Zurich-based private bank Julius Baer is to open a new representative office in Mexico and is hiring a banker from HSBC to head the new division.
Manuel Torroella Velazquez will take charge at the unit. He joins from Monex Grupo Financiero, where he was an executive director. Torroella previously spent 12 years with HSBC as the bank’s head of private banking in Mexico.
As reported by International Investment, Julius Baer announced the closure of both its Panama and Peru offices earlier this month as part of a regional restructuring.
Julius Baer has had a chequered recent history in Latin America. The bank has also withdrawn from Venezuela, following a former Julius Baer banker’s conviction for money laundering. Matthias Krullto was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison for his role in a scheme to launder $1.2bn in funds embezzled from Venezuelan state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela.
According to reports, Beatriz Sanchez, the new boss of Latin America at the Swiss-based private bank, has decided to refocus the bank’s Latin American growth strategy on Mexico and Brazil.
The firm has had a foothold in Mexico since 2015 through its stake in NSC Asesores, a local wealth management company.