Thomas Lhuillier – Mission to Steer the Growth Strategy

Thomas LHuillier

As the CEO of Banque Richelieu Monaco, Thomas Lhuillier leverages his extensive experience in international private banking, his knowledge of the Monégasque financial market and his expertise in Private Banking, to guide the growth strategy of the financial institution.

Thomas LHuillier
Thomas LHuillier, the CEO of Banque Richelieu Monaco

A long-term Monaco resident, Thomas Lhuillier was born in Paris, France. During his formative years, his family relocated frequently, both within France and abroad, for professional reasons, providing him, with a multicultural upbringing. He graduated from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand’s number one university for high-quality research and the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, the first French university in the human and social sciences (SHS).

Since 1971, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne has cultivated a unique spirit, combining a demanding scientific approach with a commitment to generating transformative knowledge.

Thomas started his career in 2006 at Crédit Foncier de France. In 2008, he took over the management of the English-speaking clientele of the Monégasque branch.

Why did you decide to move to Monaco?

I moved to Monaco in 2008 because I was offered a position in the Principality. To tell you the truth I had originally requested a role in Paris but I guess things do not always turn out the way you want.

What was your dream as a child? 

My dream was to become a mountaineer.

It is a very different ambition from the field of finance.

Yes, I have always worked in the field of finance. First in corporate real estate finance and later in Private Banking.

How would you compare your home country to Monaco in terms of lifestyle and professional life?

Monaco is so interconnected to France that I do not see them as genuinely different countries. Our respective cultures are extremely similar and our history interwined. Yet, Monaco is a peaceful heaven which has successfully managed to adapt to the challenges of the 21st century. It is the most energy filled 2 square km that I have ever encountered.

In 2011, Thomas joined the Société Générale Group as a Developer for international UHNWI clients. He thus contributed to the commercial development of Société Générale Private Banking Monaco before heading the real estate financing department in 2014, and then the development department in 2015. In 2017, he was appointed Commercial Director. 

Thomas left his position to become Deputy General Manager of Banque Richelieu Monaco in 2018. With his experience in international private banking, his knowledge of the Monegasque financial market and his skills in Private Banking, Thomas’ mission is to steer the growth strategy of Banque Richelieu Monaco.

I joined Banque Richelieu Monaco in 2018 as Deputy General Manager, responsible for leading the commercial teams and redesigning the strategy of the bank. In 2023, I was promoted to CEO. My main tasks now include leading the teams towards success, ensuring that we maintain an all-time high quality of service towards our clients, and building a strong regulatory framework, efficiency and productivity to achieve our ambitions.

Banque Richelieu is a family-owned wealth management group composed of a financial holding company in Paris, Compagnie Financière Richelieu, two private banks — Banque Richelieu France and Banque Richelieu Monaco — and an asset management company, Richelieu Gestion.

How would you differentiate Banque Richelieu from its competitors?

Banque Richelieu Monaco operates in the Boutique Private Banking field and clearly differentiates itself from its peers through the values that it reflects: flexibility, agility and short decision-making process. It ensures that the client is always at the center of our focus.

What are the most common services that residents request?

Clients who come to us have very different needs than they did 10 years ago. First and foremost, the vast majority of our clients approach us because they want to establish themselves in the Principality. They originate from different parts of the world and seek residency. Most of them also require real estate financing. 

However, I would say that a vast majority is seeking diversification of their asset base and historical private banking partners. They view the Principality as a safe and stable country to assign part of their wealth, and therefore they come to us for asset management and structuring purposes.

What is the biggest challenge at present in the field of wealth management?

It is to ensure that our field complies with the requirements of MONEYVAL and is sufficiently equipped to continue growing within a highly demanding regulatory framework that is very demanding.

Do you accept bitcoins, cryptocurrency, NFT?

We consider cryptocurrencies as an independent asset class with its own place within the wealth management industry. Nevertheless, we do not accept any crypto-linked assets as payment and do not provide advisory services on them.

Where do you see the biggest changes happening in the next 5 years?

The biggest changes are likely to be the impact of global warming. I strongly believe that we underestimate the consequences of climate change on our lives. The industry will also be impacted. 

The second challenge is the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence). The industry will be transformed at a rapid pace by the advancement of AI and organisations that will succeed are the ones who make the best use of this technology.

What is your greatest success story?

My success story does not really matter. However, I must admit that I am extremely proud of what the teams at Banque Richelieu Monaco have achieved over the years. 

We have managed to grow in such an impressive way through the commitment of each team member. My main pride is that while we used to receive no CVs for job openings 5 years ago, we now receive 10 applications for every new role. That’s a real achievement.

Under Thomas’ leadership, Banque Richelieu Monaco has experienced exponential growth for over 5 years: the number of their employees has doubled, and their assets under management are significantly increasing. 

Our ambition in Monaco is clear: we want to demonstrate that Banque Richelieu Monaco can become one of the key players in the Principality.

What would your best advice be for a Monaco resident seeking financial advice?

My main advice would be to come and see us! There is a lot more to Monaco than what the streets have to offer. People often fail to realise this when they first arrive in the Principality.

How do you find the real estate market in Monaco?

The property market in Monaco is by far the most expensive in the world. It is also extremely stable, as you can appreciate if you skim through the very well-written IMSEE (Institut Monégasque de la Statistique et des Études Économiques) reports. 

As I said earlier, newcomers to Monaco establish themselves here over the long term. They are after corporate facilities for their own businesses, schools for their children, and large apartments to live in. That is a clear boost to the local real estate market which has consistently proven to be extremely resilient and crisis-proof. This is undoubtedly an asset for the Principality.

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