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Audit is an integral part of our corporate governance. While retaining their independence, the External Auditors and Group Internal Audit (GIA) closely coordinate their work. The Audit Committee and ultimately the Board of Directors supervise the adequacy of audit work.
The statutory auditor of the Julius Baer Group is KPMG AG (KPMG), Zurich, Switzerland since 2006.
KPMG attends all meetings of the Audit Committee, reporting on the findings of its audit and/or interim review work and providing a report as to its independence to the Audit Committee at least once a year.
The external auditor is assessed yearly by the Audit Committee. The assessment includes a judgement of the external auditor’s qualification and independence (based on the External Audit Guideline). In addition, the Audit Committee assesses the scope and quality of the reports and management letters submitted to Management and the Audit Committee. It also recommends to the Board of Directors the appointment or replacement of the External Auditors, subject to shareholder approval as required by Swiss law.
Group internal audit
With 40 professionals as at 31 December 2020, Group Internal Audit (GIA) performs the global internal audit function for the Julius Baer Group.
GIA is an independent and objective function that provides independent and objective assurance to the Board of Directors on safeguards taken by management (i) to protect the reputation of the Group, (ii) to protect its assets and (iii) to monitor its liabilities. GIA provides assurance by assessing the reliability of financial and operational information, as well as compliance with legal, regulatory and statutory requirements.
Audit reports with key issues are provided to the Chief Executive Officer, the Executive Board members of the Bank and other responsible members of management. In addition, the Chairman and the Audit Committee members are regularly informed about important audit issues. GIA further assures the closure and successful remediation of audit issues executed by Management.
To maximise its independence from management, the Head of GIA reports directly to the Chairman and to the Chairperson of the Audit Committee for delegated duties. GIA has unrestricted access to all accounts, books, records, systems, property and personnel, and must be provided with all information and data needed to fulfil its auditing duties.