Swiss wealth manager picks new boss to boost performance

All change at the top again as Julius Bär tries to find a long term successor for its former star boss Boris Collardi. © Keystone / Ennio Leanza

One of Switzerland’s largest wealth managers, Julius Bär bank, has replaced its chief executive with a new appointment from within the ranks – Philipp Rickenbacher. He will take over from Bernhard Hodler from September 1 to continue the bank’s restructuring phase.

This content was published on July 8, 2019 - 08:12
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Hodler will continue to assist Rickenbacher into 2020 as the bank seeks to reduce annual costs by CHF100 million ($101 million), including a 2% reduction in headcount by the end of this year. Hodler will then end his 21-year association with Julius Bär to “pursue other projects”, the bank said in a statement.

Rickenbacher, aged 48, is currently Head of Intermediaries & Global Custody at Julius Bär. At the middle of this year the bank managed CHF427 billion of assets on behalf of wealthy people and institutions. Net profits increased 4% to CHF735 million in 2018, but the performance was viewed as underwhelming, weighing down on share prices.

The 125-year-old bank has struggled to replace its dynamic former CEO Boris Collardi since he left in 2017 and later moved on to rival Swiss wealth manager Pictet. Hodler lasted just under two years as his successor.

“We are delighted that, with Philipp Rickenbacher, we have been able to appoint an internal candidate with a compelling leadership and industry track record, deeply familiar with Julius Baer’s culture and business, but prepared to actively address the challenges of the future,” stated Julius Bär chairman Romeo Lacher on Monday.

“With our unique pure wealth management focus, our entrepreneurial spirit and values, we are perfectly equipped to continue to lead the industry in the years to come,” stated Rickenbacher, who has been at Julius Bär since 2004.

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