Julius Baer is pushing ahead with a recruitment drive in Asia, hiring close to 20 Singapore-based bankers from BSI SA, the wealth manager caught up in the scandal surrounding 1Malaysia Development Bhd., according to a person familiar with the matter.
Bloomberg News reports that the BSI bankers joining Julius Baer specialize in managing the wealth of non-resident Indians, the person said, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential. The Monetary Authority of Singapore said in May it is withdrawing BSI’s local license following an investigation into its dealings with 1MDB, the Malaysian fund which is at the center of global probes into alleged corruption and money laundering.
A representative from Julius Baer in Hong Kong declined to comment, as did Daniela Haesler, a spokeswoman for EFG International in Zurich, the private bank which recently acquired BSI. 1MDB has consistently denied wrongdoing.
Like fellow banks UBS and Credit Suisse, Julius Baer has stepped up its hiring of wealth managers in Asia, lured by the growing number of the region’s rich. Asia-Pacific household wealth grew 4.5% to just under $80tril in the 12 months through June this year, the fastest growth of any region, according to Credit Suisse’s annual global wealth report published on Tuesday.
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