* Assets under management 355 bln Sfr end-H1, up 6 pct on end-2016
* Net new money up annualized 6.1 pct in H1, ahead of target range
* Adjusted net income 404 mln Sfr vs Reuters poll average 373 mln
* Ex-Goldman Sachs banker Beatriz Sanchez appointed head of LatAm (Adds new CEO quote, detail, premarket indicator)
ZURICH, July 24 (Reuters) - Julius Bar had its most successful six months of attracting new assets from wealthy clients since the financial crisis, it said on Monday, boosted by a recent push to recruit more private bankers.
After making a string of acquisitions to grow its business in recent years, Switzerland's third-largest private bank hired more than 100 bankers in 2016 to help gain new clients.
This strategy paid off in the first six months of 2017, with the bank attracting net new money, an indicator of future earnings in private banking, at an annualized rate of 6.1 percent of assets.
This was ahead of its 4-6 percent target range and its best performance since 2008.
"Net inflows exceeded our own expectations," Chief Executive Boris Collardi said in a statement.
It indicates assets gathered by the new bankers accelerated in May and June after Julius Baer had said inflows were in the middle of its 4-6 percent range during the first four months of 2017.
Inflows were particularly high from Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, the bank said in a call with journalists.
There is a typical lag of 18-24 months until a new private banker breaks even.
Shares were indicated up 1.9 percent in pre-market indicators.
Overall, Julius Baer's assets under management grew by 6 percent to 355 billion Swiss francs ($375.18 billion) in the first six months of 2017.
The average estimate in a Reuters poll of five analysts was for the assets managed by the Zurich-based bank to grow to 358 billion francs.
Adjusted net income unexpectedly remained steady year on year at 404 million francs, ahead of the poll average of 373 million francs.
At 69.1 percent Baer's cost/income ratio was shy of its 64-68 percent medium-term target range. The bank expects to reach this range in 2018.
Julius Baer's CET1 capital ratio, a measure of balance sheet strength, was 11.9 percent compared to 10.6 percent at the end of 2016.
The bank also appointed Beatriz Sanchez, previously Goldman Sachs chairwoman for Latin American private wealth management, as its new head of Latin America, effective Dec. 15, taking over from Gustavo Raitzin.
Reuters had reported that Julius Baer was looking for a replacement for Raitzin.
($1 = 0.9462 Swiss francs) (Editing by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Michael Shields)