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Wilma Fasola

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Appreciating Art at its highest level

The artwork «Right Here, Right Now» is a pleasure for all the senses. An impressive thank you from the Danish artist Jeppe Hein for the «carte blanche» at the Maison Ruinart.  

It is old and beautiful. The first of its kind: the Maison Ruinart. The house of Champagne opened its doors for the first time in 1729. The landlord was Nicolas Ruinart. His uncle, the monk Dom Thierry Ruinart had told him of the «Wine with pearls». He had had his first contact with it during his time in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés abbey. Popular among young noblemen and women and at the aristocratic courts, it still lacked a name at this time, but had abundant connoisseurs. Nicolas recognized the potential of the pearl wine. As however at that time there was still a ban dictating that the transport of wine was restricted exclusively to barrels, he had to be patient with realizing his concept – the Maison Ruinart. In 1728 the time was ripe; wine could be transported in bottles effective immediately. And Nicolas laid the foundation stone of a now almost 300 year old success story.

ort von Wein ausschliesslich auf Fässer beschränkte, musste er mit der Umsetzung seiner Idee – der Maison Ruinart – warten. Im Jahr 1728 war es dann so weit, ab sofort durfte Wein in Flaschen transportiert werden. Und Nicolas legte den Grundstein einer nun fast 300 Jahre andauernden Erfolgsgeschichte. 

An artistic production

To honor the house and keep the family heritage alive, Ruinart issues contemporary artists today with a so-called «Carte blanche» once a year. The intention is both a challenge and an aspiration that an artist confronts the theme of the Maison Ruinart, the unique history of the brand and the exclusivity of the Champagne in their own specific manner. This year the Danish artist, living in Berlin, Jeppe Hein, received the card. And he skillfully displayed his artistic flair. Sun, earth, water and air – Champagne could not be produced without these four elements. They therefore became Hein’s source of  inspiration for the artwork «Right Here, Right Now» created specifically for Ruinart. His words on the subject: «It is important to me that my art helps people to understand who they are and where they are going, but also how they can be present in the here and now. Because with our hectic lifestyle we sometimes forget to enjoy the moment and to experience it consciously.»

An exclusive exchange with kindred spirits

The result is, strictly speaking, not a finished work of art but an installation that inspires the observer to participate. It unfolds the different steps in Champagne production and invites you to use your conscious, pleasurable perception. The scent of a Chardonnay blossom, raisins to touch, large boards in different shapes and colors on which the visitors can leave their ideas in chalk. Hein says himself he would like to encourage dialogue. He would like to develop Nicolas‘ idea of creating a place for interaction and a meeting point – Maison Ruinart – from an artist’s perspective. As did his predecessors, Jaume Plensa, Liu Bolin, Vik Muniz and David Shrigley. Hein‘s work can also be experienced at other locations, including at Art Basel, the Frieze London and the Gallery Weekend in Berlin. Since its debut at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris in April 2022 the installation has been travelling the globe, enticing us to join in an exclusive and pleasurable interconnection. 

Photos Copyrights: Mathieu BONNEVIE, Strempel Photography

Electrifying!

Fast, durable and strong – fully electronic sports cars are the sparkling highlight in the electric car world and now you can enjoy the almost silent driving pleasure over increasingly longer distances.

From zero to one hundred in 3.7 seconds, 598 horsepower under the hood, fully electric and a range of up to 504 kilometers –that is the Taycan GTS Sport Tourismo. When Porsche presented the first model of the Taycan in 2019, it was a milestone in the history of the company. And in the history of the sports car. An electric speedster that does not have to look for the next power socket after just a few kilometers to feed the hundreds of horsepower. The Taycan has wholeheartedly earned the attribute «sporty». Virtually without a sound it accelerates up to 250 km/h – when officially permitted – defying every criticism that a fully electronic vehicle can never earn the title «Sports car».

Since as early as 2014, fully electric sports cars have been competing in the FIA Formula E Championship. It was only a matter of time before the technology would make it onto the roads as a series vehicle. Nevertheless, it was still difficult to imagine. The issue of distance coverage remains to this day criteria number one together with the charging options, when it comes down to purchasing an electric car. And that a car with hundreds of horsepower can drive hundreds of kilometers at top speeds, well – it was never a certainty.

No way? And all of a sudden it’s here!

