What happens when a long-standing relationship manager (RM) retires? What kind of succession plans are in place? In an exemplary application of the Junior RM Programme, Julius Baer Basel shows how to prepare the next generation of RMs to take over the baton.
Claude Scharowski, Branch and Market Head Julius Baer Basel, started to build up the Basel branch from scratch in 2000. Back in the day, they were only seven people, and the beginning was a struggle for survival. Throughout the years, they have grown continually, and are now a team of approximately 50 people.
As team members depend on each other to accomplish common and individual goals, it is crucial that succession planning is done well in advance. “Julius Baer Basel is like a big family, and as in every family, every single member is important,” says Claude Scharowski about his motivation to foster a meaningful exchange between Junior and Senior RMs.
Continuing Julius Baer’s DNA
Together with his deputy Peter Senn, Claude Scharowski has always planned ahead to make sure the right mix of human resources is in place and that long-term succession is guaranteed on all levels. “The Junior RM Programme helps Julius Baer to develop the next generation of relationship managers”, says Peter Senn, who explains his motivation to work with Junior RMs: “When I started working as a relationship manager, I also had experienced professionals who coached me and shared their best practices with me.” Together with Junior RMs Rolf Schneider and Janick Vogt, Claude Scharowski and Peter Senn illustrate how – with their balanced mix of juniors and seniors, their ‘big family’ as they call it – they tackle succession in a natural way. As Janick Vogt puts it: “It’s a win-win situation, as we learn a lot from each other – the juniors from the seniors and vice versa.” It’s not about imposing one’s way on others though, as Peter Senn emphasises: “The most important thing for me is coaching: asking questions and not just giving solutions, but instead letting others find their own way.” Rolf Schneider confirms: “My superiors give me the freedom to achieve my goals in my own, individual way.”
The Basel team is a model case of how the Junior RM Programme is intended to work. As Claude Scharowski says: “It’s fascinating to have young joiners keeping us, the older generation, up to date by bringing in new ideas. It’s challenging but rewarding, and it enables us to continue Julius Baer’s DNA.”