Our Value Proposition

The Problem

When lending money, insuring credit risk or taking payment risk, there is always the possibility of the unexpected problem. Even in what might appear to be the "most secured" deal, unforeseen difficulties may arise which can lead to a "distressed situation" or even to a default.

Providing credit goes hand in hand with taking risk. When problems occur and a customer runs into difficulties or is in default, it is essential to consider actively all the options as to what needs to be done and by whom, in the most efficient way, in order to limit the loss and optimize the recovery.

The Solution

Handling distressed situations is a fulltime job, requiring specific workout experience, as well as the capacity to coordinate internal and external parties such as lawyers, surveyors, storage managers, government bodies etc, to ensure the very best recovery solutions. It often involves frequent travel, possibly over long distances, and sometimes for unpredictable periods of time.

We strongly believe that our company’s name, VPG SA, Value Preservation Group, represents our philosophy and objectives. Our job is to ensure that loss is minimised and compensation recovered as far as possible for our clients. The same solution is not always applicable, nor is a single solution always applicable, even when dealing with the same country, even when dealing with the same commodity, or even when the same type of financing is involved. That is why VPG provides "tailor made" solutions for each and every case so as to enhance and permit the best possible recovery for our clients.


Tailor-made Services

Established in 2018, VPG SA was created by a group of four professionals who have a vast experience in the various sectors of the commodities industry, be it energy, metals or softs, as well as in the related specialized financing such as trade finance, structure trade  finance, corporate finance, derivatives, asset backed finance etc. The group members have all dealt successfully with workout situations and it is surely today among the most experienced and unique organisations in this field.

Our experience has shown that fast and efficient intervention is critical. VPG SA’s experienced experts can be promptly available to develop and offer alternative solutions to limit loss and to recover partially, or totally whenever possible, compensation for loss, thus preserving value for our clients.

Preservation value is the "raison d’être" of VPG. Whether prior to, or after a problem arises, we can intervene quickly and efficiently to search for compensation. This may be by seeking the debtor’s cooperation, especially if he himself is also a victim, by negotiating ways of repayment, provision of new assets and contracts to be pledged, or by tracing personal and corporate assets whenever possible. We can also advise on the restructuring of debt. In many situations, the negotiation phase may be essential in preserving value for our clients.

In all cases, we evaluate the issues in order to determine the best possible and most efficient strategy to "preserve value".

Our standard Services

Our initial assessment of a problem, free of charge, will help you to decide which of the following mandates will best be suited to your needs and to your in-house policy. Below are the standard services we offer. These can, however, be adapted as required.


VPG provides a prompt diagnosis and advises on the best and most efficient recovery strategies, but does not intervene directly.


VPG works together with you in a deal team format, is actively and directly involved in the handling of any stressed or distressed assets, attends client meetings, bank group calls, steering committees, and eventually legal meetings.


The client withdraws from an active participation, the file being transferred to VPG who will assume entirely the management of the file "on behalf of" the client. Responsibilities include but are not limited to interfacing with the different functional and operational units of the client, participating in conference calls, meetings as required and operating pro-active work out functions.

Debt purchasing

VPG will endeavor to sell the debt or syndicate to a group of investors specialized in buying debt at discounted prices thus assuming and performing the debt recovery for their own account.

VPG can also prepare, after completion of a workout mandate, a post mortem analysis of the default transaction or carry out a post mortem study of a portfolio of doubtful clients to draw useful lessons.

Our fee structure for our services can be flexible and combine retainer fees and management costs, as well as success fee arrangements.

Dedicated Experience and Professionalism

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Philippe ZIEGLER


Philippe Ziegler, Founder (2012) and MD of Captiva Corporate Finance SA, was previously Head of Energy & Commodity Finance of BNP Paribas in Switzerland from 2008 until 2012. During his thirteen years with the Bank, he was also in charge of the Credit Department and the Collateral Management Team including Workout. Before that, Ph. Ziegler spent seven years (1993-1999) with ING Bank in Switzerland as head of the Commodity Finance Department. Previously, he was CFO of a large family owned freight forwarding group in Belgium (1987-1992). He began his career in 1982 with Banque Paribas in Geneva followed by a two years tenure with Swiss Bank Corporation in New York. Mr. Ziegler has a Bachelor and a Master in Economics & Social Sciences from University of Namur (B) and followed a Post-Graduate Program in International Economy at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

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Xavier Cancer has been working as an Independent Financial Advisor for the past three years, creating and managing Synthesia Int. Inc., which provides various services to commodity related companies. Previously, Mr Cancer was in charge of the Agricultural Commodities Department for EMEA at BNP Paribas in Switzerland being also responsible for Paris and London soft  commodities portfolios. From 2005 to 2008, he headed the workout department in the same bank and recovered tens of million dollars on bad loans from various regions of the world. Prior to these three years, Mr Cancer had been Sector Manager and then Head of the International Trade Department at Crédit Lyonnais (5 years in each department) where he developed considerable credit risk awarness and experience within the soft  and energy financial services. Mr Cancer holds a Swiss Banking Diploma and an Executive MBA in Business Administration from European University.

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Timothy ESPIR


Timothy Espir, Managing Director of Timesco SA was from 1991 till 2014 the main shareholder and Managing Director of Socadec SA. He sold the company to the Touton Group in Bordeaux in 2014 and continued to manage the business until June 2017. From 1985 to 1991 Mr Espir worked for Sodechanges SA Geneva, a commodity trading and countertrade company owned by Renault and Aerospatiale of France, where he managed the coffee trading department. In 1991 Mr Espir made a management buyout and formed Socadec SA, Sodechanges remained as minority shareholders until 1996. Mr Espir began his career in one of the largest multinational soft  commodity trading companies, S & W Berisfords London in the coffee trading department from 1981 to 1984 after having studied business at Middlesex University.


Our Combined Experiences

Our combined experiences give us a deep knowledge of workout strategies and activities in the countries/regions where we have operated and a more specific appreciation of the local parties that might be helpful to solve problems. Here is a non-exhaustive list of countries where we have conducted recovery missions :



sugar, cotton, rice




grain, edible oil

Ivory Coast

cotton, rice, cocoa, oil








oil, refined products


oil, refined products, fertilisers


sugar, rice, cotton





non-ferrous metal, steel




oil, cocoa, sugar




olive oil








tomato concentrate




edible oil, grains



sugar, tobacco











coal, steel, soya


coal, coffee





The total amount of recoveries exceeds a hundred million USD.

Contact us

Please use the details below or the online form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


Rue du prince 9
CH - 1204 Geneva 

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March 2018 - VPG SA