Swiss private bank Julius Baer has reported record-high net profit driven by strong growth in assets under management (AuM) and notable improvement in cost efficiency in the first half of 2021.

The firm’s net income in the first six months of the year increased 23% to $658m (CHF606m) from $522m (CHF491m) a year ago.

Net new money nearly doubled to CHF 9.9bn from CHF 5bn in H1 2020.

This growth was driven particularly by strong contributions from clients domiciled in Asia and Western Europe, as well as strong growth in the Middle East, the wealth manager said in a statement.

The group’s AuM stood at CHF 486bn, a jump of 12% since the end of 2020.

Julius Baer operating income was CHF1.9bn, an increase of 7.7% from CHF1.85bn reported year ago.

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By GlobalData

Adjusted profit before taxes rose by 20% to CHF742m from CHF616 in the year ago half.

Adjusted net profit for the group as well as adjusted net profit attributable to shareholders of the firm grew by 21% to CHF636m.

Comment

Julius Baer Group CEO Philipp Rickenbacher said: “The achievements of the first half of 2021 demonstrate how Julius Baer creates value: we have successfully shifted our focus to sustainable profit growth and continuously strengthened the attractiveness of our value proposition for existing and new clients alike.

“Following a record-high net profit in the first half of the year, we are entering the second half from a position of strength: fully focused on delivering on our strategy and prepared to capitalise on our position as employer of choice and to capture growth opportunities in our core markets as they arise.”

Share buy-back programme

In March this year, Julius Baer a commenced a new programme to buy back the group’s share up to a purchase value of CHF450m.

The group said it has repurchased a total of 2,439,000 shares by the end of last month, at an aggregate acquisition cost of CHF146m.

This programme will run until the end of February 2022.

Recent developments

Recently, Julius Baer partnered with Wecan Comply, a blockchain-based compliance platform for private banks and external asset managers, to streamline the exchange of information with its independent asset managers in Switzerland.

In May this year, the group agreed to pay around $80m to resolve a US investigation over corruption linked to world soccer federation FIFA.

In April, Julius Baer rolled out its digital advisory platform in Asia, with an aim to help its advisers improve the quality and quantity of client interactions.