Julius Baer to Lure Wealthy South Africans With New Office

(Bloomberg) -- Julius Baer Group Ltd. opened an office in Johannebsurg as Switzerland’s third-largest wealth manager seeks to profit from a growing pool of high-net worth individuals in the country.

Having a presence in South Africa is part of a long-term strategy to expand in the region, the Zurich-based company said in a statement Thursday. It will employ seven people in South Africa, five of which have been lured from local lenders including FirstRand Group Ltd. subsidiary Rand Merchant Bank.

Julius Baer is the second Swiss bank to enter the country in recent weeks, following Lombard Odier & Co. Ltd., as President Cyril Ramaphosa pushes ahead with a push to raise $100 billion in foreign investment in five years. In contrast, Credit Suisse Group AG and Deutsche Bank AG announced plans to scale back in the country earlier this year.

“As part of our focused growth strategy, we have identified South Africa as one of the markets we want to invest in,” said Remy Bersier, the private banking group’s head of emerging markets. “It does offer promising potential, which we want to develop over the long-term.”

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