Swiss private bank Julius Baer has hired Torsten Linke from Credit Suisse as head of private banking for Southeast Asia and branch manager for Singapore. He replaces incumbent David Lim, who has been named vice chairman for Southeast Asia. Industry observers expect to see further regional management changes.

The latest appointments were effective immediately, with both reporting to Jimmy Lee, who joined Julius Baer in October, though he only started in his role as Asia-Pacific chief executive this month.

The move did not surprise industry observers, given that Lee and Linke have had a long working relationship. Lee had hired Linke to join Credit Suisse in the middle of last year, noted one headhunter. But Lee stayed only a few months longer before moving to Julius Baer. Lee and Linke had also worked together in Deutsche Bank’s wealth management unit. 

“What this means is David has been sidelined to vice chairman at Julius Baer, a role which focuses on serving his existing clients,” the headhunter said. Industry observers said it was highly likely that Lee would make a similar change to the North Asia team, which is currently headed by Kaven Leung. 

Industry observers have speculated that both Lim and Leung may not stay long at Julius Baer. The bank declined to comment.

Both Leung and Lim were deputies to Thomas Meier, Lee’s predecessor as Asia-Pacific chief, and were passed over for the CEO role in favour of Lee, which surprised the industry. Meier returned to Switzerland to take on the role of non-executive vice chairman for wealth management, effective January 1, 2016.  

Subject to regulatory approval of his appointment, Linke will be responsible for Julius Baer’s operations in Singapore and expanding the bank’s business presence and client base in Southeast Asia. 

Linke has 30 years of experience in the financial industry. Prior to joining Julius Baer, he was market leader Indonesia at Credit Suisse

Alison Lim, formerly deputy market group head for Singapore, has reportedly replaced Linke, with Dominique Boer, previously market leader for the Singapore, assuming Lim’s role, with both appointments effective from January 1. Credit Suisse did not respond to a request for confirmation.

Before Credit Suisse, Linke was market manager for Indonesia at Standard Chartered Private Bank from 2009. Previously he held a number of roles at Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management over 24 years in Singapore, London, Frankfurt and Hamburg. These included head of strategy and business development for Southeast Asia, deputy head of Southeast Asia and market manager for Indonesia. 

In his new role, the bank said Lim would focus on deepening and broadening Julius Baer’s client relationships. He will also provide advice on strategic initiatives.