Swiss private bank Julius Baer considers acquisitions, partnerships for Asia growth

Boris Collardi Photographer: Michele Limina/Bloomberg

Julius Baer Group Ltd. plans to expand its Asia-Pacific operations and look at options including acquisitions and partnerships, its regional chief said.

The Swiss private bank hasn’t decided on its strategy for China, India and Indonesia, which it has identified as “core markets” together with Singapore and Hong Kong, Asia-Pacific head Jimmy Lee said a news briefing in Singapore on Wednesday.

“These are very high growth centers for private banking,” Lee said, referring to the five markets. “Definitely we are going for organic growth, we are going for initiatives, we are going for any potential partnerships, we are going for even acquisitions” in the next two to four years, he added.

Julius Baer wants to hire more relationship managers in the Asia-Pacific area but has been constrained from doing so because demand for them is exceeding their supply, said Lee, who is a member of the Zurich-based bank’s executive board. About a quarter of its 6,400 employees are based in the region, he said.

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