The car manufacturers proved us wrong and bestowed on us pure driving pleasure. And they are not stopping there; the number of models is constantly increasing. Lexus just recently presented its fans with the new horsepower-laden and fully electric vehicle. Currently without a name, but they promise a sprint from zero to hundred in a low two-second range and a coverage distance of up to 700 km. Then there is also the Audi RS e-tron GT. It also leaves 400 km behind it with one charge, also accelerates from zero to one hundred in 3.7 seconds, has over 475 horsepower and is 80 percent charged in roughly 22 minutes.

In May 2021 it was also made known that in 2026 a fully electric Lamborghini would come off the production line. There have also been reports from Maranello. At Ferrari they are working under the name  «Project F244» on the first 100-percent E-Model. It should be manufactured in 2024. It will resemble the new Purosangue, so they say in Italy. And it will be the new and first SUV from the Italian sports car legend.

And let us, of course, not forget the Tesla Roadster. It manages zero to one hundred in 2.1 seconds. It drives a maximum of 400 km/h and has a coverage distance of up to 1000 km! And just to make sure that everyone can see how much fun it is to drive this car, the roof is made of glass and can be removed. It’s hard to envisage more fun. Simply electrifying.

Photos Copyrights: Tesla, Audi, Porsche, Lexus

Personal Development of Potential

“The focus has shifted from the quantity to the quality of life.”

Dr. George Gaitanos is the chief operating and scientific officer at Chenot. He talked to us about the Brand’s unique well-being and feel good concepts, about the creator and if course about the effects of the pandemic on each person’s life as well as on his own.

Who was Henri Chenot and why was he a veritable visionary?
Dr. George Gaitanos: The story of the Chenot movement began 50 years ago. Henri Chenot‘s vision and passion created an innovative approach to the improvement of people’s health and the lifestyle of each individual. It was his objective to detoxify people. He had recognized at an early stage that we are only really in good health when body, mind and soul work in harmony and convey a deep feeling of peace and happiness. If this harmony is disrupted or is lacking entirely, our bodies collect toxins more rapidly and our health deteriorates increasingly and visibly. Chenot was an advocate of prevention and already in the 70s he highlighted how important it is to take responsibility for your own health and your well-being as early as possible in life and to invest in it.

How did the Chenot Method, which can be experienced today in eight countries, originate?
At that time Henri Chenot combined the latest scientific advancements from Western medicine and diagnostics with the best from Chinese medicine. The result was the Chenot Method, which is applied today predominantly in the Chenot Palace Weggis as the central therapeutic approach. He also coined the term «Biontology» – the science of optimal ageing. Our founder was the first one, who spoke openly about issues such as «preventive ageing» or also «successful ageing». Up to his death at the end of 2020 he devoted his time to research into health and well-being. His motto: The source for a long, healthy life can be found in the ideal combination of genetics, lifestyle and environment.

Please sum up briefly the most significant features/content of the Chenot Method.
Our concept is preventive and not pathologically aimed at repair and illness. We do not heal illnesses; however we support the approach that the individual does not even become ill. The Chenot Method should support the body in the elimination of toxins, the assimilation of nutrients, in increasing its vitality and energy level, in rebalancing its physiology and it should ensure that the Health-Wellness-Index is consistently at its optimal level. Our method is unique in its use; it integrates and transmits energetic, physical and emotional signals to the body. In turn this helps the endogenous immune systems to be reactivated and the body rebuilds its own energy, functionality and inner harmony and keeps these over a longer period. The Chenot Method is tailored to the needs of each individual, ensuring that both body and mind can attain their individual optimal level.

Key word holistic approach – this is the central theme in the Chenot Method.
The advanced medical screening tests in the Chenot Method aim primarily at understanding the individuality of the person and their current status of optimal health and well-being. Using the «Lifestyle Biomarkers» measurement, as we call it, the effects of personal lifestyle and one’s own lifestyle are assessed for the respective health and well-being. This allows us to personalize the programme. Our approach is integrative and personalized. We treat the guest from the moment of their arrival, health specialists and experts assess the complete essence of the patient – of course this is conducted with absolute discretion and under medical confidentiality. Internal advanced screening tests and the most up-todate diagnostics are also offered, to facilitate an individual programme. All treatments are constantly monitored and are interlinked during the guest’s entire transformation experience. This tailored approach is the basis for our success. The employees are an essential component of the process. Through his multidisciplinary approach, Chenot wants to help people to find their personal balance, to reinvent themselves and to attain their optimal level both physically and mentally.

