Bank Julius Baer has hired Eddy Tai in Singapore to the newly created post of head of IT for Asia and the Middle East. He will support the Swiss firm's development of Asia as its 'second home market' and the Lion City as a hub for back office for Asia and the Middle East.

Tai joined from KDI, a consultancy company focusing on implementing business best practices and, before that, spent 15 years with UBS in Hong Kong and Singapore.

"This is a key hire in the COO area," says Markus Kobler, chief operating officer for Asia and the Middle East. "It signifies the importance of Singapore as a hub for the bank in Asia and backbone that will propel the bank's growth in the region."

Tai reports locally to Kobler and functionally to Jochen Jansen, international head of IT.

Julius Baer has been building up headcount in Asia with some high-profile hires in recent months, including Lee Boon Keng from UBS last month and Christopher Burgess in October from Clariden Leu.