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‘How much time do we have?’ asks Jim Bouley in response to a question about this year’s challenges. ‘The real difficulties are probably more politically driven. Obviously, we have plenty of things to choose from,’ he says diplomatically.
Not one to dwell on the negative, the former Merrill Lynch man says markets have been excellent this quarter (‘and that puts everyone in a good mood’), signalling a turnaround from last year’s dip. This year, the firm saw a 7.6 per cent rise in its global balanced portfolio. However, this has not changed the investment strategy, which the Arizona-born Bouley – who has been in wealth management since 1981 – describes as ‘cautiously optimistic.’
He adds that clients’ portfolios have been fortified by Julius Baer’s global investment outlook, preventing any financial ripples from being felt too keenly. More than 35 years in financial services have taught Bouley that a winning business is one that aligns with clients’ interests. ‘[It’s] when your client book starts to reflect your own point of view on markets – our book reflects our conservative investment strategy.’ His other strategy is to never get complacent.
‘Don’t underestimate the element of surprise,’ he warns. ‘Whether they’re markets, events or politics, there’s always going to be something that impacts on the work we do every day