Roberto Colapinto tells the Entrepreneurship story of Abalone Group
Roberto Colapinto – Founder of Abalone Group
I started my career back in 1998 in London with the Americans of Stationery Bank from Boston.
I was in London for two years and then I was asked to move to Zurich to help setting up the Swiss banking entity, the street still today runs in Zurich.
Seeing a bank created from day one is an amazing experience.
In 2004 they asked me to move to Milan to perform a large acquisition of a Deutsche Bank business, then I became head of business development for State Street in Italy.
In 2007, Edmond de Rothschild headhunted me to create the branch of their European bank in Milan.
I created the business and I managed it for seven years, and then I left Rothschild in 2013.
I moved to Luxembourg with Crédit Agricole, where I was head of Southern Europe and Latin America for the fund business and from there we acquired the business that I had created with the Rothschilds in Milan.
In 2015, I felt the urge and the need to start an entrepreneurial career. I saw opportunities in the fund management space and that’s how I decided to move to Malta with my family and to set up the Abalone Asset Management business, which is the first company that was created under our Abalone Group. So, the growth has been significant, we ‘ve become one of the largest players in Malta with a managing of 2.5 billion in assets that’s euros and we employ like 12 people in Malta.
We manage over 30 investment funds in the strategies vary a lot from traditional equity funds, to real estate funds, to venture capital funds. I would say half of the assets are in venture capital, so that’s a big connotation of our group.
Then in 2018, I moved to Switzerland to set up the Swiss part of our business. Abalone Solitaire today is the company from which we render wealth management services and it is the result of a series of acquisitions and mergers. The company is based in St Moritz, but the largest office is in Zurich where we employ some 10 to 12 people.
Italy is a rich country, especially Italian families are rich in and it’s our home country. Even though, professionally I spent a lot of my career outside Italy, it is with great pride that we opened up in at the end of 2021, our Italian branch.
The branch in Milan will be offering wealth management services to wealthy families as well as manage real estate funds in Italy. Real estate and the non-performing loan space are extremely interesting in our country and that’s the business line that we mostly want to develop over here.
The real values of our group are entrepreneurship and ability to enter into different lines of business. We are a very dynamic institution that tries to keep abreast of a very fast changing world.
The second value I would say is creating value for our clients. That’s the reason why we remain in business, in value can be in terms of performance for families or institutions that give us assets to manage or in terms of satisfaction for those players that give us the by structuring services from us or any kind of service.
The other value that I would say we embrace is really trying to it’s about proportionality and talent.
We want to be employing talented people, we do more so than when we started. The more the group grows, the more the quality of our employees increases. In the service business, people make a difference because it’s a people business. So, we’re only as good as our teams are, we try to attract the most talented that we can find.