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Julius Baer pulls out of North America

Scale shortfall: Julius Baer concluded that $4 billion in assets in the US could not readily be brought up to a competitive level

Julius Baer has decided to pull out of the North American wealth management market, having sold its private-banking business there to UBS Wealth Management for an undisclosed amount. The mid-size Swiss bank had been in the US since 1940, and was ones of the first Swiss private banks to be onshore in the region.

Julius Baer will continue to operate its asset management business in the US, but Michael Baer, head of private banking at Julius Baer, says the bank just did not have the scale to be able to continue in wealth management in North America. ?We have $4 billion in assets in the US, but to be significant you need between $8 billion and $10 billion. Our chances of achieving that were slim. We did look at different alternatives, and came to the conclusion that UBS has a comparable offering.?

The deal highlights the difficulties facing smaller foreign private banks targeting the US (see Euromoney October 2004).

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