Health prevention – which fundamental changes do you see here in society?
The view of a healthy life has changed. The focus has shifted from the quantity to the quality of life. Everyone may be in agreement that the absence of illness is a component of health, but it does not determine whether one is in a state of well-being. A healthy life requires interventions with regard to lifestyle; however the efforts are not motivated by the wish to avoid illnesses but rather by the wish to promote successful living and a higher level of vitality. We should regard well-being as a culture and not as a programme.

What can each individual do themselves to lead a higher quality lifestyle?
Every guest is different; therefore we initially concentrate on building the guest’s awareness for their own current state of health. Then we discuss which new practices the guest can integrate into their daily routine, with the objective of making these a habit in the long term. Essential elements of the programme that motivate the guest to lead a healthy lifestyle are our support in all nutrition matters during the stay, healthy eating, but not compromising on taste, and also the sense of an increase in well-being after leaving the hotel.

What can I consciously undertake for my well-being in this exceptional situation, i.e. in the pandemic?
We heal or damage ourselves by the way in which we live our lives every day. And there is no doubt that our life in the past two years has become increasingly more stressful than ever before. We are now experiencing a transformational experience. A time of physical isolation, disturbed routines, increased and fluctuating emotions, stress and instability. All these factors have negative effects on our mental and physical well-being. Therefore we have to find a way, not only to cope, but to be productive, motivated and happy and to discover a new feeling of satisfaction to live in this constantly changing environment. But not much has changed about the Chenot approach. However, the pandemic has certainly opened many people’s eyes to the fact that they should concentrate more on what is really important: Health and their well-being.

Fotos: Chenot Palace Weggis

When the attempt is worthwhile

In 2009 Porsche presented the Gran Turismo Panamera, the first series-production, four-seater model in the company’s history. 12 years later it is clear that it was worth taking the risk.

Almost a quarter of a million models sold, that figure sends out a clear message: the last attempt was worth it. When Porsche presented the Gran Turismo Panamera in 2009, some fans were not immediately enthusiastic. A saloon with a large boot and space for 5 people? This type of model was hardly entitled to bear the Porsche name. Porsche and especially the Porsche 911 are synonymous with two-seater sports cars – emergency seats are not really seats. And you also do not really need a boot; the PS concealed under the bonnet makes it possible to travel around half the world in just one day.

Nevertheless in 2009 Porsche were ready to go into series production. With a model that combined the performance of a sports car with the luxury and variability of a travel saloon. And because it was unusual, no effort was spared in the presentation. Media from all over the world arrived on 19th April 2009 at the 94th floor of the World Financial Center in Shanghai to celebrate the premier of the Panamera. The ride in the elevator, in this case up to 400 metres high, took only one minute. No one could have guessed that for several hours that day more than 60 employees had taken the car up in the same elevator in an upright position and using whatever means necessary, even a sleigh.

Dr. Michael Steiner, Porsche director for research and development and at the time first series director for the Panamera made the statement, based on Wiedeking‘s height and his firm objective that the Panamera should not be longer than five metres, but should still provide the absolute maximum space:

When things do not always work out on the first go

G1 is the internal name for the first Panamera model, of which ultimately over 161, 000 models in total were sold worldwide, before the model gained a successor. Incidentally, the G1 had diverse predecessors that however did not make it past the «prototype» status. The concept «A Porsche for four» appeared for the first time in the 50s. Based on the 356, a car was created that had an elongated wheelbase, enlarged doors and a raised roof at the rear. The 530 was however abandoned again quickly to create the roughly 250 mm extended 928 about 30 years later, which Ferry Porsche received as a present on his 75th birthday and which he drove with passion, fast and frequently. It however did not make it to the shops, just like its successor, the 989. The high development costs brought an end to the project of the four-door Porsche for the time being. But, as is well known, hope dies last.

