Luxembourg bank shows family values go long way

Article published on April 23, 2015
Article published on April 23, 2015

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

Banque Havilland SA, a Luxembourg-based bank established in 2009, already has four subsidiary locations in just six years of operation. How did a family-owned bank get so big, so fast?

Havilland employs unique set of values that focus on creating a collaborative, conservative and intimate atmosphere for a high standard of client. Havilland was founded by David Rowland, the British corporate tycoon worth an estimated 730 billion pounds as of 2010, with a simple goal in mind: Start a bank in which he would want to invest his millions.

Thus Havilland was born, a conservative response to the financial crisis and a family-oriented and tight-knit response to the massive multinational banking chains. Catering exclusively to ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals, Havilland encourages collaboration among its various clients as well as with the Rowland family, on everything from advice to co-investing into funds and various assets.

Very quickly, Havilland realized its unique values system would only get the bank so far. It would also need to expand geographically in order to provide the same great service consistently across the European region. Havilland moved into Monaco, then opened a branch in London. Eventually, they would take over and rebrand three subsidiaries of Banque Pasche, a Swiss private wealth bank dating back to 1881. Those subsidiaries, located in Monaco, Liechtenstein and Nassau, Bahamas, would give Havilland a greater presence in some of the world’s areas of highest concentrations of wealth.

The Bahamas location indicated a new layer to the bank’s process of “internationalization”: emerging markets. Thus far, Havilland had been limited to the wealth centers of Europe. With the Bahamas location, and a rumored expansion into the Middle East, Havilland is letting the ultra-wealthy of the global south know that there is a bank out there for them.

There is also speculation that Havilland will continue acquiring Banque Pasche locations, of which only two remain: Zurich and Geneva, Switzerland. The move would be a logical one, considering Havilland, for all its European influence, does not have a subsidiary in the country that is still the capital of European and international wealth. Plus, if Pasche was looking to be entirely absorbed by another bank, their track record with Havilland would suggest that they would have little issue handing the reins over to the Luxembourg outfit.