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Julius Baer reports modest money inflows after slow start to 2023

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Julius Baer reports modest money inflows after slow start to 2023

ZURICH (Reuters) -Julius Baer reported on Tuesday a modest rise in assets under management and money inflows in the first four months of this year, in what the Swiss bank called a challenging period for wealth managers.

The bank, which competes with UBS and Credit Suisse in managing the investments of the wealthy and ultra-wealthy, is tipped to benefit from the troubles that led to Credit Suisse’s takeover by its bigger rival and uncertainty over the future of the combined bank.

However, some analysts have pointed out it may take time before the turmoil’s full impact will be reflected in Julius Baer’s accounts.

Julius Baer said net money inflows picked up after a slow start to the year and totalled 3.5 billion Swiss francs ($3.94 billion). That was less than in the last two months of 2022 and what analysts had expected. The bank said uncertain market conditions had prompted clients to reduce borrowing and risks in their portfolios.

It said its assets under management stood at 429 billion francs, just 1% above year-end levels as inflows were partially offset by the Swiss franc’s strengthening against the dollar.

Reporting its 2022 results in February, several weeks before UBS agreed to take over Credit Suisse as part of a government-orchestrated rescue, Julius Baer said Credit Suisse’s troubles contributed to inflows of new funds, particularly late in the year.

It made no reference to its Swiss rivals in its January-April update, but said by hiring more relationship managers it was well placed to attract more funds later in the year.

“Looking ahead, actual and forthcoming significant growth in the Group’s RM (relationship manager) base is expected to meaningfully benefit the generation of net new money over the medium term,” Julius Baer said.

UBS has been racing to seal the Credit Suisse deal, aiming for its legal close within coming weeks, keen to limit customer and staff departures following months of turmoil at its smaller Swiss rival.

($1 = 0.8889 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by Tomasz Janowski and Oliver Hirt;Editing by Rachel More and Kim Coghill)