After six “intense, wonderful, but really intense” years working alongside Serge Krancenblum at the IQ-EQ group and four months’ holiday “to recharge the batteries” since leaving the company last June, Rapallino is returning to the family office sector.
It is an activity he knows well, having worked in the sector since 2011, first as partner (and head of private wealth and family offices) at Deloitte Luxembourg and then as group head of family offices at IQ-EQ.
He is also the current president of the Luxembourg Family Office Association and co-chair of the Luxembourg Private Equity and Venture Capital Association’s new NED committee.
He is now the head of Verona Multi-Family Office, the new branch of the Finnish Verona Group, which received authorisation from Luxembourg’s CSSF financial regulator in June.
In order to combine his two favourite worlds of family offices and private equity, while at the same time starting a new entrepreneurial project--the culture of value creation acquired at IQ-EQ is a constant for him--Rapallino has opted for the Verona multi-family office path.
Within this new entity, he will be managing partner and member of the group management board.
“I have known Marko Nokka [group CEO]--who founded the company with his wife Sanna [CEO of tax and legal services]--and David Steinegger [the former CEO of Lombard International, now executive director of Verona Multi-Family Office]--for 6 years. And we realised that we shared the same entrepreneurial DNA based on quality of service and value creation for our clients and our group.”
Verona currently employs around 80 people, mainly in Finland and London.
“The business was originally focused on tax and legal structuring, as well as consulting services. Since Verona has positioned itself as a trusted partner for its clients, why limit itself to tax and legal structuring and consulting? Especially since the demand was there. It was therefore logical, with a view to broadening the service offering, to turn to the family office business, which perfectly embodies the idea of trusted partner.”
And the best jurisdiction to host a multi-family office is Luxembourg.
The process leading to the approval took about two years, led by group chief operating officer Kim Beal-Rose.
Multi-family office approach
“Although Luxembourg was chosen as the nerve centre of the Verona Group’s family office business, the target clientele is international,” said Rapallino. The firm wants to develop its “traditional” Scandinavian clientele, while working in Europe--Switzerland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg--and the Middle East. It is particularly targeting “entrepreneurs”.
And also sportsmen, a clientele that the group has developed over the years. It has champions in all fields in its portfolio, particularly in tennis and Formula 1.
Verona Multi-Family Office will offer the classic services expected of a boutique in the sector: “to be a global coordinator and to accompany our clients by bringing together partners with high added value services”.
It is in the creation of value that the differentiating element lies: “we want to create a partnership with our clients, to develop with them. We continue to provide them with asset structuring and professional support for multi-faceted issues, but also co-investment in a ‘club deal’ framework, mainly in private equity and real estate.
“We do not provide financial asset management services, we focus on supporting and structuring the development of our clients’ activities, as well as on direct investment projects. And that’s why our clients come to us.”
Firmly rooted in Luxembourg, Verona wants to combine organic and external growth “to grow and always bring more value-added services to our clients”.
On this last point, without saying more, Rapallino mentioned projects in Monaco, Switzerland and the Middle East.
In terms of organic growth, Verona wants to position itself as a platform to which talent from the family office and wealth management ecosystem can be added “to grow with us”.
In Luxembourg, Verona employs, “for the moment”, 4 people. That is a staff number that Rapallino intends to expand very quickly.
Read the original French version of this interview on the Paperjam site. This article was published for the Paperjam+Delano Finance newsletter, the weekly source for financial news in Luxembourg. Subscribe using this link.