Helvetica Capital AG: "We invest in unique ideas"
Helvetica Capital AG invests in established Swiss companies. CEO Johannes Suter explains why this makes sense for Switzerland and outlines the philosophy of investors.
What distinguishes Helvetica Capital AG?
Johannes Suter: Helvetica Capital AG is an investor and advisor specializing in financing and succession solutions with a focus on Swiss SMEs. We don’t simply transfer capital to companies, but we provide them with expertise and a network, and we work closely with these companies to support their successful development and the preservation of jobs in Switzerland.
Helvetica Capital AG was formed as recently as 2015 from SVC Ltd. How are they still related to one another?
We now manage the portfolio of SVC Ltd. using the same people that were previously responsible for managing the portfolio. Only now we do so under a mandate relationship in the name of Helvetica Capital AG.
What is the specific difference between Helvetica Capital AG and SVC Ltd.?
As a subsidiary of Credit Suisse, SVC Ltd. provides financing of up to CHF 5 million in the form of loans and equity capital investment to companies in various economic sectors. This normally happens without an active influence on the companies’ operating activities. Helvetica Capital AG restricts its activity to investments starting at CHF 5 million in the form of equity capital in selected industries. It works together with successful Swiss entrepreneurial families, the Mobiliar insurance company, and Credit Suisse and its clients to generate funds. As well as furnishing its clients with capital, Helvetica also plays an active role in the partner companies with its network.
What companies are appealing for your portfolio and how are they recruited?
Each of these companies must demonstrate a unique selling proposition – a product, an idea, or a type of production that is unique. We examine numerous dossiers and like to see that, aside from good products, the company also has commitment above all else.
And what happens when a company meets all the criteria?
Then the cooperation starts. This can take very different forms and is not necessarily restricted in time terms, either. This form of cooperation is what sets us apart from the usual financing or fund investment opportunities. The length of the partnership is flexible. It can last for five, ten, or as long as 50 years if this makes sense for the company.
You must come into contact with many successful companies. Do all these companies have a common denominator?
Yes, first and foremost they all have a good idea that they implement with a great deal of passion and commitment. And – this is an essential factor – these companies are able to both resolve their clients’ relevant issues and to instill passion among their employees.