(Bloomberg) -- Ali Jamal, a former Julius Baer Group Ltd. banker, is starting a new wealth-management firm focused on billionaire entrepreneurs.
The company, called Azura, is expected to debut within the next few weeks with about $2 billion of advisory assets under management, according to a person familiar with the company’s plans who asked not to be identified as the information is private. A spokesman for Julius Baer declined to comment.
The Monaco-based firm will focus on family office services, investment advisory and club deals. Jamal, a 37-year-old former Kuwaiti army officer, was most recently head of key client emerging markets at Julius Baer. He joined the Swiss private bank in 2013 and has worked in Dubai and Monaco. He previously was at Credit Suisse Group AG. Jamal declined to comment.
Karim Lari, who co-founded the Global Modelling and Analytics Group at Credit Suisse, and Ben Leung, former head of trading and macro research at Broadpoint Asset Management, are also partners at Azura. By the end of the summer, the firm plans to have seven bankers in London and Monaco.
Jamal is targeting a market that’s booming. The $1.4 trillion increase in billionaire wealth to $8.9 trillion in 2017 was driven largely by self-made entrepreneurs, according to a 2018 report by UBS Group AG and PricewaterhouseCoopers. It estimates that there are more than 2,000 billionaires globally.
Azura’s focused offering is designed to help it skirt issues the larger players in the industry are battling. Wealth margins remain pressured, with higher regulatory expenses and growing legal risks.
Jamal’s former employer, Julius Baer, is under pressure as it works through cost cuts and purges riskier accounts. The stock fell the most among Switzerland’s biggest companies last year, before recovering some of those losses in the first six months of 2019. Last month, the bank reported new client money that fell short of its targets.
(Adds Julius Baer comment in second paragraph.)
--With assistance from Patrick Winters.
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