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Société Privée de Gérance, a family business

Posted 2 | 03 | 2020
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Strong family DNA

Founded in 1960 by Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller, Société Privée de Gérance (SPG) is today directed by his son, Thierry Barbier-Mueller, and with the arrival of Marie and Valentine Barbier-Mueller, who joined the company and the Steering Committee in 2017 and 2019, respectively, the torch can one day be passed on to a third generation.


The former SPG headquarters, located on Boulevard des Philosophes.
The former SPG headquarters, located on Boulevard des Philosophes.


As a family owned and operated company, SPG can rightfully claim that it fosters a long-term vision in all of its activities. Its family DNA also allows the agency to maintain total autonomy in its operations and decision-making processes. This independence is at the very core of the company’s identity, forming part of its fundamental values, along with ethics and an acute sense of quality.


We are a family business, so we do not think in terms of quarters but, rather, generations, and transmission is one of our top priorities.
Valentine Barbier-Mueller


Three generations of Barbier-Muellers


Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller (1930–2016)

Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller, a connoisseur of literature and tribal art, founded Société Privée de Gérance in 1960. Following its creation, SPG quickly became one of the most important agencies in the canton. Already a collector of original-edition Renaissance books, Barbier-Mueller discovered non-Western art through his step-father, Josef Mueller. In 1977, along with his wife, Monique, he created the Barbier-Mueller Museum in Geneva, which is exclusively dedicated to ethnographic art.

Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller
Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller


Thierry Barbier-Mueller

Thierry Barbier-Mueller joined SPG in 1984 as the company’s secretary general and the editor of L’INFORMATION IMMOBILIÈRE magazine. In 1997, he launched IMMORAMA magazine, which is distributed throughout the Lake Geneva area. He became managing director and CEO in the year 2000 and actively participated in the development of the SPG-Rytz group. During this same period, he developed a noteworthy ongoing building development activity.

Passionate about art and culture, he carries on the family tradition with a devotion to collecting works of contemporary art and design. In 2009, in partnership with Hepia, the Geneva School of Engineering, Architecture and Landscape, he launched an annual idea competition with the goal of furthering education and training in the areas of architecture and landscaping. Additionally, in 2013, he created the SPG Literary Prize, which is awarded each year to an initial literary work written by a French-speaking Swiss author and published by a Swiss publishing house.


Marie Barbier-Mueller

After pursuing studies in economics and management at Bocconi University in Milan, Marie Barbier-Mueller earned a master’s degree in sustainable development at King’s College London. Various apprenticeships in real estate, culture and the environment led her to New York, Dallas, Buenos Aires and Belize.

She then participated in the Solar Impulse venture alongside Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg. She joined the team at the SPG headquarters in Geneva in 2017 as head of strategy and was appointed manager of Rytz & Cie in 2018. She is particularly interested in the problems related to sustainable development, which has become an important part of the company’s strategic direction.

The SPG headquarters in Geneva, in 2012 and today, after renovation
The SPG headquarters in Geneva, in 2012 and today, after renovation


Valentine Barbier-Mueller

Valentine Barbier-Mueller pursued studies in liberal arts at King’s College London, after which she earned her master’s degree in innovation and entrepreneurship from the ESADE Business and Law School. In 2015, she joined Solar Impulse. Based at the Monaco project control centre, she was part of the team in charge of digital communications. Her marked interest in innovation subsequently led her to Taiwan, where she worked for the internet start-up Codementor.

She joined the SPG team in 2019 as the company’s head of innovation. Her work at the agency has led to interactions with all of the departments across a variety of innovative, cross-cutting projects, including the redesign of the group’s various internet sites, management of those platforms and the implementation of a new management software program.

From left to right: Marie Barbier-Mueller, Thierry Barbier-Mueller et Valentine Barbier-Mueller.
From left to right: Marie Barbier-Mueller, Thierry Barbier-Mueller and Valentine Barbier-Mueller.