Jean-Francois de Clermont-Tonnerre Biography

Jean-Francois de Clermont-Tonnerre joined Hottinger & Partners (HPSA) in 2004 and ran the firm alongside Fabien Gaglio.

Clermont-Tonnerre was a successful banker and asset manager before he was approached by the Hottinger family to build the HPSA business.

In 2013, Clermont-Tonnerre uncovered the fraud perpetrated by his business partner, Gaglio, and he alerted the authorities.

According to an interview with Tribune de Genève, Clermont-Tonnerre then spent years helping HPSA’s clients determine how much Gaglio had stolen. He has so far recovered more than $10 million for Gaglio’s clients and told the newspaper that he was “committed to establishing the truth” of what happened at HPSA.

“I was an administrator,” Jean-Francois de Clermont-Tonnerre said. “I have some responsibility. There was a lack of vigilance. I should not have trusted that much. I learned a lot.”

The interview with Tribune de Genève was the first public statement that Clermont-Tonnerre has made on the Gaglio fraud. He said that after discovering something was wrong in Gaglio’s client accounts, he started to investigate but had to call in assistance because of the scale of the fraud.

He said: “The audit work [to uncover the scale of the fraud] was so big that I had to ask Deloitte Forensics to send us an emergency team of experts to peel back everything.”

Clermont-Tonnerre sits on the board of several international companies in the insurance, reinsurance, and asset management sectors. He studied at the Université de Lausanne in Switzerland in 1997-1998 and was awarded a Masters in Banking and Finance.

In 2007, Jean Francois de Clermont-Tonnerre founded Abrax Amaerus, a merger arbitrage fund. Abrax is now one of the top 5 performers in its category. Clermont-Tonnerre was a director of the company until 2017.

In 2013, Jean-Francois de Clermont-Tonnerre founded 1788 Capital, a Swiss asset management firm. He sold the business two years later having taken it from zero assets to over $500 million.

In 2015, Clearmont-Tonnerre acquired AUM Asset Management, a fund manager based in Malta. AUM now has over $400 million of assets and is one of the largest fund managers in Malta.

Jean-Francois de Clermont-Tonnerre is married to Marie-Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, a literary director at Fabienne Servan-Schreibe.

The couple are heavily involved in philanthropy, setting up Fondation Jean-Francois and Marie-Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre. The foundation was established in 2009 and has been a supporter of numerous artistic and charitable ventures. Among the art projects the foundation has supported are the “Friends of the Fine Arts” in Paris and École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts.

In 2010, Jean-Francois de Clermont-Tonnerre became an advisor to Storm Mountain Development Corporation, a Canadian real estate developer. Clermont-Tonnerre was a co-founder of the business, which was set up to develop several greenfield projects in British Colombia.

Storm Mountain’s developments include Nelson Landing, a picturesque community of 265 residential properties with 6500sq feet of lakefront and a marina. Storm Mountain’s Foothills project covers 1,800 acres of land and overlooks the Strait of Georgia to B.C.’s Coastal Mountain Range.

The Clermont-Tonnerre family name dates back to the 11th Century in France. Among the long line of Clermont-Tonnerre nobles was Gaspard de Clermont-Tonnerre (1688–1781). Gaspard was a soldier who fought in Bohemia and Alsace and was created Duke of Clermont-Tonnerre in 1775. He was also the senior marshal of France.