Julius Baer Chief Executive Boris Collardi took a calculated gamble that by adding seasoned wealth managers throughout the pure play bank, the benefit would begin to show. Was he right?
«We took full advantage of market conditions and our standing as the leading pure private banking group in 2016, by investing significantly in the recruitment of experienced relationship managers,» the CEO said earlier today when the bank announced its 2016 full year results.
The Swiss private bank exceeded expectations almost across the board, and lifted its dividend. The solid performance masked the turbulence Julius Baer faced last year.
Asia a Key Contributor
The result is a resounding response to Chief Executive Boris Collardi's detractors: Julius Baer's assets under management climbed 12 percent last year to 336 billion Swiss francs.
After a modest start, net new money gradually accelerated during the year, ultimately reaching 4 percent, at the lower bound of the Group’s 4-6 percent annual target range. Asia was again among the key contributors of net new money inflows.
The Second Home
In both Singapore and Hong Kong, the Zurich based bank, which calls Asia its second home, hired aggressively, taking experienced bankers from rivals such as Credit Suisse.
Industry publication finews.asia reported on a regular basis the additions the bank was making in the Asian wealth hubs. It was also claimed the bank would be moving to larger office premises in Singapore.
The bank's total staff went up to 6,026 full-time equivalents (FTEs), an increase of 662 FTEs, of which 295 FTEs were at acquisitions Kairos and CISAL.
Attracted to Pure Play Model
The number of relationship managers (RMs) grew to 1,383, a net increase of 166, of which 50 were at Kairos and CISAL and 116 (net) through external recruitment.
The bank claimed the very significant recruitment-based net increase is due to the strategic decision at the start of 2016 to capitalise on market conditions by hiring a large number of experienced private bankers who have been attracted by Julius Baer’s pure private banking model.