Monday, December 8, 2008
Julius Baer: Letter from the Chairman
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Following last week's announcement of the unexpected passing away of Alex W. Widmer, CEO of Bank Julius Baer, I was touched by the many expressions of condolences I received for which I would like to thank you.
On the background of financial markets which have been difficult and volatile for many months now, his sudden death unfortunately has lead to numerous speculations.
While I understand some of the reactions, I consider it important for you to know that
- There is no link between this personal tragedy and the ongoing successful business of Bank Julius Baer.
- Julius Baer continues to enjoy a sound balance sheet and solid capital base, as it was stated in the Interim Management Statement (IMS) on 11 November 2008. We continued to and still do record gratifying Private Banking flows in the second half.
- Business continuity is excellently assured by the appointment of Hans de Gier, who has assumed the leadership of Bank Julius Baer with immediate effect. He served successfully as the CEO of the Julius Baer Group until September 2008 when he stepped down to focus on his function as Chairman of GAM.
- Bank Julius Baer has both a strong, well-established organisation and a highly qualified and experienced management team. Alex W. Widmer was always anxious to lead the Bank with a team of professionals. They are ready to continue the success story under the guidance of Hans de Gier.
- Last but not least, as an exchange listed company, we immediately would have to inform the market if a major change contradicting the Interim Management Statement were to occur.
I am fully aware that last week's news cannot be put aside easily - nor should it. Alex W. Widmer's passion for clients and employees will always remain a shining example for all of us.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your trust as well as the pleasant cooperation during 2008 and wish you and your loved ones a calm and festive season and all the best for the New Year.
Raymond J. Baer
Chairman of the Board of Directors