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Julius Bär April-end AUM hits record high

Julius Bär Gruppe AG said its AUM reached a record CHF427 billion at the end of April, a year-to-date increase of 12%.

The Swiss private banking group said the increase was driven by strong positive market performance and currency impacts, net new money inflows, and the first-time consolidation of Mexican wealth management firm NSC Asesores SA de CV, Asesor en Inversiones Independiente.

Annualized net new money growth accelerated toward the end of the period to 3% after a soft start, driven by solid inflows from Asia and Europe-based clients, Julius Bär said.

The group's gross margin for the first four months stood at 82 basis points, up from 79.6 basis points in the second half of 2018, which it attributed to higher client transaction activity and brokerage commissions combined with higher performance fees from its wealth and asset management unit, Kairos.

Cost-to-income ratio — excluding integration and restructuring expenses, as well as the amortization of intangible assets related to acquisitions or divestments, and provisions and losses — was below 73%, improving from 74.3% in the second half of 2018. The improvement did not yet benefit from the 2019 cost reduction program, Julius Bär noted, adding that cost savings from the program are expected to start materializing partly in the financial results for the second half and fully in 2020.

The group said its BIS total capital ratio was 19.2%, compared to 18.7% at the end of 2018, while the BIS common equity Tier 1 ratio strengthened to 13.1% from 12.8% at 2018-end, despite an impact of approximately 30 basis points from the first-time consolidation of NSC Asesores.

Julius Bär will publish detailed first-half results July 22.