The European private equity market is more and more dominated by so-called single family office. These investment vehicles of wealthy families carry out comparatively few company acquisitions per year. Nevertheless, they are very relevant investors for medium-sized companies and hidden champions. Often the families’ assets stem from a long tradition as industrial companies, so that they can score with know-how and network. In addition, single family offices think long-term and allow the acquired companies sufficient room for manoeuvre. However, the most important single family offices are very difficult to reach and hardly visible. This is why we are building large databases of the most important family office in Europe. We enable you to reach out to the secretive and powerful investment companies. In this article we want to give you an insight into the Swiss single family office scene by introducing three companies that are active in the field of private equity.

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#1: Müller-Möhl Group, Zurich – strategic investments as well as capital market activities since 2000

The Müller-Möhl Group is managed by a very committed family from Switzerland. Through numerous foundations, social commitment is given high priority in order to make sensible use of the family assets. Carolina Müller-Möhl is respected far beyond the Swiss borders as a philanthropist. In addition, the family’s Single Family Office actively invests in companies in Switzerland and neighbouring Swiss countries. As a former Nestlé board member, Mrs Müller-Möhl is one of the most important individuals in the Swiss economy. Through her Family Office, the know-how and network is used to promote SMEs and bring them to new growth. The team consists of seasoned investment managers with in-depth industry knowledge and experience. Some of the best-known portfolio companies are probably Fielmann AG and Orascom Development. According to its own information, the investment profile of the single family office is characterised by diversification across asset classes and regions.

#2: Genico Family Office AG, Zug – initiated by Andrea und Andreas Georgiadis in 2013

The Genico Family Office pursues a two-part investment strategy. On the one hand, the investment company invests in real estate in Switzerland and England. On the other hand, the Family Office invests in medium-sized industrial companies. These are for example Impreva AG, Stadelmann + Boog AG and Rotima AG. Andrea and Andreas Georgiadis are applying their knowledge of the Swiss market to their investments, focusing on comparatively small companies that are renowned specialists in their field and have great growth potential. Genico is a typical single family office about which hardly anything is known. You will find many more of these companies in our comprehensive database. In addition, we regularly inform you about current developments and deals in the private equity industry.

#3: Caliza Holding AG, Netstal – investments in established companies (manufacturing, energy, real estate, mining, materials)

Caliza Holding invests in small and medium-sized companies with a promising business model. The focus is on companies with an enterprise value of between CHF 5 and 30 million. Both start-ups and young companies are of interest for the Single Family Office from Netstal in Switzerland. For example, we reported on a financing round for the Electrochaea energy start-up in which Caliza participated (read here). This investment is a good example of the strategy of some family offices in Europe dealing with disruptive companies in traditional industries. The Family Office also appears in succession arrangements and is therefore a valuable contact for entrepreneurs and shareholders.

Picture source: Joao Branco

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Syngroh is closely related to the fortune made by Klaus Grohe who inherited the sanitary company hansgrohe from his father Hans Grohe in 1977. The producer of sanitary equipment today is in majority-owned by the American Financial Investor Masco corporation and in minority by the family of Klaus Grohe. Syngroh was found already in 1999 to manage the family assets but it took until 2018 to announce the first major acquisition. In the coming years, they will acquire completely KMLS from Hamburg, a service provider in renting out and installing eco-friendly lighting in offices, becoming an energy-saving advisory. Syngroh’s clear investment focus is on companies with a revenue between 10 and 50 million euros, and is not limited by industries. Especially in moments of succession planning or companies which are close to a breakthrough, Syngroh wants to assist with their skills. They gained this expertise by managing and growing the sanitary company hansgrohe from a small company with a turnover of 35 million DM in 1977 to a turnover of today more than 1 billion euros. The volume of Syngroh Family Office is of 100 million euros and is planned to invest and acquire between three and five companies until 2022. The structure of the single family office is threefold with the main company syngroh, an integrated advisory firm called syngroh advisory and syngroh capital the branch who makes the decisions regarding acquisition or sale of companies. The office is led by Richard Grohe a son of Klaus Grohe and Robert Clausen, an investment banker with long experience at BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse and working for the Grohe family for more than 20 years. Furthermore, the whole wider family including Klaus Grohe participates and helps to make investment decisions.

Key facts about the Syngroh Single Family Office

  • Family: Klaus Grohe Family
  • Estimated wealth: 250 million euros
  • Location: Schiltach, Frankfurt – Germany
  • Investment Focus: Active investments in small or medium enterprises
  • Notable Investments or Holdings: KMLS
  • Website: https://syngroh-capital.com/de/willkommen.html
  • Executives: Richard Grohe, Robert Clausen

Picture source: Dan Smedley

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Proventus is the life’s work of Robert Weil, one of Sweden’s most unorthodox investors. In 1969 with only 20 years, he started his first investment company Weilinvest which would later be renamed to Proventus. He and his company were an active driver of the professionalisation, internationalisation and improvement of transparency of the Swedish capital market. As an investment company they acquired in their 50 years of existence various companies. After the acquisition of the companies, they reformed and optimized them, held them and sold them later. Notable examples are the Swedish toy company BRIO, later sold to Ravensburger. In another transaction Weil acquired Götabanken (one of the most important financial actors in the Swedish finance system) and later sold it to SPP, Sweden’s largest insurance company. They also did a restructured PUMA in 1990, replacing the management and restructuring the company to later sell their shares to an American Investor. Robert Weil has outspoken political views against nationalism, antisemitism and supports several Jewish organisations worldwide, also comments on politics in the most important newspaper in Sweden, Dagens Nyheter.

