General Manager - Shipping company
"Our company is a leading corporation in the sector of LNG shipping. Following a recommendation of one of our business partners that recognized the value of involving ESTER, we hired ESTER for a Hedge Advisory role in order to assist us in an Interest Rate pre-hedging of a USD long dated amortizing loan. Ultimately in hindsight, we have to acknowledge that it made a lot of sense as we were very impressed with the proactivity, initiatives and technical skills that ESTER demonstrated in the process of structuring, negotiating and implementing the pre-hedge. We now ourselves warmly recommend ESTER on hedging transactions !"
Project Finance Manager - Renewables company
"ESTER’s support in defining and executing our hedging strategy for an Australian Renewables Project has been instrumental. Their support in analyzing the risks of the Australian market, their in-depth knowledge of hedging tools and their support in commercial negotiations with the 7 banks were invaluable and generated value for the project in a particularly unstable environment.
ESTER's remuneration structure, including the variable fee part indexed on the value created and calculated in a clear and transparent manner, ensured a constant alignment of interests which made it possible to achieve an optimal solution for the project both in the definition of the hedging strategy and in the negotiations, always in full respect for our banking relationships. »
Partner - Infrastructure fund
"I am very pleased to have engaged ESTER as Hedge Advisor on an important deal in the fiber sector. Thanks to them, we benefited from clear and precise advice on possible strategies and saw the interest of putting banks in competition on the hedging product. In the end, the hedging was one of the most fluid workstream in the financing of this transaction. Finally, I strongly recommend involving ESTER as soon as possible at the start of the negotiations in order to best benefit from their advice."
Project Finance Director - Civil engineering construction company
"Following the recommandation of one of our partners, we selected ESTER to support us on hedging in the context of a toll road refinancing. This first collaboration was a rewarding experience.
Indeed, this project involved various complexities on derivatives including novations, the presence of a Hedge Coordinator, a 10 year Mandatory Break Clause, etc. With ESTER's assistance, we were able to get into the pricing details of our OTC derivatives transactions, which allowed us to obtain improvements on the financial conditions with our hedging banks. We also appreciated participating in the dry-runs and realizing the execution of the derivative transaction from ESTER's trading room. Making the transparency on all derivatives subjects has a true value and ESTER allows us to do it efficiently.
Next time, we will ask ESTER to intervene earlier, at Termsheet drafting stage, so as to integrate into it more aspects related to derivatives than what we usually do."
Senior Analyst - Corporate specializing in renewable energies
"A few months ago, we mandated ESTER to assist us on the interest rate and foreign exchange risk management of our renewable energy projects, for example through Euro interest rate hedges and foreign exchange hedges on the Brazilian Real. On these transactions, ESTER brings us a high degree of operational comfort and a real improvement of financial terms. ESTER also advises us on the appropriate structuring of our hedges, as well as helps us draft efficiently the credit and hedge documentation. Finally, ESTER provides us with 360° insight on the environment relative to derivatives transactions, including regulatory and accounting issues. ESTER puts forward a team of very experienced and easily accessible consultants. The strong involvement of its management team guarantees a unique level of expertise that enables us to build a very efficient dialogue with our financing partners."
Member of the Executive Committee of a French banking group
"In March 2013, the General Inspection Department asked to be assisted by ESTER in the important work of redefining the group's audit systems and risk mapping. We really appreciated the dedicated involvement of the two co-founders (Elsa and Stéphane) in our project. With a strong emphasis on training, they succeeded in placing their considerable technical skills at the service of the Inspection team, without ever losing sight of the assignment goals. ESTER was very attentive to our expectations and quickly got to grips with the specific characteristics of the company as well as those of the internal audit function.
Their assignment at the Inspection Department was perceived not only as a technical contribution of the highest quality, but also as a self-development opportunity for the employees, who particularly appreciated the running of easily understandable workshops, even on topics of great complexity."
