The former head of Julius Baer’s investment solutions group for Asia Pacific, Kenneth Ho, is setting up an Asian multi-family office, AsianInvestor can reveal.
Ho, who has spent the past nine years with the Swiss private bank, joined US-based Carret Asset Management as a managing partner on October 1, based in Hong Kong.
He describes himself as founder of Carret’s Asian multi-family office on his LinkedIn profile. But Ho tells AsianInvestor he has been tasked with leading the firm’s international (ex-US) business.
He says he is looking to build capacity in both Hong Kong and Singapore, and is eyeing acquisitions of independent asset managers in both markets with licences in place. As such he is firmly in the market to hire up to 40 people across the wealth management spectrum.
“The reality is it is probably easier to be a private banker inside an asset manager than inside a private bank because of the different level of regulation,” he argues.
Ho says Carret’s Asian multi-family office will focus on both liquid and illiquid investing, including potentially launching private equity funds.
Founded in 1963, Carret AM is a New York-headquartered investment advisory firm with $1.7 billion in assets under management.
According to its website it serves wealth managers, corporate relationships, institutions, wealthy individuals and families across 41 states in the US, the District of Columbia and eight countries.
It offers fixed income, domestic equity, global equity and balanced portfolios. Ho’s LinkedIn says Carret’s Asian multi-family office is focused on providing solutions to ultra-high-net-worth clients in emerging markets.
Ho left Julius Baer this September after more than nine years with the firm. Based in Hong Kong, he had served as its head of investment solutions group for Asia Pacific and deputy global head of its investment solutions group.
However, last November AsianInvestor reported that Ho had moved into a role focused on strategic projects, loosely understood to be client development and investment-related projects.
The Swiss bank subsequently named Luigi Vignola as head of its investment solutions group in Asia, in addition to his role as Asia head of markets. He assumed Ho’s duties, based out of Singapore.
Previously Ho was a managing director and head of products at Credit Suisse Private Banking. He has also worked as an executive director for Merrill Lynch, as a senior vice-president at Salomon Brothers and as a business analyst at McKinsey.
Julius Baer declined to comment for this article.