It's Not All About Money: Memoirs of a Private Banker

Overview

In his memoir, Hans J. Baer reveals the drive and emotions behind one of the most distinguished careers in swiss banking in the twentieth century. During his almost sixty-year career as manager of the Julius Baer Group, he helped develop it into one of the largest independent wealth managers in Switzerland. When scandal involving the dormant accounts of Jews murdered in the Third Reich rocked the staid and secretive swiss banking community, Baer brought his leadership and negotiation skills to the table, ...
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Overview

In his memoir, Hans J. Baer reveals the drive and emotions behind one of the most distinguished careers in swiss banking in the twentieth century. During his almost sixty-year career as manager of the Julius Baer Group, he helped develop it into one of the largest independent wealth managers in Switzerland. When scandal involving the dormant accounts of Jews murdered in the Third Reich rocked the staid and secretive swiss banking community, Baer brought his leadership and negotiation skills to the table, ultimately helping to form the Volcker Commission.It's Not All About Money is the extraordinary story of a high-finance insider. As the title suggests, more than even his prominent career, his devotion to music, art, and philanthropy have been central to Baer's life. He relates his interactions with the Shah of Iran, his friendship with Carnegie Hall savior Isaac Stern, and other luminaries of art and science. Baer shares his intriguing story with humor and humility.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this surprisingly warm and wise memoir, banker and first-time author Baer recounts his privileged but accomplished life, taking readers from Zurich to New York and back again, with stops around the globe. Following his father's death at the end of 1940, Baer's mother took him and his siblings to America, where he attended private schools, fell in love with New York and, ultimately, made the difficult decision to return to Zurich to follow in his father's footsteps at the family banking firm, the Julius Baer Group. Highly knowledgeable regarding shifting political and economic climates worldwide, Baer's perspective-on everything from banking to the 9/11 attacks to music and friendships-is clear-eyed and intriguing, especially his honest account of the banking world's reaction to the World Jewish Congress's attempts to win back the assets of Holocaust victims. Though an unremitting cascade of names may frustrate, Baer's account is a smart, personal look at the international challenges of the post-war world, as well as a life lived well through philanthropy, the arts and rich relationships, with a motivational streak that should connect even with those who don't have a successful Swiss financial institution on their side. 32 pages of b&w photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780825305474
  • Publisher: Beaufort Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/7/2008
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Hans J. Baer was born in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1927. He graduated from Lehigh University in 1947 with a B.S. and in 1950 received his M.A. in economics from New York University. Baer joined the private banking firm Bank Julius Baer in 1947 and was made a partner in 1960. He became chairman of the board in 1997.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     xiii
Introduction: From Pearl Harbor to Ground Zero     1
The United States at War (1941): No cuffs on shirts and trousers     5
A Family History (1890-1941): The oldest son is always called Julius     9
In the U.S.A. (1941): Saddle sore, athlete's foot, and poison ivy     29
Horace Mann School (1941-44): A green tie saved my Latin grade     38
Life at Lehigh: You should become a diplomat     43
A Swiss Interlude: I love Europe     54
Poor Georg Solti: I was sure I wouldn't see him again     59
Return to New York: Brown Brothers Harriman and New York (1948-50; 1968)     68
After My Studies: The lack of alternatives concentrates the mind     82
Intermezzo in Israel: Nordmann's most expensive night     90
Weizmann Institute of Science and Princeton Institute for Advanced Study (1947-52): Beautiful minds     106
Bank and Family: One-third for each son     116
Corporate Governance and the Working Day (1950-95): The day has twenty-four hours...     124
Ilse Baer-Kaelin (1952-2002): The room waiter in bed     135
The Bank Julius Baer: The Years before Going Public (1946-74): Let him run. We all started out small     143
On the Way to Going Public (1970-81): Our charming disorganization     173
Real Estate (1952-89): Bieri's simple and functional building     182
In the Age of It (1966-95): It's easier to follow the crowd     190
Baer Custodian Corporation (1940-84): Foreign affairs     196
The Euro Market (1957-85): Siegmund Warburg's ingenious idea     217
Berenberg-Gossler (1968-88): Sauerkraut and sausage     230
Alpbach: The ABCs of banking (1965-80)     237
World Bank: Brothels don't serve fried eggs     246
Secondary Banking Crisis (1967-74): Like at the court of a medieval king     250
Herstatt (1974): If you know the names of the players, the game is over     265
The Mutual Fund Business (1959-71): Miniskirts promoted the fund business     272
Mexico (1955-82): Sovereign countries don't go bankrupt     278
Banco Ambrosiano/UBS Participation (1972-82): You can't run the church on Hail Marys     283
Business in Japan (1977-92): Asleep on the desk     297
Swiss American Chamber of Commerce (1973-78): I won't ride in a Mercedes     306
Sabbatical at Oxford (1975): They are so innocent, and we are so decadent     311
Thanks to Galbraith at Harvard (1978-79): Leave me alone, I'm Swiss     319
From the Swiss Banking School to the SFI (1986-2005): Not enough crazies in Switzerland     323
Musical Reminiscences: Goldberg's shirt and my bicycle     329
Artists I Have Known (1935-2000): A dead mouse in the red wine     342
Tonhalle (1977-91): When music is the food of love     360
The Chilled Piano (1982-88): You're all so nice so I'll let you all in     384
The Organ War (1984-88): Farewell from the organ for a nun's chapel     396
Festival Weeks (1987-99): Radetzky in a cloud of sound     404
Anti-Semitism (1943-2002): Nothing learned and nothing forgotten     409
Dormant Accounts (1995-2002): Fit and proper     417
Quo Vadis?: Metamorphosis of success     461
Genealogy of the Baer Family     467
Photograph Credits     473
Bear and Ulrich Family Trees     474
Index     483

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