Julius Baer hires former Doha Bank exec for Qatar foray

 Julius Baer hires former Doha Bank exec for Qatar foray

Swiss wealth management firm Julius Baer, which also offers private equity investment opportunities to ultra-rich individuals, has hired a senior executive from Doha Bank to oversee its expansion plans into Qatar.

Julius Baer, which is looking to set up an advisory office in Qatar, has hired Slim Bouker from the wealth management arm of Doha Bank.

Bouker will oversee the expansion and lead the new office, once all the regulatory approvals have been obtained. Bouker will be a managing director and senior advisor at Julius Baer, the Swiss firm said.

The new office is expected to open in the Qatar Financial Centre, subject to local government approvals. Julius Baer said it is working with the Qatar Financial Centre Authority and the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority for the incorporation and application process.

Bouker, who was the head of private banking at Doha Bank, will report to Alireza Valizadeh, chief executive officer of Julius Baer (Middle East) Ltd.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Bouker is a graduate of the New York University’s Leonard N Stern School of Business, the American University of Paris and Paris Dauphine University.

He started his career at JP Morgan Chase and went on to work at Gulf Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Noor Islamic Bank, Qatar First Bank and then Doha Bank.

From 2016, he has also been heading a family office in the UAE as its chief executive officer. He has also been on the boards of the American University of Paris and Chestertons MENA.

Julius Baer backs private equity and venture capital firms via its Zurich, Switzerland-based arm Bank Julius Baer Private Equity. In July 2020, the Swiss bank had poached Giuseppe De Filippo, a senior executive from rival UBS, to set up its new division offering private equity and debt investments to its ultra-wealthy clients.

Traditional wealth management firms like Julius Baer, Credit Suisse and UBS have been forced by a prolonged period of low interest rates to offer illiquid investment options to their super-wealthy clientele to generate higher returns.

“We have grown our Middle East business by leaps and bounds in the past decades and this move will support our next phase of growth and development in the region,” said Régis Burger, global head of Middle East and Africa at Julius Baer.

Aman Malik

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