When giving up is not an option

At the beginning of the new millennium a decision was made, after thorough market research, to begin again. This can be merited not least to the fact that Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, former chairman of the board of management at Porsche, again deliberated on a Porsche with four seats. An anecdote on this subject from Dr. Michael Steiner, Porsche director for research and development and first series director for the Panamera: „It is actually true that Dr. Wiedeking often took a seat in the seat boxes and later in vehicles during the construction stage, generally in the back. He asked for as much room there as he considered being appropriate for his size. Sitting in the back was a completely new experience for us all. Dr. Wiedeking even commissioned that a report be written to him from the back seat to see what it felt like. These experiences were highly beneficial for development. We came to appreciate that four people could sit in the car and could talk normally at an extremely high travel speed. The comfort of the Panamera at high speed was phenomenal.“

When the best three elements transform into just one car

In the end the three concepts for the first series production, 4-door and seater from Porsche were named: Mirage, Meteor and Phantom. The objective was to create a hatchback saloon that would  captivate with driving dynamics and space, but is fully entitled to bear the «Porsche» logo. Michael Mauer, manager of Style Porsche, remembers: «We wanted to construct a four-seater sports car with an aerodynamic roofline, large tailgate and hatchback.» And true to the motto «Three become one » the best elements of the three concept models were combined to form one complete work and it was given the name «Panamera», derived from the Mexican long-distance race «Carrera Panamericana», in which only 5-seater saloons are allowed at the start.

When sporty does not rule out ecological

To date the Panamera has sold around a quarter of a million times. Not only the G1 model had numerous descendants, in 2016 a completely revised model generation came off the production line. Even more sporty and elegant, but no less Porsche. Because even if a Panamera feels like a powerful fellow with dimensions that should not be underestimated – especially when parking in a tight underground garage space – it is and remains a sports car. And even if it no longer lives on petrol, but is en route as a hybrid. Porsche describes it as a «unique symbiosis of contrasts». In combination with the 136 PS electric motor as well as the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission of the Panamera, the 4S E-Hybrid with its V6-biturbo aggregate of 440 PS yields an overall performance of 560 PS. It cannot be claimed that sports car, saloon and electro–model are mutually exclusive.

When sporty remains the benchmark

The Panamera models – both hybrid and non-hybrid – are now produced in Leipzig and it is certain that the first fully electric compact SUV will celebrate its birthday there in this decade. However, at the same time Porsche remains synonymous with PS and sportiness. «We are consistently progressing on the path to integration », claims Albrecht Reimold, director of production and logistics at Porsche AG. «The expansion gives us the chance to produce petrol, hybrid and pure electric vehicles on one line in the future.» And therefore the Panamera will also become a little stronger with each model. 700 PS is currently the measuring line and no one asks anymore whether the Panamera really deserves the Porsche name. It does deserve it – in the fast lane.

Ost meets West

Interior design in japandi style means creating a stylish, free and open space.

You take a considerable portion of Japanese minimalism, add an equally generous amount of Nordic Design – and the living trend for 2021 is complete. „Japandi” is a mix of the popular Scandinavian “Hygge” style and the Japanese Wabi-Sabi philosophy, which is also considered the concept of the perception of beauty. Evident core elements of Japandi are natural colors, simple shapes and primarily wood. While the northern Europeans contribute lighter colored spruce or oak wood to the interior, the Asian area provides darker Design pieces in acacia or walnut. A stylish example of this is a solid oak wood table, flanked by dark wooden chairs.

less is more

The natural factor also comes to the fore in the choice of materials. Linen, jute, cotton, paper, rattan and ceramics are used, and preferably in the colors brown, beige or terracotta. Complimented by optical highlights in indigo, emerald and aubergine. The basic philosophy behind Japandi is to concentrate on the essentials and to omit everything superficial.

Therefore no surprise that the living trend is particularly appealing to minimalists. Decoration articles and other accessories are not completely banned from the room, they are simply placed consciously and generally as a functional eye catcher.

A wall mirror, which makes the room appear optically larger, or intentionally placed light islands as well as plants that attract our gaze and calm our over stimulated senses, that’s decorating in Japandi style. Two well-known elements from the Japanese furnishing style are a must: Room dividers, the so-called paravents, and low pieces of furniture for example a futon bed or a proportionately lowered sofa. Ceramic vases with Japanese characters are also an essential statement. Cushions and blankets as a functional accessory are inspired by “Hygge”. Important to note: Never exaggerate and ask yourself with each piece whether it is really (still) necessary.

A place of rest

The term Japandi is, by the way, a blend of the two terms “Japan” and “Scandic”. And, we have to be honest, not a completely new style. Roughly 150 years ago Danish architects were inspired by the simple elegance of the living style on their travels to Japan. But the clear and extremely modest look has only now come to take its place in our homes. Whether the reason is that we are all more at home now and despite restricted freedom of movement miss the desire for generous dimensions, remains to be seen. The fact is that Japandi provides a stylish, cozy haven. And that does everyone good – always!