Head of the Financial Markets Division of a CAC 40 industrial company
"The trading floor manages a wide variety of financial issues related to fixed income. By the end of 2012, we called on ESTER for a temporary support of our team. ESTER had already worked with us, on a one-off basis, giving us full satisfaction. Reporting directly to the team manager, the consultant came on two half-days each week to help the team deepen their analysis of the challenges they face, and explore different the technical solutions. ESTER’s intervention helped us forge ahead with fundamental issues of the trading floor, and brought us new insights on our specific problems. We are fully satisfied with this formula and we think it brought a substantial added value to our setup."
ALM Director of a CAC 40 Company
"We asked ESTER to perform a technical audit of the data supply and calibration methods of one of our internal financial modelling tools, as we had seen that ESTER’s consultants had both the ability to quickly understand the financial framework in which we operate and the technical expertise required to audit sophisticated multi-asset modelling. We were impressed by the professionalism of the ESTER consultants during the two-year assignment, as well as by their comprehensive expertise in financial modelling techniques. They produced all the expected deliverables at a high level of quality and on time, and prepared clear and instructive reference documents, perfectly matching our specifications."
Director - Infrastructure Fund
"In 2017, we asked ESTER to advise us on the interest rates risk management of a project in the field of telecom infrastructures. This project had specific characteristics that required the project to be able to adjust its hedges through time. ESTER assisted us in the structuring of the hedge in a way that was well adapted to these specificities, with the dual purpose to limiting the risks carried by the project and to controlling transaction costs related to the adjustments of the hedges. Rigorous, technical, mindful of the immediate and future consequences of the different alternatives for the project, ESTER contributed in an efficient way to the discussions with our banking partners, giving us a good sense on the different optimization drivers. Following this successful cooperation, we have mandated ESTER to help us on other projects."
Head of the Middle Office - Asset Management Company
"We asked ESTER to provide us with an independent valuation and a qualitative analysis of a set of cash CDOs ranging from single A to single B ratings. ESTER’s consultants carried out a well-documented quantitative and qualitative analysis. We appreciated the level of detail in the analysis of the CDOs’ underlying assets and the consultants’ ability to view the transactions relative to each other. The CDO prices as proposed by ESTER were solidly supported by a clear and well-structured analysis that was ideal for our purposes. ESTER has proved to be a very good choice and we are perfectly satisfied with the partnership we have set up with this company."
Member of the Executive Committee - Major French bank
"In 2013, we asked ESTER's consultants to assist us in carrying out strategic projects for the Front Office Department. The consultants have assisted our teams of operators with complex projects on a regular basis. Thanks to ESTER’s consultants, who have considerable experience of the financial markets, our teams have been able to achieve their objectives in a timely manner while significantly increasing the scope of their projects. This mode of assistance has proved its effectiveness and we wish to continue our partnership with ESTER, which gives us an independent and very precise view on financial market issues."
Head of the asset-liability management - Major French financial institution
"During the summer of 2014, we selected ESTER to conduct a critical review of the asset allocation model. The consultants, who are both technically accomplished and pragmatic, quickly took the measure of our model and produced a relevant and particularly constructive review. We have implemented several improvements proposed by ESTER, and the quality and accuracy of the tests and deliverables met our strictest requirements."
Partner - Law firm
"As France's leading business law firm, we work on a regular basis with ESTER well-known for its expertise in financial instruments. The independence, integrity and technical skills of ESTER’s experts are valuable to our clients, whether they deal with risk management or portfolio valuation. Proficient, diligent and didactic, ESTER’s experts were decisive in the positive outcome of some of the negotiations and litigations they were involved in."
