Front development

Learning is a powerful driver for competitive advantage. On top of the minimal training that is required from the various regulators, Julius Baer invests a lot in the continuous development of its client-serving employees. In Switzerland for example, all client advisors are trained along the ISO standard 17024 to become 'Certified Wealth Management Advisors (CWMA)'. The offering for front employees also includes competency-based training on advisory skills, banking and product knowledge. To make sure the training offering is in line with the business needs, a community of front ambassadors is involved when creating new learning opportunities. For talented assistants and specialists, the Junior RM Programme offers a great opportunity to develop into a relationship manager role.

All staff development

With the all staff development, Julius Baer offers various possibilities of learning either online or in a classroom training. The current offering includes a broad variety of classroom courses in the areas of leadership, project management, public speaking, design thinking and many more. The courses are held in different languages and take place in different locations around the world. With the online training offering, you can study anytime and at your own pace on mobile devices – wherever you are and whenever you have time. There is a huge variety of topics available, starting from languages, banking skills, tools and system skills to legal & compliance and personal development skills. We further encourage employees not only to participate in targeted in-house programmes but also to pursue focused external training where the Bank offers some sponsorship.

Training and development

The continuous and targeted development of our employees is a core factor for Julius Baer’s success, and it is also a crucial need to support our employees to be ready and nimble for changes in the financial industry and the business environment at large. Through the Julius Baer Academy, we ensure that business needs and individual development goals are matched and that talent and leadership development is supporting a strong cultural and ethical behaviour as well as business excellence. Julius Baer will further develop the learning landscape for all employees to support lifelong learning and to ensure that everybody is well prepared for the changing world we live in today.

Leadership development

Julius Baer expects a lot from its leaders, and asks them to learn and improve continuously. Moreover, Julius Baer identifies and fosters future leadership talent, and offers exciting perspectives to employees with the right motivation to lead. Assessing leadership talent on different levels, by feedback from stakeholders, or by assessment centres, is a regular practice in the Bank. Julius Baer wants leaders to take a coach approach, and has eligible senior managers trained and coached, to empower them to act as mentors to their teams. To support a top-quality first line management function, Julius Baer collaborates with IMD, a leading business school, offering a unique, tailor-made ‘Team Leader Programme’ to people new in a management function.

David Schlumpf: “Learning agility is crucial for the success of a company, and that’s where I would like to tie in and make a difference for Julius Baer”

Fascinated by the power of learning, Head Julius Baer Academy David Schlumpf elaborates on how he wants to instill an employee-centric learning culture throughout Julius Baer.

David, why is learning important for an organisation?
In an environment which is changing ever more rapidly, learnability – the ability to quickly absorb information and adapt to new situations – becomes even more important as information and knowledge are outdated at a much faster rate. Therefore, learning agility is crucial for the success of a company, and that’s where I would like to tie in and make a difference for Julius Baer.

‘Learning’ is a broad term. Can you please elaborate?
We need to understand that work is learning and learning is work: we are talking about two sides of the same coin. Around the turn of the last century, organisations started to prioritise efficiency. As a side effect, learning was banned into the classroom. This led to a separation of learning and work. However, reality shows that we are learning a lot more about our work on the job, for example by networking or through communities (informally), than in a classic classroom setting (formally) – I’m sure you’ve already learned something today by googling or discussing a topic with a colleague. Learning is thus both an organised and self-organised activity, and that’s why our definition of learning ultimately has to consider the whole spectrum of an individual’s learning and development activities.

What does this imply for us as an organisation?
Learning should not be seen as a series of one-off trainings but rather as a continuous experience with different formal and informal touch points. It is an organisational function, present in every role, process and action. This also implies that the responsibility for learning and development will be with the employee – empowered by the organisation and promoted by the corporate learning and development function, namely JB Academy.

In short, you see Julius Baer as a ‘learning organisation’ – what does this vision entail?
Considering myself a lifelong learner and believing in the power of learning, our vision is to establish an employee-centric corporate learning and development environment which will facilitate the ability to continuously learn and innovate – and ultimately impact our organisational performance on a high level. Reaching the state of a learning organisation, however, implies in itself a longer journey of transformation, driven by leadership on all levels and a true learning culture.

How do you plan to foster digital learning?
The goal is to instil a flexible, employee-centric learning model – enabling learning around the clock via a wide range of platforms. On a similar note, we have entered into collaboration with a provider of massive open online courses from over 150 universities and organisations around the world. With this offer, you decide when and where to learn in small video sequences followed by questions and community interactions. It is fun, high-impact continuous learning.

On a closing note, how can I as an employee contribute to making the ‘learning organisation’ a reality?
Stay curious and make it your ambition to become a lifelong learner – not just for the benefit of the Bank, but also for yourself. Learning begins with you, continues in a learning community, and succeeds as a learning organisation.


Candy Leung: “In only one generation, we have gone from traditional classroom-based corporate universities to digital learning”

Candy Leung, Head Julius Baer Academy Asia, elaborates on the rapid development of corporate learning and on the possibilities that digitalisation offers in this area.

How did corporate learning change?
Corporate learning has certainly evolved: in only one generation, we have gone from traditional classroom-based corporate universities to digital learning. Tools like Google, YouTube, Workplace by Facebook, and others have totally changed the learning landscape. We simply have to deliver learning to where the people are.

What about classroom learning?
Classroom learning is still relevant, but technology provides new ways to reinforce what is learnt with short pieces of interactive content that can be accessed on the go. Since 65% of people are visual learners according to the Social Science Research Network, one of the best ways to drive the message home is through visual content.

What do you think about online learning platforms?
This has become particularly useful for business learning. Many companies are embracing continuous learning delivered digitally, and learning is always on and accessible from a range of mobile platforms. Thanks to our mobile learning solution, our employees are able to access online courses from over 150 universities around the world, allowing them to study online either at home or on mobile devices wherever they are and whenever they have time.