Swiss private banking giant Julius Baer shutters Nassau office

Swiss private banking giant Julius Baer shutters Nassau office
Julius Bar Nassau

Decision will ultimately cost 30 jobs

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Global Swiss private banking giant Julius Baer yesterday announced that it will close its Nassau booking centre.

The closure will reportedly result in the termination of 30 employees.

The announcement came on the heels of a statement by Julius BaerChief Executive Philipp Rickenbacher that the Zurich-based wealth manager will cut 300 jobs this year.

The company is seeking to boost profitability after a double-digit percentage earnings fall during 2019.

“As part of its strategy  update on February 3, Julius Baer announced an efficiency and productivity programme designed to address margin pressure and structurally lower the Group’s cost base by 2022,” read a press release.

“The programme will include the simplification of the organization, the streamlining of front-office structures, and the review of locations based on future growth potential. As part of this analysis, Julius Baer has decided to close the Nassau booking centre.”

The statement continued: “All the necessary steps for this process are being taken in close alignment with the relevant authorities.

“The booking centre will remain operative for an appropriate period of time in order to allow for an orderly dissolution of the business. The Group is committed to offer all affected clients a suitable alternative.

“All employees have been made aware of this decision today. The Group will assist them throughout this process and continues to rely on their professionalism and support.  After the longstanding commitment to The Bahamas, Julius Baer has not taken this decision lightly and regrets the impact of this group-wide programme on local staff and clients.”

The number of persons to be impacted are about 30, according to a spokesperson.

“Julius Baer will conduct a professional liquidation process. This will take time. The job cuts will be staggered. The affected employees will receive severance packages,” the spokesperson told Eyewitness News.

Yesterday, Labour director John Pinder said the company had informed him it was not attracting significant business in the region.

“It is always sad when you hear a business is closing down and it is going to cost Bahamians or people in general jobs,” Pinder said.

“The one good thing is it is going to take them some months to wind down and it gives some of the staff an opportunity to prepare themselves better and upload their resumes into our system, or come into our offices so that if other banking institutions needs persons with their expertise we can advise them of the same so they can apply for those vacancies.”

Pinder said: “When I spoke to them they said they just were not attracting business in the entire Caribbean and not just The Bahamas.

“For the last three to five years they were having challenges attracting new business. The Caribbean has just not been a choice jurisdiction for their customers.”