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March 29, 2010

B Prepared

By Spear's

Hedgehog is delighted to announce its new sponsor, B Capital.

Hedgehog is delighted to announce its new sponsor, B Capital. Working for a select number of ultra-high-net-worths and their families, B Capital is a Swiss-regulated private investment office, populated by management who are selected from the top decile of investment managers.

B Capital acts as a family office for clients, managing and constructing investment strategies while also running bank relationships. By offering a strict open-architecture platform, B Capital is very much at the forefront of best investment practice, added to which are high levels of privacy and discretion. Overseeing the Geneva-based firm as managing director, Lorne Baring was nominated in the Spear’s Wealth Management Awards 2007 as ‘Private Banker of the Future’.

Educated at Eton and Sandhurst, Baring was commissioned as an officer in the British army. In 1998 he left as a company commander and began working with Barclays Private Bank, covering the Latin America and Iberia markets. From 2005–08 Baring was ranked as Barclays’ highest-revenue-earning private banker.

Baring’s military training must have taught him to be calm in a crisis. ‘Lehman’s going bankrupt in our first quarter was certainly a baptism of fire,’ he chuckles. ‘But it tested us to the extreme, and gave us a strong base for the future.’

He must also have noticed a gap in the market: while investors caught in the crisis were clamouring for transparency and lamenting their lack of liquidity, Baring had set up a highly-personalised banking service (Baring speaks to half of his clients every week) that allows clients to see the full composition of their portfolios at the touch of a button. Moreover, their investments are based mostly in ETFs, and are therefore highly liquid.

After staying in treasuries and corporate debt, B launched back into the equities market in March last year,. Their balanced model since then has outperformed the MCSI global index. Furthermore, Baring’s contacts in the banking world allow him to ‘cut through the chaotic banking that is going on and get straight to the decision-making.’ With preferential banking rates and a home in super-efficient Geneva (‘private banker heaven’) to boot, we are prickling with excitement.

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