Chief Executive Officer - Renewable energies company
"In July 2017, we refinanced one of our solar projects. We called on ESTER to advise us on interest rate hedging subjects both on unwinding the initial financing and on the new financing. They assisted us in the economic analysis of the transaction, the management of the interest risk throughout, as well as the drafting of the financial technical clauses in the debt and hedge documentation (e.g calculation of indemnities in case of early repayment). ESTER allowed us to significantly improve the control of risks in the transaction, the deep understanding of complex financial issues, and, importantly, to realize significant financial savings for the project. Offering easy access, a very good level of reactivity, and very clear communication, ESTER plays with both determination and flexibility when interacting with our banking partners, allowing us to obtain better terms both from lenders and hedging banks while preserving our partnership with them. We recommend ESTER without reserve, and are looking forward to work with them anew on our next project."
Chief Investment Officer - Insurance Company
"ESTER carried out an assignment for the Investment and ALM Department, aimed at extending the capacity of our solvency projection tools. The consultants were asked to build an IT module capable of transforming the risk-neutral scenarios generated by the Group and used in the context of Solvency II into real world scenarios, in order to better capture the behaviour of credit assets and equity assets. This real world vision is a useful complement to our portfolio construction tools. ESTER’s consultants built an effective and well-documented tool, in permanent dialogue with our teams. We are very pleased that we selected ESTER for this assignment."
Chief Financial Officier - Company undergoing an LBO
"At the end of 2014, as part of the repayment of our bank debt, we had to cancel the hedging swaps put in place a few years earlier. We asked ESTER, our hedge advisor, to assist us in this transaction. As a true OTC derivatives market expert, ESTER prepared the execution, evaluated all the financial parameters in order to give us an understanding of the stakes, and assisted us during the execution of the unwinds. We ended up with a lot of transparency, real savings and a good level of security in the execution of the transactions. The partnership with ESTER proved to have been a wise choice."
Partner - Law Firm
"Our law firm specialises in technical and complex financial litigation. To enable us to deal with the legal and financial issues as efficiently as possible, and to provide our clients with legal strategies perfectly adapted to the financial challenges they face, we rely on the services of external consultants whose expertise is recognised. In the context of the restructuring of a complex financial product, we called on the technical expertise of ESTER. Following this successful experience, we recently asked them to assist us in a mission to analyse a very large portfolio of structured financial products for a local public institution. We once again appreciated the ability of ESTER’s consultants to communicate their expertise. Their analytical and explanatory skills have allowed us to better understand the true nature of the financial products and to provide even better support to our clients in analysing their portfolio and implementing strategies adapted to their specific situation."
Group Controller - European company
"We asked ESTER to support us on our financial management (debt and cash). Their experts help us refine our choices, especially on interest rates and foreign exchange hedging issues, for both the company and its subsidiaries. They provide us with valuable financial and macro-economic information that give us a constructive hindsight in our decision process. For each of the issues we face, ESTER brings a wide range of solutions, with the pros and cons related to each option, thus allowing us to make objective decisions. ESTER also advises our European subsidiaries regarding on the instruments suited to their markets. ESTER understands perfectly our financial and operational issues, and always ensures that the solutions they bring match our goals. The team is complementary, reactive and proactive, they keep us aware of the market opportunities. Though technically sharp, they are very good at rendering their analysis and conclusions in a didactic way. Following their works on the interest rates and foreign exchange hedge, we asked them to take care of our foreign exchange risk management project, directly with the local CFOs of our subsidiaries. We are very satisfied with their work, their mindset and their dedication and we plan on involving them soon in our future projects."
General Secretary in the social housing sector
"We selected ESTER after a competitive bidding process. We found that their consultants, who are experts in financial markets, were able to quickly understand the issues at stake, which were not limited to financial markets and also required a good understanding of the general context of our activity and of what goes into our annual results. They met our expectations and demonstrated a high level of responsiveness and competence in producing the study and the tools we needed. This was therefore a wise choice and we would be happy to have the opportunity to work with them again in the future."