Photos Copyrights: Pfister, Carl Hansen, IMM Cologne/Kettler/SICIS, Vitra, COR, Shutterstock

The world of Assouline

Books carry us away from home to distant lands. In our heads the most beautiful places are created and fantastic areas on the edge of the imaginable are formed through surreal dream worlds. On the next few pages you will be immersed in Chateau Life – the new photo book from Assouline – and enter into a culinary dream. The French have been extolled as culinary experts for a long time. The emphasis is particularly on the time they spend together around the table. Jane Webster and her Australian family live in Château Bosgouet in Normandy and have adopted the tradition of the French table with surprise and joy at every turn. From strolling around the market, to setting the table through to the use of a vegetable garden. Their adventures are captured here through the sophisticated eye of the photographer Robyn Lea.

Baked French Cheesecake

Herb Gourgéres

Orange Marmalade Soufflé

Smoked Salmon Pâté

Soupe de Petits Pois

The dining room of Château du Thil in Graves, Bordeaux.

Doris’s Courgette Bread

Moules à la Normande

CHÂTEAU LIFE: Cuisine and style in the french countryside
By Jane Webster with original photography by Robyn Lea
Publisher: Assouline
WWW.ASSOULINE.COM

Masterpieces

Die “Impossible Collection” from Assouline is more than a collection of printed words and pictures; it is an homage to the exceptional

Books are an integral part of our past and present; Prosper and Martine Assouline are in full agreement on this point. They are also something that will become more beautiful in the future, because books are simply valuable. From this viewpoint the couple jointly founded its own brand in the mid 90s or rather opened their own library, by starting to create the books that they had always sought. Their “Impossible Collection” is certainly not a bargain buy, if we can express it so casually, but it is definitely a treasure chest for all the literary aesthetes among us.

“The virtual world needs tangible things.”

– Martine Assouline

Pablo Picasso: The Impossible Collection

100 works and a man whose name is known even to small children. If any artist influenced the 20th century, then it was Pablo Picasso. This work is the literary collection that no one in the world can own in its entirety.

Chanel: The Impossible Collection

The book is a literary museum, a curated selection of 100 iconic and characteristic looks from the Chanel house, from the timeless little black dress to the perfectly finished tweed suit – decisively influenced by the great Karl (Lagerfeld).

Rolex: The Impossible Collection

No other brand embodies the epitome of the luxury watch more than a Rolex. They have all found their place in this work, the special examples of these unique chronographs.

Formula 1: The Impossible Collection

What began in 1950 as a Gentlemen’s Club is today a global circus with millions of fans, watching the horsepower fireballs, that dual round for round with only milliseconds separating them, spellbound. This is their story.

The Impossible Collection of Bentley

In 1919 when Walter Owen Bentley founded his company it was not to build the fastest car but the best car. This unparalleled anthology outlines how unerringly, elegantly and stylishly he managed to achieve this over the last 10 decades.

The Impossible Collection of Wine 

Enrico Bernado – The best Sommelier both on an Italian and international scale made his dream of the ultimate wine cellar come true with this book and compiled all wines that are not to be surpassed for quality, rarity and exclusivity.

Photos Copyrights: © Assouline, Robyn Lea

Dr. Pascal Botteron

“In challenging times, a good ESG culture helps, to ride the storm better.”

The environmental, social and leadership aspects are not only decisive for success or failure in the economy, but they are also increasingly becoming a key differentiating factor in the financial industry.

Dr. Pascal Botteron is co-founder and CEO of Green Blue Invest (GBI) SA, a Swiss company dedicated to the development of ESG investment solutions. The core offering of Green Blue Invest is composed of ESG investment products starting their evaluation from the quality of corporate Governance. Before founding Green Blue Invest, Pascal Botteron had been involved in alternatives, risk management, portfolio management and impact investing for the last 25 years in banking, consulting and as an academic. In particular Pascal has occupied several Global Investment roles at Deutsche Bank in Asset and Wealth management based in the UK and Switzerland and has been Professor and/or Lecturer at the University of Lausanne, the Swiss banking School, Thunderbird, the University of Zurich and HEC in Paris.

