Banque Bonhôte continued to grow steadily in 2017. It announced annual results with net income totalling CHF 3 million in 2017, 55.2% higher than the 2016 figure of CHF 1.93 million. The increase was driven by further growth in its asset management client base and good performance in financial markets. The core capital ratio (CET1 and T1) stood at 31.08%, well above the required 10.40% minimum. The liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) amounted to 658.68%, far above the 100% minimum regulatory target.
Jean Berthoud, Chairman and main shareholder of the Bank, noted with satisfaction that “we built on our existing strengths in 2017, particularly by acquiring talented new staff to work in our branches, but also at our head office in Neuchâtel. Net new money amounted to more than CHF 161 million in 2017. When combined with the effect of rising financial markets, assets under management grew over 11%, which is a very good performance given the current environment in the banking industry.
Yves de Montmollin, Group CEO, stated “In asset management all our investment funds performed very well. The Bonhôte Asymétrique funds in particular continued to attract keen interest from both institutional investors and private clients. When market valuations are looking fairly high, managing the risk of a downturn is crucial. In addition, performance in our discretionary asset management activities was also strong: the “Stratégie Monde” balanced Swiss franc fund, which implements the Bank’s investment policy was named by Lipper as the best of 67 funds in its category.
In the 2018 Lipper Fund Awards for Switzerland, Bonhôte won the "Mixed Asset CHF Balanced" category for its Bonhote Strategies - Monde (CHF) fund. The Bank is proud to see its investment strategy recognised in these awards, which for more than 30 years have been given to funds and fund management companies whose risk-adjusted returns have exceeded those of industry peers.
As regards our Bonhôte Immobilier real estate fund, some major construction projects are underway, and the fund should soon reach its target of a property portfolio worth CHF 1 billion in total. To strengthen our real estate operations, in February 2018 we acquired FidFund Management SA, the Nyon-based company that manages our real estate investment fund. This strategic investment is a vital new step towards achieving vertical integration in the Bonhôte group’s real estate offering and confirms our place as a leading player in Swiss securitised real estate investments.
We also continued innovating through Bonhôte Fund Solutions, launched in 2016. This investment fund selection and placement service is continuing to expand, and now has a presence in German-speaking Switzerland. Bonhôte Fund Solutions generated a very encouraging level of gross revenue in its first full year.
Our wealth planning subsidiary Bonhôte Trust, supported by Bonhôte Services, also contributed to the group’s excellent results in 2017. It continues to focus more on providing tax advice.
The story would not be complete without mentioning the major project to overhaul our IT platform, which continued throughout 2017. All departments of the Bank have contributed to the success of this project, which represents a major investment and is giving us the tools we need at a time of rapid technological innovation.