The continued recovery of most investment categories until recently resulted in a positive market performance, while the currency impact remained neutral overall. Net new money remained favourable with all regions contributing positively year to date, yet at a slower pace since mid-year 2009. Supported by the growing number of relationship managers, the Julius Baer Group continued to record healthy inflows across all regions, particularly pleasing again from the growth markets. The generally tense regulatory environment in some of the European countries, however, is leading to some clients relocating assets. In addition, the Julius Baer Group has initiated a phased exit from its US client business.
As anticipated, the return on assets is tending lower compared to the first half of 2009, mainly influenced by the tightening of interest rate spreads, the continued yet moderate improvement of client activity from low levels and the fact that clients are still substantially invested in cash or cash-equivalent products. With ongoing cost-efficiency programmes well containing the Group’s expense base, the cost/income ratio remained stable compared to the first six months of 2009. The ING Bank transaction is still expected to be closed in the first quarter of 2010. The integration process has been initiated.
The Julius Baer Group continues to maintain a sound balance sheet and a solid capital base. Considering the USD 300 million proceeds from the Artio Global IPO concluded by the end of September 2009, the BIS Tier 1 ratio of the Julius Baer Group continued to exceed 19%, well above the target of 12%.