What does ESG stands for exactly?
ESG is a terminology widely used to define how a corporation is addressing Environmental (E), Social (S), and Governance (G) aspects. The objective behind it, is to set standards to ensure well informed investors can choose to invest in companies that have good ESG characteristics or in other words can invest with purpose. It is interesting to know that it is not a new concept. It first appeared in several research works initiated by the United Nations 15 years ago. The objective of these studies was to highlight that drivers other than financial were – at least – of equal importance when investing in a company. These drivers, such as how a company addresses environmental issues, how it protects its human capital, how it maintains a corporate culture were all mentioned.

Is there a difference between US and Europe in regard to the commitment to ESG?
Today, the Environment aspect is the central element in Europe, whereas it is the Social aspect in the US. This is quite representative of the different society and political challenges faced on the two sides of the Atlantic. The reality in Europe is that climate change is a huge topic, especially after the Paris conference. It is embraced by politicians and many economic leaders following broad influence by voters and new generations. It took probably a decade to reach a wide adoption of ESG by the financial community as there was a misconception that companies who care about ESG, tend to underperform. The history of the last 10 years shows us this is not true. We saw that the fundamental drivers behind a good integrated ESG also contributed to generate market out-performance.

You have a special way to screen companies on ESG criteria – could you explain briefly?
Fundamentally and in its origin, a good ESG investment will assume that the three elements are well addressed when making a decision. Unfortunately, today, the investments tend to address only one or maybe two of the three elements. Our view is that the three aspects should be addressed in an integrated fashion. In this context, the key among the three ESG elements is the G. When a company is well governed, the board will undoubtedly address a good G, a good E and a good S collectively. Recent academic researchers have demonstrated this by proving that well governed companies have better E and S policies.

How can the “G” be measured?
The methodology we have chosen is one based on natural language processing. It is widely accepted in the linguistic and psychology sciences, that the character of an individual can be defined by the language he is using.

For example, someone saying ‘I’ in every sentence will tend to be ego-centric, while someone using ‘We’ will tend to be more a team-player. To extract the quality of governance, we use the same principle by using a proprietary dictionary of 7’000 words, capturing the G but also the E and S dimensions. These words are positive or negative. We study the appearance of these words in the annual reports of companies and based on how frequently they appear, we can statistically extract the quality of the ESG policy of a company. As the board is responsible for the annual reports, this means that we capture the “tone from the top”. In other words, we can pose a diagnostic on its quality of Governance and how it influences the integration of an ESG policy.

At the end of the day performance matters for an investor. How do ESG products perform compared to their benchmark?
I totally agree. We have seen over the last years that ESG indices have outperformed traditional indices. Some investors stress the fact that the absence of oil & gas companies is explaining this, which is partly true, but it only represents a small contribution. We believe the key is the fact that the majority of companies with true and honest ESG culture are more resilient and agile. Therefore, they tend to outperform their peers on a regular basis. In 2020, this phenomenon has been amplified showing that, in a period of major crisis, a good ESG culture helps to better weather the storm.

How is the demand for ESG-screened products developing and which investors are interested?
There is a massive shift of assets to ESG products, which is good news. It is forcing all companies to comply with E, S and G. This year we saw net-positive flows to ESG funds, while we saw net-negative flows to non-ESG funds.

Many reasons explain this movement. Firstly, many governments have set in place rules to force institutional investors to invest in ESG products and countries like France, Sweden and The Netherlands are leading the charge. Also, many banks are responding to the demand of the new generations – the millennials – who adhere to the need for a change including a change in the way to invest. The trend has been embraced and now there is a need to respond to this demand with more product solutions.

How long do you think it takes companies to adapt to ESG?
The transition will most likely experience an acceleration in the next months and years, but a lot remains to be done. Depending on the countries, it will take a few years to a few decades. The recent outperformance of ESG products vs non ESG products is definitely a trigger to this acceleration. To continue this trend, there are three elements that are essential: first, a good education process to ensure everyone from investors to decision-makers understand how to implement a good ESG culture; second, adoption of industry standards, ensuring that all ESG products respond to ESG rules; third, support the development of a new fully-dedicated ESG industry. In other words, there is a need for more ESG products, more ESG consultants, more ESG product managers to respond to the transition.

ESG ist jetzt im Trend. Was passiert, wenn sich die Unternehmen schnell umstellen und ESG plötzlich alltäglich wird?
It would be perfect! It means we would have done our job. Our objective is to force companies to do well. The reality is different as the vast majority of companies, investors and politicians have not sincerely embraced the concept.

