SWITZERLAND - Wealth manager, Julius Baer has reported net profits for 2006 of CHF672m (€414m), more than quadruple its 2005 return.

Two years ago the Swiss bank acquired several private banks plus absolute return house, GAM, from UBS. Their absorption cost CHF138m then an extra CHF49m as implementation of a new IT platform was put on hold.

Last year, championed by GAM, the bank boosted profits and grew total funds under management by approximately CHF50bn.

Just under half of the rise in the private banking division and just over half in the asset management division came from net new money rather than asset growth.

Asset management comprises a European business a US business and recently-acquired GAM. Respective size of funds for the three are now CHF74bn; CHF66bn; and CHF83bn.
Private banking, which counts as a separate business, looks after CHF138bn on behalf of the wealthy.

Julius Baer has also recently decided to give star fixed income managers Ed Dove and Tim Haywood liberty to run $9bn in a variety of strategies in their own company, Augustus Asset Managers.
The Swiss bank holds a minority equity stake but has effectively become the biggest client of London-based Augustus, maintaining named ownership of more than two-thirds of assets and employing Augustus as their sub-adviser.