People Moves

Julius Baer Creates New Investment Division; Brings In Former CIO From Swiss Private Bank

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, 12 January 2016

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The private bank has brought in the former CIO from a rival to head up a dedicated investment division.

Julius Baer has created a new division to bolster its investment management arm, bringing in a former investment chief from Pictet to lead it. The move was announced on the same day that the bank announced it had appointed a new head for its Southeast Asia business. 

The new division is called Investment Management (IM) and is led by Yves Henri Bonzon. He becomes a member of the bank’s executive board as of 1 February. He will report to Boris Collardi, chief executive. The IM division will complement the Investment Solutions Group (ISG), an existing division headed by Burkhard Varnholt. He and Bonzon will be co-CIOs.

The decision by Bonzon to move to Julius Baer represents a change of mind for the man who had, previously, decided to join BSI, the Swiss bank owned by controversy-hit Grupo BTG Pactual.
In August, BSI said that Bonzon would join it on 1 January. It has been speculated that BTG Pactual, which bought BSI earlier in 2015, might sell it again to raise capital amid a corruption scandal that has seen Andres Esteves, its founder, being arrested on corruption allegations linked to the Brazilian government. "We confirm that Mr Bonzon decided not to join BSI as a consequence of the situation around BTG Pactual," a BSI spokesperson was quoted by Reuters as saying.

At Pictet, Bonzon was an equity partner, group MD and chief investment officer of the wealth management division. Since 1998, he had chaired Pictet’s investment committee. He left that venerable Swiss firm in December last year.

Yesterday, Julius Baer, which has described Asia as its second home market, said it has appointed Torsten Linke, a former senior figure at Credit Suisse in Asia, as the head of private banking for Southeast Asia and branch manager for Singapore. David Lim, who previously held these roles, becomes vice chairman for Southeast Asia. Linke’s appointment as branch manager in Singapore is subject to regulatory approval.

In his new role, Linke reports to Jimmy Lee, head of Asia-Pacific at the Zurich-listed bank.

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