The company structure of Proventus as of today is twofold. One part is comprised of Proventus Capital Partners which is an alternative banking institution, providing loans between 10 million and 100 million to mid-sized companies who are not able to raise equity for expansions and acquisitions. They invest in all sectors without a specific industry focus. Northern countries like Scandinavia, the British Isles and Germany are core countries for Soventus Capital Partners. The capital to make these investments comes from 5 funds which received capital from various pension funds and the mother company Proventus AB. The strategy is to provide a tool tackling deficits in the financial sector, where companies are left without adequate access to classical financial institutions and loans. The four funds combined comprise of capital around 20 billion euros for direct lending.

The second smaller branch is called Proventus Invest and operates in two ways. One branch of Proventus Invest operates as a hedge fund, doing opportunistic investments in mispriced companies in order to sell them in the short-medium term with a bonus. Second, the company focuses on longer-term investments in companies or asset around the Nordic region.

Key facts about the Proventus Single Family Office

  • Family: Robert Weil
  • Estimated wealth: EUR 500 mio.
  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Investment Focus: Real Estate, Private Equity, Capital Markets/Financial Products
  • Notable Investments or Holdings: Puma, Gotabanken, Kaefer, Meltwater
  • Website: http://www.proventus.se/

Picture source: Jon Flobrant

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Awilhelmsen has its roots in the shipping industry and was established by Anders Wilhelmsen in 1939. From there on, the company started various new ventures: co-founding the world’s second largest cruise operator Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, providing services for the oil industry and entering the real estate market. In 2000, the group was reorganized as a Family Office. Today there is still a strong focus on the shipping industry, but there are also investments in retail companies and stock markets.

Awilhelmsen Capital is part of our real estate single family office database.

Key facts about the Norwegian Single Family Office Awilhelmsen Capital

  • Family: Wilhelmsen
  • Estimated wealth: 3300
  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Investment Focus: Private Equity, Real Estate, Financial Markets
  • Notable Investments or Holdings: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Power International AS, Awilco AS
  • Website: https://www.awilhelmsen.no

Picture source: Arvid Malde

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In 2015 Filip Balcaen sold his company (IVC, a company that produces vinyl floor coverings) to the American group Mohawk. After setting up IVC in 1997 he was the CEO of the company and actively pushed the firm’s growth. This exit makes Balcaen to one of the richest Belgians. His Belgian Single Family Office manages the assets and is active in multiple sectors (Real Estate, PE, Financial Markets, Renewables).

Baltisse is part of our real estate single family office database.
Baltisse is part of our private equity single family office database.

Key facts about the Balcaen Single Family Office Baltisse NV

  • Family: Filip Balcaen
  • Estimated wealth: EUR 1.0bn
  • Location: Sint-Denijs-Westrem, Belgium
  • Investment Focus: Real Estate, Private Equity, Capital Markets, Renewables
  • Notable Investments or Holdings: Galleria Inno (Hasselt), Rosenstiel (Luxembourg), Origis Energy, Stevia One
  • Websitehttps://www.baltisse.com

Picture source: Roya Ann Miller

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The Blokker family is one of the most famous families in the Netherlands. Through the family-owned Blokker Holding the family owns several chains of stores such as Blokker, Casa, Maxi Toys, or Xenos. However, the family is also an active investor in Real Estate and Private Equity with their Dutch Single Family Office HB Capital. In Real Estate the Blokkers are focusing on Retail, Distribution, Offices and Housing. Futher, the SFO is looking at companies with values from EUR 50M to EUR 250M in order to invest.

HB Capital is part of our real estate single family office database.
HB Capital is part of our private equity single family office database.

Key facts about the Blokker Single Family Office HB Capital

  • Family: Blokker
  • Estimated wealth: EUR 1.4bn
  • Location: Laren, Netherlands
  • Investment Focus: Real Estate, Private Equity, Capital Markets
  • Notable Investments or Holdings: Bol.com B.V., Intergas Verwarming B.V., IV-Groep
  • Websitehttp://hbcapital.nl

Picture source: Vishwas Katti

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The Scottish businessman Sir Brian Souter is the founder of the Stagecoach group, a major international transport company. With a net worth of approximately £1B he is one of the richest UK citizens. Souter’s investment firm specializes on Real Estate, Funds, Stock and owns a large Private Equity portfolio. The Edinburgh based Family Offices has, amongst other, stakes in Virgin Mobile Latin America, AMA and Argent Energy. Typical equity invesmtents have a ticket size between £2M – £30M.

Key facts about the J Leon Single Family Office

  • Family: Souter
  • Estimated wealth: £1B
  • Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Investment Focus: Real Estate, Private Equity, Financial Markets
  • Notable Investments or Holdings: Virgin Mobile Latin America, AMA, Argent Energy
  • Websitehttps://www.souterinvestments.com

Picture source: Adam Wilson

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Since the death of her husband in 2000, Carina Müller-Möhl manages the wealth of the family, which is rooted in the business activities of her deceased husband. The family office invests in direct and passive investments, the most known is probably the German eyeglass retailer Fielmann. The Müller-Möhl group also engages in various philanthropic activities, ranging from donations for universities to the Müller-Möhl Foundation which is focused on education, work-life balance and site development.

Key facts about the Müller-Möhl Single Family Office

  • Family: Müller-Möhl
  • Estimated wealth: >200M CHF
  • Location: Zug, Switzerland
  • Investment Focus: Direct Investments, Passive Investments, Financial Markets
  • Notable Investments or Holdings: Fielmann AG, Orascom Development
  • Websitehttp://www.mm-grp.com

Picture source: Ricardo Gomez Angel

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