Swiss private bank Julius Baer has appointed Takuma Mizuguchi to build out and lead its first Japan desk in Singapore. It has also hired a head of business development for the Japanese arm of Swiss firm TFM Asset Management, of which it owns 60%.

Mizuguchi joined Julius Baer as senior relationship manager yesterday (November 2) from Credit Suisse, where he had been a director in the bank’s international team in Singapore since 2012. He reports to Wolfgang Humbert-Droz, market head for Japan in Zurich. Credit Suisse did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

In a statement, Julius Baer said its Japan business had experienced continued growth and that opening a desk in Singapore, a hub for international wealth management, would further drive business expansion.

Mizuguchi has more than 20 years of experience in banking. Before Credit Suisse, he served as executive director of the private banking department at Nomura Securities for seven years and held senior roles at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

Julius Baer will hire an unspecified number of relationship managers and support staff this year for the Japan desk in Singapore, which will add to its Japan desks in Zurich, Geneva and Hong Kong.

In Tokyo, Stefan Hofer rejoined the bank on November 2 in the business development role at TFM. Julius Baer said this was a newly created position, but declined to clarify who had previously looked after the business development function. Hofer reports to Hirokazu Mikuniya, TFM’s representative in Japan.

TFM predominantly services Japanese high-net-worth private clients. It will be renamed as Julius Baer Wealth Management, pending regulatory approval. 

Julius Baer had acquired 60% of Swiss asset manager TFM's Japan business in early 2013, giving it a local presence in Tokyo.

Before rejoining Julius Baer, Hofer was chief investment adviser for Asia at BNP Paribas Wealth Management in Hong Kong. Previously, he had been emerging market strategist at Julius Baer from 2007 to 2014. BNP Paribas declined to comment on who replaced Hofer.