Death of Hans J. Baer announced

One of Switzerland's most famous bankers, Hans J. Baer, has died aged 83 after a long illness, the Julius Baer Group announced on Tuesday.

This content was published on March 22, 2011 - 21:56

For five decades, Hans J. Baer served the initially family-controlled company, Switzerland’s largest dedicated wealth manager, in various positions.

He became partner in 1960, was president of the executive board from 1975 to 1993, and finally chairman of the board until his retirement in 1996.

Milestones under his leadership, according to a company statement, included the initial public offering of Julius Baer Holding Ltd. in 1980 as well as the opening of branch offices in the New York and London in 1982 and 1984 respectively.

At the end of the 1990s particularly, Baer found himself in the public eye as a member of the Volcker Commission investigating Holocaust money and dormant assets. “He made a significant contribution to helping Switzerland find its way out of this crisis,” the statement said.

In his memoirs, published in 2004, the Swiss banker who grew up in the United States was strongly critical of the inflated bonuses being paid to bankers. He also criticised banking secrecy as a defensive instrument for Switzerland.

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