Swiss private banking group Julius Baer is planning to slash 300 jobs after its net profit slumped 37% to CHF465m in 2019 on a year-on-year basis.
The news comes exactly a year after the Swiss private bank announced it was cutting 100 jobs as it grapples with lower growth.
The job cuts are part of CEO Philipp Rickenbacher's three-year plan to improve the bank's profit margins. The bank now plans to "shift from an asset-gathering strategy to one focused on sustainable profit growth".
We will shift our leadership focus from an asset-gathering strategy to one of sustainable profit growth"
Rickenbacher wants to cut the Swiss bank's cost base by 200 million Swiss francs ($207.5mn) "through productivity and efficiency measures". The plan includes reviewing the group's geographic footprint and simplifying the organization.
Of the 300 jobs to be axed, up to 200 will be in Switzerland - where even private bankers who deal directly with clients won't be spared. The bank will start being more active in the coming months at ending relationships with wealthy clients who are no longer profitable enough
Since becoming CEO in September, Rickenbacher has reduced the size of the Baer's executive board to boost efficiency and client focus, particularly on ultra-wealthy clientele.
The bank also revealed it will close its booking centre in the Bahamas. The closure will reportedly result in the termination of 30 employees.
"The booking centre will remain operative for an appropriate period of time in order to allow for an orderly dissolution of the business. The Group is committed to offer all affected clients a suitable alternative.
"All employees have been made aware of this decision today. The Group will assist them throughout this process and continues to rely on their professionalism and support. After the longstanding commitment to The Bahamas, Julius Baer has not taken this decision lightly and regrets the impact of this group-wide programme on local staff and clients," the bank said in a statement.
Julius Baer aims to improve revenue by more than CHF150 million over the plan, it said. The new targets are ambitious and "imply mid-to-high single digit consensus upgrades," Citi said.