Alpha Global Wealth (Alpha) is a small boutique family office in the heart of Geneva, taking care of 150 international expatriates living and working in Switzerland. What separates the firm from its competitors are its core values of trust, honesty, genuine care, and the attention paid to the small details. It is for this that Acquisition International as recognised it as Leading Independent Financial Planning and Taxation Management Firm of the Year, Switzerland. Join us as we take a closer look at the firm.
Since its founding in 2017, Alpha Global Wealth has been working to build long-lasting relationships, proactively engaging with clients through a constant portfolio review process, to understand current market trends and to discuss and understand underlying fears, emotions and further wealth requirements. Whilst the firm’s core values haven’t changed since its establishment, Alpha has strengthened its proposition for the many clients that have existing portfolios with other wealth managers, IFAs and investment banks that maybe haven’t received the service level and performance they were led to expect.
Alpha prides itself on being truly independent and offering a value for money investment and advice service. It has now reached the enviable position where it can pick and choose the clients it works with, as such, clients are by invitation or recommendation only, with minimum account sizes.
One of Alpha’s unique selling points is that it can construct a globally diverse and balanced investment portfolio without any restriction or limitations. It finds the larger brokerages have usually partnered up with fund houses and investment arms to create a ‘dual’ branded investment solution or DFM that has layers of fees and charges which push the TER sky high and doesn’t really offer true diversification or a value proposition. In many cases, Alpha can offer a far better solution, whilst lowering the overall annual cost of a portfolio, leading to greater annualised returns.
Vital to Alpha’s operations is the dedication, drive and ambition of its employees. They understand that the client is central to everything the firm does; it works for the client, and without the employees and clients, it is nothing. Alpha has a culture of continuous education and learning; any new employee can study and take any relevant industry examinations in the UK, Europe or Switzerland to better their knowledge and qualifications, with the company supporting and paying for study. Whether the employee is client facing, back office, or in administration, they are all driven to daily improvements and exceptional client service.
The pandemic was a huge shock to the business in the early months of 2020, as it would have been for all businesses. Managing Director, James Barnes quickly realised that all the firm’s clients wanted was to keep in touch and informed in terms of what was happening to their portfolios, investments, the markets, Alpha itself and what might happen in the future. He said, “We immediately contacted everyone and scheduled one-hour emergency Teams meetings. I was holding four to six sessions daily for six weeks straight. The team were working from home, while I, however, came into the office on my own each day, so the clients could see familiar surroundings and that Alpha was keeping its finger on the pulse.
“The immediate action that we took was to offer proactive advice on limiting downside risk and identifying growth factors that we felt would bounce back rapidly from the market correction. What amazed me was how much money was still sitting on the side lines waiting to be invested; as a business, we had the largest inflows ever in a quarter in Q2 2020. One such investment recommendation was for clients to invest in global crude oil and gas majors as a short-term 18 to 24 month play, and they are now enjoying 80%+ gains.”
Alpha is now seeing clients wishing to start engaging again face-to-face, which is such a delight for the firm, and it is enjoying welcoming employees back into its offices. There are however a proportion of clients that are preferring to conduct business via Teams meetings; both clients and Alpha are finding this to be an extremely time-efficient way of managing and reviewing accounts. James is also now able to hold five to six meetings daily now, as opposed to two to three face-to-face meetings.
Looking towards the future, Alpha wishes to keep improving its service levels, product offerings and online ADC (Alpha Digital Connect), along with expansion of the team in key areas which will ultimately enable the firm to engage with clients even more. It’s found that six 30-minute sessions annually are far better received than two one-hour meetings.
Alpha also has its Vision 2030 which includes its top eight investment picks:
- ARK Genomic Revolution ETF – Gene therapy bio-informatics, bio inspired computing and molecular medicine
- Guinness Sustainable Global Equity Fund – Exposure to high quality companies with excellent ESG aligned with robust sustainability themes
- LIT Global X Lithium and Battery Tech ETF
- WisdomTree Artificial Intelligence ETF
- IShares Automation and Robotics
- Guinness Sustainable Green Energy Fund – Actively managed selection of 35 companies in solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biofuels and biomass sectors.
- ARK Space Exploration and Innovation ETF – Orbital and sub-orbital aerospace, technologies, aerospace activities (agriculture, internet, GPS, construction and imaging)
- WisdomTree Cloud Computing ETF