FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Swiss private bank Julius Baer can be seen on February 1, 2021 at its headquarters in Zurich. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann
May 19, 2021
(Corrections to reflect the day are Wednesday (not Tuesday) in the last paragraph)
ZURICH (Reuters) – Julius Baer said it was on track to meet its financial targets as the Swiss asset manager saw assets under management grow 8% to 470 billion Swiss francs (523.9 billion Swiss francs) in the first four months of 2021 Billion US dollars).
“The increase was due to sustained net new money inflows (4% on an annual basis), positive stock market performance and the weakening of the Swiss franc – especially against the US dollar, the euro and the British pound,” said Switzerland’s third largest listed lender in a statement on Wednesday.
Asset managers saw a boon from increased client activity amid the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, which benefited from high levels of transactions and less risk of credit loss than main drag peers.
In the meantime, Baer has increasingly focused on the ultra-rich under CEO Philipp Rickenbacher, who took over the role at the end of 2019, and cut costs.
This helped the group hit an adjusted cost / income ratio of around 60% by April, a 66% improvement in the second half of 2020 and well above the target it had previously set for 20% by 2022.
The Zurich-based lender, which did not disclose any earnings or earnings figures in its four-month interim balance sheet, also reported an improvement in gross margin to 90 basis points from 84 basis points in the last half of 2020.
The bank posted a 50% increase in net income in February 2020 as booming markets and heavy client trading helped beat medium-term targets.
However, analysts had expected low and negative interest rates to weigh on the group this year, while also anticipating a slowdown in frenzied activity levels.
Baer said Wednesday that customer activity levels remained elevated during the first quarter but slowed to “more subdued levels” in April.
($ 1 = 0.8971 Swiss Francs)
(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Michael Shields)
This article originally appeared on www.oann.com