Case Study

Julius Baer Group: Integrating three private banks from UBS

16 pages
May 2008
Reference: IMD-3-1840

Although private bank Julius Baer Group was established over 100 years ago in Zurich, Switzerland, by 2005 the group was at a crossroads. For years, industry speculation was that Baer would be acquired by a larger rival. But they surprised everyone by announcing the purchase of three of UBS’s private banks, as well as its asset management group, GAM. The case describes the integration of the banks and the way that they overcame the challenges of a mid-sized private bank operating in a consolidating industry. With a new senior management team and the Baer family no longer a controlling owner, they saw this as an opportunity to build the world’s best private bank. But, mergers are easy to envision and hard to execute. The frustrating statistics on the success rate of mergers and acquisitions are well-known. So the bank knew that its approach to the integration would be critical to its future success. They had to work quickly to form a unified team out of four distinct private banking units, each with a specific geography, clientele and way of conducting business. Client retention through this massive undertaking would be key. But could Baer make it through the minefield of technical and cultural integration before them and emerge as a larger, stronger, global leader in private banking?

Learning Objective

To examine the specifics and generalities of a complex, yet successful, organizational integration. Crucial operational and corporate culture issues are highlighted, as are merger process design and timeline management.

Keywords
Integration, Merger, Corporate Culture, Mergers and Acquisitions, Merger Process, Banking, Financial Services
Settings
Switzerland
Julius Bär Group, Finance and Insurance, Financial Services
2005-2008
Type
Field Research
Copyright
© 2008
Available Languages
English
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