Michael Tiedemann turned his back on a Wall Street banking career two decades ago to build a wealth-management firm targeting the world’s super-rich.
The former Credit Suisse First Boston executive grew his business in recent years by partnering with or backing buyouts of overseas rivals. Now, after completing a merger last week with Alvarium Investments through a blank-check company, he’s eyeing further deals.
Like many investors on Wall Street, though, he's waiting to see how the economy and the markets shake out over the coming months with the outlook as uncertain as ever.
“There will be inorganic strategic opportunities for us,” Tiedemann, 51, chief executive officer of New York-based Alvarium Tiedemann Holdings Inc., said in an interview. “The time frame around one quarter versus the next versus next year is obviously very much to be determined.”
Tiedemann and London-based Alvarium completed their merger through Cartesian Growth Corp. That came after navigating the precarious market for special purpose acquisition companies, which has undergone a painful reversal following a pandemic-era boom.
Each of the two firms brought about $30 billion in assets, making Alvarium Tiedemann one of the world’s biggest publicly traded money managers that focuses on the ultra-wealthy.
The combined company’s shares have sunk as much as 46% since they began trading in New York on Jan. 4, highlighting the volatility of SPAC deals, and were down 8% to $8.74 at 12:09 p.m. Still, Tiedemann said he and his partners, along with their investors, favored the structure because they weren’t looking to offload stock. Members of Qatar’s ruling dynasty, the Al-Thani family, are among Alvarium’s investors, UK filings show.
“We’re committed to building this long term,” said Tiedemann, who previously led Credit Suisse First Boston’s sales trading for Latin America. “We felt strongly that the environment for SPACs was going to get more challenging.”
The competition to manage super-rich customer’s wealth has ramped up in recent years, with Wall Street giants including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. expanding their private banking operations outside the US. Tiedemann said he sees being a listed business as a way to boost hiring.
“It’s easier to equitize employees — it’s another tool for us to use,” he said. “We compete directly with the global banks, and we feel we have a superior client offering.”
Tiedemann is targeting investments in real estate companies and alternative-asset managers for the firm, which partly grew out of a multimanager hedge fund business set up by his father Carl, a former president of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.
Tiedemann teamed up with his father in 2000 to build a wealth adviser, which eventually expanded to about a dozen offices across the US. He branched out internationally through a joint venture with another former Credit Suisse banker’s Swiss wealth firm in 2019 to form Tiedemann Constantia, which bought London multifamily office Holbein Partners two years later.
Alavarium, meantime, was also established as a multifamily office offering wealth and asset-management services. Set up in 2009, the firm has similarly expanded through investing in other businesses, buying French asset manager Iskander and New Zealand ethical investment firm Pathfinder in the past five years.
“It’s rare that you meet a group that has pieces that fit as well,” Tiedemann said.
Tiedemann, who said he never thought he’d be running a publicly traded business when he quit banking, is scheduled to ring Nasdaq’s opening bell on Thursday. It comes more than two years after the possibility of combining his business with Alvarium — the Latin word for hive — was first broached.
“This is a year where we have to prove ourselves,” he said. “We’ve done that as a private company and now it’s our opportunity and obligation to prove we are going to be an exciting public company.”
–With assistance from Bailey Lipschultz.
This article was provided by Bloomberg News.