Etienne Kiss-Borlase was born in 1966 inGeneva, Switzerland. As a child he moved to a village next Geneva named Collonge-Bellerive where he attended school and grew up surrounded by his parents, brother and sister and his grandparents. Like his family and as a child Etienne Kiss-Borlase learned horse riding and skiing, but enjoyed all type of sports such as sailing, tennis, football, ping pong, etc.
After primary school, for health reasons, Etienne Kiss-Borlase went to Samedan, Grisons for two years where he learned German and Swiss German, but also discovered the Swiss German part and culture of Switzerland. There he first heard about the worldwide top ranking economic University of St Gallen (www.unisg.ch) and decided at the age of 16 that after his maturity (Swiss equivalent to IB) he will join and graduate from this university.
After two years, at the age of 18 Etienne Kiss-Borlase returned to Geneva to successfully pass his diploma in commerce and thereafter his maturity in economics. And as planned he moved to St Gallen to attend university.
In 1993, Etienne successfully graduated as an economist (diploma in economics) and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of St Gallen. During that year he married in Geneva while he was still studying.
Following his graduation he joined CS First Boston Ltd in London as an analyst in the Investment banking department. After one year Etienne Kiss-Borlase quickly moved to the Swiss desk where he followed the twelve largest Swiss corporates of the time. He enjoyed working on the primary market, on numerous complex bond issues (w. deep discounts, w. bull spread, etc.), first asset backed securities, sophisticated structured products, IPO’s and listings, privatisation such as Swisscom, YPF, KPN, etc. that occurred in the early 90’s following the opening of the economies of Central and Eastern Europe but also in Latin America.
After two years in London, in 1995 and with a fantastic investment banking experience he decided to return to Geneva with his wife and newly born daughter. He left the investment-banking world to join his retiring father in his accounting practice.
As Etienne Kiss-Borlase returned to Geneva with a group of friends he took part in the creation of a wake-board club in his village of origin. After 15 years, the wake-board club is still in existence and is now the largest and best wake-board club in Switzerland based on results obtained at the Swiss championship (www.wake.ch).
Joining the accounting practice and coming from the banking sector this meant learning a new profession, acquiring additional but new qualifications and competences. It also triggered the need for a post graduation as a Certified Public Accountant. Thus, shortly after joining he started his CPA classes with Swiss Institute of Certified Accountants and Tax Consultants (www.treuhand-kammer.ch) and in 1999 he successfully qualified as a CPA.
Coming from a banking background and with a CPA he was appointed President of the Groupement Patronal des Gérants de Patrimoines (Wealth Manager Owner’s Association (www.gpgp.ch). This association was founded in 1938 to regroups owners of wealth management companies and banks. The purpose of WMOA is to protect and promote the reputation of the independence of the asset manager profession, its free access to new actors removing entry barriers, to ensure the quality and professionalism of its members and market participants and to ensure proper political representation and tight links with the politics in Bern.
In 2000, the WMOA was the founder of the OAR-G, an SRO to prevent, implement and supervise the compliance of the anti-money laundering regulation in Switzerland (www.oarg.ch). In 2013 the GPGP originated the creation of Alliance-Finance (www.alliance-finance.ch) in Bern. Alliance-Finance regroups the interest of the numerous non-big banks actors of the Swiss Financial Place. It is estimated that the interests of approximately 4000 companies are represented in Alliance-Finance regrouping independent asset managers, fund managers, small asset- management banks, venture capital funds, fiduciaries, business lawyers.
The permanent committee of Alliance-Finance is composed of representatives of the above listed professions but also representatives of the French, German and Italian part of Switzerland, representatives of the academic world with two university teachers, former politicians and last but not least it has representatives of the Swiss governing “conservative” parties being PLR, UDC and PDC. The action of Alliance-Finance ensures that the interests of the above-mentioned professionals are represented and taken into account by the administration and the parliament when it comes to new rules and regulations impacting their professional activity.
In 2003, Etienne Kiss-Borlase enrolled in local and regional politics where he enjoyed presiding a local group of conservative liberals covering the 11 municipalities surrounding his village. He then decided to run for election as a municipal in his village and was then able to join the village council in 2006.
As a municipal he took the presidency of the cultural commission ensuring that the village provides for a satisfactory offer of cultural and social activities to the villagers and tax payers. Subsequently, he took the presidency of the finance commission and enjoyed the safeguarding of the clean and sane finance of the municipality, which has been generating bonuses (excess income over expenses) and has been auto-financing its investments now for a very large number of years.
Collonge-Bellerive has recently been classified as the third best place where to live worldwide, based on criteria such as quality of life, social activities, municipality management, security, distance to town centre and shopping centres, airports, schools, tax, etc. (www.collonge-bellerive.ch).
Not lacking energy and during that same year in 2006, at the age of 40 he decided to set-up his own accounting firm with a few trustful employees (www.ekbf.ch) in Geneva. In 2009 he decided to split his practice into (a) an accounting and tax consultancy practice and (b) an audit practice (www.global-audit-services.ch) because of changes in the Swiss company regulation designed to improve the quality of work performed, the need for increased professionalism and to guarantee the expected auditor’s independence.
In 2010, it was the time for Etienne Kiss-Borlase to develop his business abroad. After a few study trips to Asia he got the conviction that the services provided and the way it was offered to his clientele by his Geneva company was absent in Asia. Driven by the growth rate, the momentum and the energy in this part of the world and the need for increased sophistication he decided to set-up a business in Singapore that provides financial services to clients in need for family office services as we understand them in Switzerland. This was the start of Swiss Fiduciary & Advisory Services Pte. Ltd. (www.swissfiduciary.com.sg), located in the discrete China Town of Singapore.
He decided to focus on Singapore because of its similarity to Geneva and Switzerland in respect of business environment, efficiency, competitive and simple tax system, the time horizon of clients and the type of person that you meet there as opposed to Hong Kong that one would compare with London.
Business and company management are dynamic and complex. Through experience, client requests and exchanges and through ventures with friends and clients Etienne Kiss-Borlase has developed extensive management and professional skills, an wide ranging networks of professionals but also in-depth knowledge in the areas of Finance, Private Equity, Infrastructure and Oil & Gas.
Because of his proven integrity, ethic and professionalism, Etienne Kiss-Borlase has been asked and appointed as member or President of the Board of directors of numerous companies within a large spectrum of activities in a large number of industries, not only in Switzerland but also in Singapore and around the world. In this role, he is being often exposed to questions, attacks and allegations by journalist and other entities. All of the attacks are and have proven to be groundless.