S'porean to head Swiss private banking unit

Mr Lee, 53, is one of the few Singaporeans to head a private banking unit. He joins Julius Baer on Oct 1.
Mr Lee, 53, is one of the few Singaporeans to head a private banking unit. He joins Julius Baer on Oct 1.PHOTO: JULIUS BAER

Jimmy Lee will be Asia-Pacific head and executive board member at Julius Baer

Veteran Singapore banker Jimmy Lee is to join Swiss private banking group Julius Baer - which has snared him from rival Credit Suisse.

Mr Lee, 53, has become one of the few Singaporeans to head a private banking unit.

He will take on the role of Asia- Pacific head, and be a member of Bank Julius Baer's executive board with effect from Jan 1 next year. He joins Julius Baer on Oct 1.

He will take over from Dr Thomas Meier who will return to Switzerland to be non-executive vice-chairman of wealth management.

The bank said in a statement: "In the past 25 years, Jimmy Lee has had a proven track record in the private banking industry in Asia and thus brings a wealth of expertise to Julius Baer."

Mr Lee has worked for a total of 11 years at Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group, where he was most recently market group head for Hong Kong.

He used to be Asia chief executive of Swiss private bank Clariden Leu from 2009 to 2012, and headed its integration into Credit Suisse in the Asia-Pacific region in 2012 and 2013.

Before that, Mr Lee was private wealth management head for South-east Asia and South Asia at Deutsche Bank for five years.

Julius Baer chief executive Boris Collardi said: "I am very pleased that we have been able to win Jimmy Lee and warmly welcome him to Julius Baer.

"With Jimmy's vast experience and his extensive network, we will launch the next phase of growth and take our presence in Asia to the next level."

Julius Baer employs more than 5,000 staff globally, including more than 1,000 relationship managers, in more than 25 countries.

Mr Collardi said Dr Meier has led its Asia-Pacific operations for 10 years, "from modest beginnings to being one of the major players in this most important growth market today".

He thanked Dr Meier for his achievements, adding that the bank will "continue to draw on Tom's vast and valuable private banking knowledge".

Dr Meier also managed the integration of Merrill Lynch's international wealth management business into the bank's local operations. After that integration last year, Julius Baer is now one of the leading international wealth managers in the region.

The bank added: "Asia is Julius Baer's second home market with nearly a quarter of the group's assets under management globally.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2015, with the headline 'S'porean to head Swiss private banking unit'. Print Edition | Subscribe