Our belief is that the change will start with board members of all companies being engaged.

In your views, what are the three major challenges faced today to have the financial industry transition fully to ESG?
The ESG industry is still new and still considered as niche by many investors. We are at a turning point as some of the largest institutional investors and ultra-high net worth individuals have started to fully implement ESG. In this context, it will be essential to have a financial industry developing good ESG products, consultants ensuring these products respond to ESG standards, and an integration of the three ESG elements with a clear market outperformance objective.

Photos Copyrights: © Green Blue Invest Portrait Dr. Botteron, Shutterstock

True Gem

Beyer, long established in Zurich, has rebuilt and in the process not left one stone unturned. The result captivates with style, elegance and above all with personality.

2,500 tonnes of recycled copper was extracted in 17 weeks and from 16 tonnes of waste. 35 kilometres of cable were laid and 350 working hours invested in the visualisation programme alone. Those are the hard facts about the conversion of Beyer’s traditional business on Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse. The result is, however, less factual, it wins us over predominantly on an emotional level. And this has been the inherent element for decades, when visiting the salesroom on Bahnhofstrasse 31. It is after all mostly associated with indulging in something particularly beautiful, particularly valuable. Or looking for the suitable gift that should show a loved one how treasured they are.

Owner, René Beyer, does not only regard the several million francs that were invested in the new design as an investment in the future, but primarily as a thank you to the loyal clientele «We have been able to count on many families as our guests for several generations, so we are happy to return the favour.» And this present is truly impressive. The floors, ceilings and walls were replaced, there are numerous new showcase elements and everything has been designed to a more generous level. Thematic focuses such as the IWC Corner or the Rolex Gallery entice you to linger. The tables are multifunctional, so that each customer can look forward to an individual consultation on the highest level.

Of course the watch museum on the lower level was not forgotten and was integrated into the conversion. The centrepiece was given a proper revamp. New objects were added to the collection and the frame, in which they are presented, was also restored. Therefore all the preparations have been made for the 50th company anniversary next year. And until then everyone is heartily welcome. Or to say it in René Beyer‘s words: «Of course all those curious to see our shop are heartily welcome – whether they intend to make a purchase or not.»

www.beyer-ch.com

Photos Copyrights: © Beyer

Stylish living

The new year has barely begun and furniture manufacturers are finally allowing us to look at their new collections. This year one trend is leaving all others far behind. No need to say anymore: Retro is back.

KARE DESIGN

The Art Déco Sofa unites with a Mid Century chest and Pop Art objects encounter a classic lounge armchair. Brass lamps and accessories are positioned as individual eye-catchers. “Retro Elegance” in perfection.
www.kare.de

New year, new trends – and one trend is stealing the limelight at the international furniture fairs. 2019 will most definitely be dominated by “Retro Elegance”. Old designs are being re-interpreted and classics such as the Mid-Century Style or Pop Culture are being presented in a modern form. Furniture soloists become eye-catchers in the living area, while organisers spread out in the bedroom and kitchen. We encounter intelligent modular systems, which not only guarantee neatness and tidiness but can be individually combined and are multi-functional.

As far as colour is concerned, there is a divide between colourful and dark-elegant. And grey continues to be a mega trend. However, the colour of the year, according to the international Pantone Colour Institute, is “Living Coral”, and it certainly makes a statement. The same applies to the materials returning to our four walls, brass and gold. Hence the design experts‘ tip: When used selectively, loud colours and striking materials are a real highlight. However, if exaggerated, they can easily become overwhelming. Wood can never be counted out, but there is no clear specification of a particular type. Domestic wood such as oak and walnut fuse with exotic wood, for example, rosewood or teak to create a harmonious appearance. Glass elements and natural stones compliment the look. And in the textile sector velvet is and remains a favourite. Soft, warm and luxurious – the mere sight of a velvet sofa or armchair makes us want to cuddle into it.

