Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The rich are playing it safe, says Julius Baer CE

The rich are playing it safe, says Julius Baer CEO
Written by Kelvin Tan
Tuesday, 28 September 2010 11:05

SINGAPORE: Wealthy clients of private bank Bank Julius Baer are still in risk-aversion mode, according to its global CEO Boris Collardi. The bank’s top management and board of directors were in town recently to attend a strategy meeting and celebrate its 120th anniversary.

“People like cash and we are seeing clients going into gold. They have got out of risky assets such as hedge funds and private equity, and they are not entering these assets yet,” said Collardi, responding to Personal Wealth’s questions on where his clients are parking their money at the moment. “There isn’t much exposure — they are taking in complex structured products and their trading activities are not really rising. They have a cautious investment profile at the moment,” added Thomas Meier, Julius Baer CEO of Asia and the Middle East.

This comes as no surprise, the bank’s top executives told regional journalists at a media briefing. “When markets go up, clients — looking to the future — would be more positive and willing to take more risk and do more transactions. The reverse is true when markets go down. Clients get more scared, asset levels go down and transactions go down in the industry,” says Collardi.

Although wealthy clients on the whole continue to shun stocks as an asset class, Collardi is seeing some fund flows into emerging-market equities, value stocks and high dividend yielding plays. “Clients are waiting to see some (sustainable) trends in the markets that last more than a week before going back into riskier asset classes,” said the 36-year-old Swiss-Italian. — The Edge Singapore

This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, September 28, 2010

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