
What would you say are the particular benefits for individuals of having professional assistance in relation to managing their wealth?
There are numerous benefits for individuals that decide to trust SEQUOIA with their wealth management. Our aim is not only to offer financial services, but also a financial experience and networking. Each solution and experience that we offer are specifically and uniquely tailored. SEQUOIA’s modularity and extensive experience allow for easy adaptation to our clients’ expectations.
What strategies do you and your team at SEQUOIA implement to ensure that your clients’ goals and objectives are achieved?
At SEQUOIA, clients are in the centre of our decision-making processes – they are our key priority. We have developed a well-informed overview of each of our clients’ financial situation, as well as a better understanding of clients’ goals and limitations.
Every portfolio construction starts with a discussion with the client or its representative, in order to fully understand their objectives and deliver a tailored-made investment proposal, allowing to approach and negotiate with partners. Our team can, at the request of the manager, take on a direct role in the relationship with customers, in accordance with their objectives and needs.
In your experience, are individuals fully aware of their assets and worth so that they can take advantage of tax planning? Which types of assets are usually missed?
SEQUOIA’s clients are fully aware of their assets, however, they might not be fully aware of their tax impact. We ensure that clients have better tax awareness, as it does have the potential to improve individuals’ returns. According to surveys, while many factors impact investors, the majority of high-net-worth investors say that it’s more important to minimize the impact of taxes when making investment decisions, thus we offer the right measures to help high-net-worth clients reduce the taxes owed on income and investment gains.
In order to do so, we put a lot of effort in selecting the right investment products. We try to take advantage of some losses, and implement additional strategies that can help our clients to manage, defer, and reduce taxes. However, sometimes, clients do not mention their real estate assets, which could have an effect on tax planning; we provide advisory services in relation to that too.
What solutions do you offer in respect of maintaining and growing wealth for future generations of the same family?
Transmitting heritage built from generation to generation and building a better future for entrepreneurs is the essence of SEQUOIA Group. Our team of professionals provides high-quality services in order to manage our clients’ wealth, taking future generations into account.
From portfolio management – with tailor-made investment solutions matching the clients’ needs, to liability management – which includes heritage planning, distribution agreements, trustee and real estate project management, SEQUOIA provides a cost-effective turnkey solution based on legally compliant practices to deal with the impact of new regulatory landscape and the different legal, technical and operational risks.
How challenging is it to work in an ever-changing regulatory environment?
It is obvious that the status quo cannot be maintained in this ever-changing regulatory environment, however, SEQUOIA’s approach regarding this is to constantly adapt and understand those changes to serve our clients better. Choices that have been made in the past may not be completely relevant in today’s environment or vice versa, but our job is to continuously develop strategies that are relevant to our clients.