The pleasurable one

The philosophy behind the “Stressless” company can be deduced from its name. Its new Dining Collection offers a modern and somewhat different dining area. The table is stylishly supplemented with two “300D” chairs and the Dining Sofa “Spice”.
www.stressless.com

The Versatile one

“Avalanche” is the name of your new friend in terms of relaxation. The multifunctional piece of furniture is a high-back chair, a day bed, a seat with storage or a sunbathing option all in one object. Available in different shapes and colours.
www.cor.de

The Changeable one

“A future needs a past”, with this in mind, the manufacturer “Team 7” surprises us every year with new products made of natural woods. The dining table “Tema” is the perfect spot to spend quality time with the family, friends or a partner. In just one action, the table can be extended by one metre. Different types of wood on request.
www.team7.ch

The classic

The “DS-3011” table series has been a classic at “De Sede” for almost half a century. Now the couch table from the 70s has been given a new design and is experiencing a revival. The edge of the tabletop is covered by a leather band, the individual elements appear to hover in the room.
www.desede.ch

Ethimo

Grand Life is the new „story“ from Ethimo, a Lounge Collection, designed by Christophe Pillet, which will upgrade most elegant outdoor areas to an even higher level. It reminds us of places of timeless beauty with an enchanting and relaxed atmosphere, panoramas that evoke great peace of mind and outdoor areas with modest, comfortable and elegant furniture, which are the expression of the real Italian “Way of Life”.
www.ethimo.com

The enlightening one

Coloured glass combined with a marble base, the Stockholm table lamp’s appeal is primarily down to its minimalistic design. Influencers would presumably refer to it as an It piece.
www.boconcept.de

The Trendsetter

Storage space and decorative miracle, the “Zil” sideboard was created by designer This Weber for the Pfister studio. Clear shapes, high-quality materials and the option of different models make it the ideal choice for both the living and bedroom areas. It is, of course, particularly stylish in this year’s trend colour.
www.pfister.ch

The Assistent

Espresso cup, laptop, book – if you are sitting on the sofa you need an assistant. Namely the perfect side table. Rolf Benz’s “927” model proves to be exactly this.
www.rolfbenz.de

Let there be Lucerna

Lucerna is an exceptionally versatile design object, which exceeds its original function by far: Although it was designed for illuminating outdoor areas, it is also ideal as a decorative element for gardens and terraces, captivating with extraordinary light effects.
www.ethimo.com

Photos Copyrights: Kare, : COR, De Sede, Bo Concept, Ethimo, Pfister, Rolf Benz

The smart bank – N26

Two germans are causing a worldwide sensation with their mobile bank “N26”. In only four years, they have managed to go from startup to international top player. The trick: You take control of all finances in real time using one single app.

Once upon a time there were two frustrated friends. Valentin and Maximilian were thoroughly fed up with the current bank offers and services.

Their conclusion – No digital innovative vision, a lack of transparency and exaggerated fees. But instead of complaining, they rolled up their sleeves and started up their own bank. A bank that fulfilled their expectations. A bank controlled via Smartphone that is a loyal companion to its customers 24 hours, seven days a week. And a bank that managed to reach the top of its sector within only four years following the official product launch. “N26” is the international market leader in Mobile Banking – active worldwide in 24 countries, 2.4 million customers and 700 employees, the facts really speak for themselves.

An easy bank

The secret of success: Reflecting on the essentials. The customer can find all finances in only one app, making banking flexible and transparent. Real time notifications, subaccounts with saving targets, worldwide card payment, loans and insurance contracts, everything controlled from one source. “N26” has a very clear focus on customer needs today. Founder and CEO Valentin Stalf on that subject: “Worldwide far too many people are still using poor bank products and paying overpriced fees. Thanks to our investors, we now have the chance more than ever to shake up one of the largest industries.”

A growing bank

«N26» was developed solely for the Smartphone and as such makes banking simpler, faster and more up-to-date. We have no branches; the customers get money from roughly 9000 partner companies such as major retail chains. A slim IT system backs up the app, which hardly generates costs. This means that individual offers such as current accounts or Master and credit cards can be used for a minimum fee. On a global scale, the company also collaborates with innovative Fintechs to extend their services further. They have just been able to collect 300 million US dollars in another investment round. “N26” will use this funding for their startup on the other side of the pond in the USA. By the way, the name “N26” goes back to the first office premises. They were in Berlin on the street “Unter den Linden 26”. Again illustrating the philosophy of the two founders Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal: Why make something complicated, when it can be created simply and at a low cost.

www.n26.com

„Worldwide far too many people are still using poor bank products and paying overpriced fees. Thanks to our investors, we now have the chance more than ever to shake up one of the largest industries.”

Photos Copyrights: N26