SWITZERLAND - Swiss private bank Julius Baer Holdings has announced it will combine its European asset management arm and the private banking subsidiaries under the umbrella of wealth manager Bank Julius Baer.

Following the recent approval from the Swiss federal banking commission, the company will align its organisation and legal structure with its business operating model from November 15, the company announced in a statement.

"After combining the Julius Baer European asset management business and the various product areas from within the private bank to create the investment products area, Bank Julius Baer will comprise the two Julius Baer-branded business areas of private banking and investment products," announced the company.

The Zurich-based bank tipped its head of private banking, Alex Widmer, as new chief executive officer (CEO) of Bank Julius Baer, thus overseeing the newly-enlarged private bank and an asset management division including fund of hedge-fund house GAM.

While Julius Baer puts a holding structure into place above Bank Julius Baer, current CEO Johannes de Gier will remain in  place as chief executive of the overall firm. Dieter Enkelmann was named as group chief financial officer.

The firm bought back 5.47% of its shares held by Swiss banking group UBS In June, while the remaining stake has been sold on the stock market.

Switzerland's largest asset manager UBS (source: IPE Top 400 Asset Managers) said the offer, launched via an accelerated bookbuilding transaction, "met strong demand from high quality institutional investors in Europe and the US".

The sale of the 15.23% stake in Julius Baer was concluded a day after its launch at CHF84 (€50.8) per share, totalling CHF1.1bn.

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