Julius Baer Holding AG is a Swiss bank catering to the financial needs of wealthy individuals. It offers private-banking for private clients, as well as institutions. Based in Zurich, the bank operates in 20 countries and has 40 locations, including Buenos Aires, Dubai, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hong Kong, London, Lugano, Milan, Moscow, New York, Singapore and Tokyo.
Julius Baer has a reputation as a stable and constant private bank, but like other Swiss banks, it was battered in the global financial crisis. In another blow, the head of its private-banking arm, Alex Widmer, took his own life in 2008. A new chief executive was recently appointed. The firm recently split its private bank from its hedge-fund boutique, GAM, and asset-management business. The company will fold its private-banking activities into Julius Baer Group Ltd. It will combine GAM, Artio Global Investors and Julius Baer Asset Management Europe into GAM Holding Ltd. Artio, its U.S. fund manager, recently announced plans to go public. Julius Baer has been on the hunt for acquisitions and is planning to buy ING Groep NV's Swiss private bank. Meantime, the bank recently has been lowering bonuses, cutting jobs and reducing spending on areas such as marketing.