Private Banking

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May 6, 2008 3:17 pm

Does anyone on this board work in the private banking area?  If so, can you give a quick synopsis of how your prospecting, relationship management and services provided differs from those working in bank brokerages?  I understand private bankers deal with substantial accounts (like $10mm minimum or $25mm minimum) but I haven't been able to find a lot of info on this site concerning the services they provide and how they find/retain their clients.  If you're in a bank brokerage and have some insight, please let me know.

May 6, 2008 8:28 pm

I’m curious about that too.  It seems like a lot of the money is right there in front of you and propspecting, while I’m sure it’s by no means easy, is much less difficult than it would be at a big wirehouse.  I wondered if it would be a bad idea to start out at a bank and for two years try to really bend over backwards getting to know all of the clients and build a strong relationship, and then make the move to a company like ML with a better than average book for someone just 2 years in.  I’m sure it’s not that easy, but it seems like a decent idea.  What do you all think?

May 6, 2008 9:40 pm

The Private Banking wing of the Bank I’m with says anyone with over 250k liquid is ok for private banking.  They offer some investment services, some still go to the investment wing, and of what I see the private banking specific products they have are marginal at best, very little perk over what the straight retail bank offers.  They do larger loans than we see on the retail end, but the rates aren’t much different, and they play by the same DSR, credit score type rules we do. What I see is more warm fuzzies and a concierge service than real proactive wealth management. 

I think most of these customers would be better suited for one of the perk laiden checking accounts from the wirehouses, and someone that can explain why you don’t need 1m liquid in a checking account paying 2-3% if the bulk of your expenses are under 10k and could be doing much more.

It’s good for exposure to HNW, and it’s nice to have retail branches handing those people to you by the dozens, but a savvy retail banker in a nice area has the same if not more exposure to this wealth. 

This is just my experience in my bank though.

May 7, 2008 2:31 pm

Interesting.  I had thought that private bankers would be more actively involved in their clients' overall financial picture (banking, investments, insurance, estate planning, etc.) being that where you do your regular banking is often the first point of contact.  Does anyone know of any banks that are moving in this direction?  Maybe it's just my lack of knowledge about the retail investment world but it would seem like a great area of business.

May 7, 2008 5:44 pm

With the bank I’m in they don’t do any sort of comission, just bonuses.  The bonuses are based on things like retention of HNW, Opening new products, and how much money they bring in.  But of what I’ve seen in pay a good person in the private banking would be making less than an FA at a wirehouse that is teetering on the edge of unemployment.

Again, just what I have seen at the institution I work at.