Raymond James Financial Services (RJFS) has launched a program to help small banks and credit unions deliver “wealth management” services to their affluent customers.
“Community banks have missed an entire strata of their client base who are doing business with full-service brokerage firms because they can’t meet their sophisticated needs,” says Jim Fult, president of the RJFS Financial Institutions Division.
Fult’s division already supervises 500 RJFS brokers who work inside about 400 small bank branches around the country. The goal of the firm’s new Private Banking Program is to help those banks move beyond their typical mix of packaged products and begin providing services for clients with $500,000 or more in investable assets, he says.
Those services include financial planning, fee-based accounts, retirement planning, trusts and estate plans, and other sophisticated financial products such as private investment partnerships and exchange funds.
For most banks that establish a private banking program, the branch’s “relationship manager” will be a RJFS broker, says Fult. But RJFS also offers to train the bank’s loan officers, trust department managers or bank branch managers to serve as the wealth management “quarterback,” he says.
Fult says he hopes to form alliances with at least 15 small banks in the Midwest before the end of 2002. When the firm announced the new program on September 4, it said it had already signed the MidCity Bank in Chicago and the Amarillo National Bank in Amarillo, Tex.
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