Managing Director - Bank specialising in real estate financing
"We regularly work with ESTER, which gives us the benefit of its expertise in the field of derivative products through targeted support to our front office teams. Derivatives valuations, adaptations of our internal tools to the latest market evolutions, CVA calculations and implementation of EMIR regulation are some of the areas in which the support of ESTER has enabled us to carry out important projects in the Financial Department since 2014. We are very satisfied with the high value-added services provided by ESTER’s consultants, who are appreciated by all of our teams."
Financial Controller - Corporate Group
"We have asked ESTER to help us with our financial management (debt and cash investments)." ESTER financial experts assist us in guiding our financial choices: they advise us on the management of interest rate and currency hedges at group and subsidiary level, they provide us with financial and macroeconomic information that allows us to take a step back in our decision-making process, and ESTER also works directly with our European subsidiaries to advise us these markets ESTER understands our financial and operational issues, and seeks to ensure consistency between the solutions envisaged and the Group's objectives.The ESTER team is very complementary and highly responsive. alert us to market opportunities that are technically sophisticated, but they know presenting their analyzes and conclusions in a didactic way. Following initial work on interest rate and currency hedges, we entrusted them with the implementation of the foreign exchange hedging project, in direct contact with local CFOs. We are very satisfied with their work, their state of mind and their involvement and we will soon involve them in new operational projects."
Head of Financial Markets Department - Public company
"By the end of 2010, we called on ESTER to analyze our methodology of credit risk management. ESTER brought us a pragmatic and well-argued vision that helped us both validate partially our methodology and change what needed to be changed. This first mission for the Département des Marchés Financiers gave us full satisfaction."
CFO - Renewable energy company
"Our company is a major actor in the renewable energy ecosystem; starting in 2008, we developed an important portfolio of projects based in many continents. For the project finance side of our job, we have chosen to strengthen our interest rates and foreign exchange risk management by working with ESTER. Reactive, efficient, easily accessible, ESTER’s consultants display a full mastery of the risk management techniques, sharp pricing capabilities, and a good sense of risk. The interaction with our teams, our legal advisor and our banking partners is very professional and ESTER keeps on coming up with new ideas to help cutting the costs efficiently. I do recommend ESTER wholeheartedly."
Finance and Accounting Manager - Mobile operator company
"Our company is the third mobile operator in Switzerland. In the course of the debt coverage, we asked ESTER for assistance in the accounting reporting of our derivatives. Their consultants provided us with rigorous reporting. They proved to be reliable, very didactic on their methods, transparent on the assumptions, eager to help us improve the transactions’ executions. Furthermore, they were attentive to our needs and offered innovative solutions. ESTER is a trustworthy partner that we strongly recommend."
CEO - Insurance Brokerage Company undergoing an LBO
"Given the high volatility on the financial markets, we called on ESTER’s hedge Advisory team to optimise and renegotiate our medium-term interest rate hedges. ESTER’s consultants analysed our risks, our hedges in place, and helped us build the target solution. In less than three weeks, ESTER’s consultants helped us to effectively solve our problem and save significant financial costs by demonstrating perfect product control and advanced analytical skills. ESTER has proved to be a wise and cost-effective solution for us."
Chairman - Asset Management company
"We are a structured and alternative fund management company, including formula funds with complex optional indexing of equities. During 2011, we asked ESTER to improve an internal valuation model of complex option on stocks that we used. The financial modeling and developments, very well documented, have been entirely satisfactory. The sophisticated tool developed by ESTER has been proven for several months and we are very satisfied with it. ESTER has also effectively helped us in the organization and implementation of a call for tenders on the pricing of a complex product, The consultants have demonstrated professionalism, competence and responsiveness to meet our expectations."
Director of Private Client Management - Asset Management Company
"We asked ESTER to thoroughly analyze a structured credit product. ESTER's consultants provided us with an operational analysis that was perfectly tailored to our needs, combining cutting-edge credit expertise with a deep understanding of the structuring of structured loans. This very good quality service has enabled us to support our management decision more effectively."