Awards For Distinction 2016 – Best Private Bank – Pure Play



Jimmy Lee

Jimmy Lee
head Asia Pacific
Julius Baer

Julius Baer refers to Asia as its “second home market” – and rightfully so. Since 2007, when the pure play received its first banking licence in the region, Julius Baer has continued to pour resources into a region that is today the epicenter of wealth creation.

A critical juncture in Julius Baer’s story is the widely lauded acquisition of Merrill Lynch’s International Wealth Management business – a deal that catapulted the pure play into the major leagues both in Asia and globally. Indeed, from 2012 to 2015, Julius Baer grew its assets under management (AUM) in Asia at a CAGR of over 20%, according to Asian Private Banker estimates, ranking it among the top five private banks by AUM and the largest pure play in the region.

But 2016 will go down as a landmark year for Julius Baer in Asia in its own right. Group CEO, Boris Collardi, has consistently spoken of his desire to pursue an organic growth path, telling Asian Private Banker last October that the current M&A market “does not fulfil [the bank’s] criteria”.

Putting plans into action, Julius Baer hired vigorously throughout 2016, adding in excess of 100 private bankers across key markets in Asia.

“We had a strong hiring momentum in the past year and it is reassuring to see that in this challenging environment, many seasoned professionals from different banks believe in our unique positioning as a real pure play and a distinguished employer of choice,” says Jimmy Lee, head Asia Pacific, Julius Baer. “While we will continue to hire the right talent, we would also like to focus more on training and developing our own people in 2017. Developing our own talent remains as one of the key priorities.”

New hires do not immediately translate into increased profits, but Julius Baer enjoyed strong asset inflows in Asia that well-exceeded the bank’s 2016 target range of 4-6%, helping to push the group’s AUM total to a bank record CHF327 billion at the end of October 2016, with Asia AUM accounting for approximately 20-25%. And Julius Baer rounded out an exciting year by raising over US$600 million for a fixed maturity bond fund – testament to the quality of its Asia-based advisory team.

Julius Baer is Asian Private Banker’s Best Private Bank – Pure Play for 2016.