Julius Bär increases its assets under management at the start of the year

Julius Bär increases its assets under management at the start of the year
Julius Bär increases its assets under management at the start of the year

Zurich (awp) – Wealth manager Julius Bär accelerated the pace over the first four months of 2024, progressing in assets under management thanks to positive exchange rate effects and the good performance of the equity markets.

Between January and the end of April, assets under management increased to 471 billion Swiss francs, after 427 billion at the end of last year, driven by positive exchange rate effects and the good development of the stock markets, announced the establishment Thursday in a press release.

After a “negative start in January”, net inflows of new money reached 1 billion at the end of the period under review, compared to inflows of 3.5 billion over the same period in 2023.

The group also revealed other performance indicators, notably the ratio between costs and revenues which deteriorated to “nearly” 69%, after around 66% a year ago. The gross margin for its part rose to around 89 basis points, after “a little more than 92 points” over the first four months of 2023.

While assets under management and gross margin exceeded the expectations of analysts surveyed by the AWP agency, cash inflows clearly missed expectations of 5.1 billion.

Interim management

Management did not issue a new forecast. So far, the bank anticipates between 2023 and 2025 an adjusted pre-tax margin of between 28 and 31 basis points and a ratio between costs and revenues “below 64%”.

Faced with the heavy write-downs recorded as part of the credits granted to the bankrupt Austrian group Signa, the Zurich establishment had raised its gross savings target to 130 million Swiss francs in February, compared to 120 million previously. This year, 250 positions must be eliminated, but at the same time the group wants to recruit 60 to 65 customer advisors.

Last year, the bank saw its results heavily penalized by the Signa affair, with operating income falling 15.9% to 3.24 billion. This decline was the consequence of a net loss on credits of 606.3 million Swiss francs having caused an amortization of 586 million and which is linked to the defaulting credit granted to the Austrian entrepreneur René Benko.

Faced with these losses, Julius Bär dismissed his boss Philipp Rickenbacher at the beginning of February. Deputy general manager Nic Dreckmann has since taken over in the interim and an “external search” has been launched to find a successor. No new announcement has been made on this subject.

al/ck

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