Julius Baer sets more ambitious targets for 2025

ZURICH, May 19 (Reuters) - Julius Baer BAER.S on Thursday confirmed its 2022 targets and presented new, more ambitious mid-term targets after assets under management fell 5% year-to-date at the end of April, the Swiss wealth manager said.

For the period from 2023 to 2025, Julius Baer targets an adjusted cost/income ratio of below 64% and an adjusted pre-tax margin of 28 to 31 basis points by 2025, Julius Baer said in a statement.

Julius Baer had previously targeted a cost-income ratio of below 67% and a pre-tax margin of 25-28 basis points by 2022.

However, the bank said it would target an adjusted return on CET1 capital of at least 30% over the 2023-25 cycle, little changed from its current target for above 30%.

The Zurich-based wealth manager in February reported a 55% rise in 2021 net profit, as strong markets and a rise in fees it gets from managing cash for rich clients helped it surpass a billion-franc bottomline for the first time ever. The second half was, however, slightly weaker than the first.

Baer said it had seen client deleveraging, particularly in Asia, in the first four months of 2022, but an improvement in brokerage commissions and income from financial instruments.

"While the financial markets downturn and client portfolio de-risking impacted reported assets under management, sustained high levels of client activity helped drive a considerable recovery in the Group's gross margin," it said in a statement.

Wealth managers expect clients to remain cautious in coming months due to the war in Ukraine, a slump in Asia and broader geopolitical and macro-economic uncertainties.

Julius Baer, which does not report profit figures in its interim statement, said assets under management fell in the first four months to 457 billion Swiss francs ($463.63 billion).

Its adjusted cost/income ratio was 63%. ($1 = 0.9857 Swiss francs)
Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi, editing by Miranda Murray

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