Julius Baer splits private banking and asset arms in a bid to unlock value

<!--StartFragment--> SWISS bank Julius Baer is separating its private banking and asset management arms into two &ldquo;independent entities&rdquo;, in a bid to unlock value for shareholders.<br /><br />The group said the split will create two groups with a &ldquo;clear focus&rdquo;.<br /><br />GAM, which sells funds to London investors from Julius Baer&rsquo;s St James&rsquo;s Street office, and Julius Baer Asset Management Europe will be lumped along with US asset manager Artio into a new GAM Holding company.<br /><br />The core private banking arm will become a new Julius Baer Group, with shareholders of the current combined entity being given a share in each new listing in return for each of their current shares.<br /><br />There was speculation the rejig was being completed with an eye to selling troubled GAM yesterday &ndash; the fund of hedge funds busines that has lost half its assets during the credit crunch &ndash; leaving the company as a &ldquo;pure play&rdquo; private bank.<br /><br />But the group insisted the hedge fund will be further integrated with the asset management arm, rather than sold off. <!--EndFragment-->