The Zurich entity is currently present in more than 25 countries, with more than 60 locations.
Swiss wealth management firm Julius Baer is expanding its operations to Doha with the opening an advisory office at the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), the Zurich company announced on Tuesday.
“Over many years, Qatar’s story of growth has been as impressive as it has been successful, creating a diversified national economy supported by its natural resources,” said Régis Burger, Global Head Middle East & Africa at Julius Baer.
The wealth manager said it hired Slim Bouker, former head of private banking at Doha Bank, to oversee its expansion while leading its advisory office. It said that it is awaiting the completion of the regulatory approvals for the office and his appointment.
Seeking to tap into the Middle East’s market, the Swiss entity is working with the QFC and the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) “for the incorporation and application process.”
“We have grown our Middle East business by leaps and bounds in the past decades and this move will support our next phase of growth and development in the region,” said Burger.
The major independent wealth manager operates in various parts of the region, including the UAE, Bahrain, and Israel – on illegally occupied Palestinian lands.
Commenting on its Doha expansion, Burger said Qatar’s efforts “to become a sports and education hub in the Middle East” stand out and will help the financial entity “reach great heights”.
Once the office is established, Bouker will be reporting to Alireza Valizadeh, Chief Executive Officer, Julius Baer (Middle East), who describe the Swiss entity as “an established name” in the region.
“Currently, we’re seeing the emergence of the next generation of clients – a generation that likes to look beyond the traditional ways of wealth preservation, especially in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries such as Qatar,” said Valizadeh.
Julius Baer would join other Swiss banking entities in the Gulf state’s growing financial services sector, including UBS AG and Credit Suisse. Other prominent companies in the sector include HSBC, Ernst & Young, and Intesa Sanpaolo.
“Through our local presence, plus our long history in wealth management and wealth transfer between generations, we’re perfectly suited to meet the needs and requirements of this new client group,” added Valizadeh.
According to its website, Julius Baer has operated for more than 130 years and is currently present in more than 25 countries, with more than 60 locations.
Beyond the Middle East, it has offices in Bangkok, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Monaco, and Mumbai among several other countries.
By the end of April this year, the company’s assets reached 457 billion Swiss Franc (more than $450 billion).