Long Read  

'The consultants said our £3.5bn AUM would be zero in a few years'

"The portfolios run here are all very concentrated, very long-term and we buy quality companies. We are very happy with who we hired. In the end we were a little surprised that people wanted to leave the established fund houses they worked at to come to work for us. So then I think, what can we offer? Well because we are smaller, they have more freedom when they work here – now that is an advantage as well as a disadvantage.” 

He says the freedom to operate autonomously means they have less bureaucracy to contend with, but also: “There is nowhere to hide. Maybe at some of the bigger firms, they can maybe hide a little bit. In terms of rewards, Miraubaud is a partnership, so the cake gets shared very widely, whether the cake gets bigger or smaller.

"We want them to have freedom, I mean if you hire a pianist, you must let them play, but also, we want them to have humility. We would ask them about previous periods of underperformance in their career, do they understand why it happened, do they care why it happened, or are they trying to blame someone else? Because here, they can’t really blame anyone else.”

While the image of the business as conveyed by Aeschlimann is almost of a start-up, the private bank is a very well-established business indeed, with deposits of £40bn and establishment connections running deep. 

Markets

Mirabaud Asset Management recently launched a fund for European clients that invests in early stage companies. The idea for the fund came from a former French cabinet minister with whom Aeschlimann had a breakfast meeting. 

Aeschlimann himself was educated at the College of Europe in Brussels, an institution which has educated large numbers of the political and business class in Europe. 

He says that, at present, the UK business will focus on the adviser market, and the existing fixed income and global equity product ranges, though other products have launched for institutional investors. 

The total assets under management of the business is over £7bn,

Aeschlimann says future product launches will be driven by client demand, and they are unlikely to launch anything that has fewer than £100m of assets on day one: “We are not going to launch anything in the UK imminently, we want to focus on what we have. I was hugely surprised and delighted to be able to attract those people here, and it is for them to grow their strategies from here.”