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Banks for the Wealthy

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Banks for the Wealthy

Post  LuvDinar on Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:01 pm

All banks are not created equally, and not every bank is particularly suited for catering to the affluent market. Those that are tend to share a few characteristics, including a sizable amount of assets under management (AUM), a healthy profitability and a ratio of clients to relationship managers that favors its clientele.
They also tend to share a number of services that fall under the mantle of wealth management, including a broad range of investment management services, such as portfolio allocation and asset management; a variety of planning strategies, from taxes to retirement to succession and inheritance; and access to various investment opportunities not typically available to retail customers.

In setting themselves apart from one another, the private banking divisions of these banks are making efforts to provide unique and highly individualized services unavailable elsewhere. As a result, these services provide a reasonable means by which to determine which banks are best suited for the wealthiest clientele.

Voted the best global private bank four years running by Euromoney, UBS is the second-largest bank in Europe and the largest manager of private wealth assets in the world. The company came together in 1998 following a merger of the Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank Corporation, and the acquisition of Paine Webber & Co. in 2000 gave them a tremendous foothold in the area of retail stock brokerage. Headquartered in both Basel and Zurich, Switzerland, UBS also has retail offices in the U.S. and in over 50 other countries.

Service highlights:
Wealth management clients have access to Art Banking (art research, acquisitions and sale, estate planning and curatorial management) and a number of numismatic services, including valuation of coins and precious metals and auction representation.
UBS Funds allows access to a comprehensive range of mutual funds.
UBS Optimus Foundation facilitates client contribution to philanthropic and humanitarian projects. All administrative costs are paid by UBS, allowing 100% of client funds to go straight to the various projects.

Headquartered in New York City, Citigroup was formed in the 1998 merger of Citicorp and Traveler’s Group. Its assets total $2.02 trillion, putting the firm at the top of the Forbes Global 2000 list as the world’s largest firm for 2006 and 2007. Furthermore, Euromoney has ranked Citigroup second among private banks worldwide for the past two years.

Service highlights:
A comprehensive Multiple Residence and Farm Advisory Service advises clients on the management and maintenance of multiple properties. This service includes taking inventory of valuables as well as the training of domestic staff on the proper care of furnishings.
The Art Advisory Service includes strategies to build collections, curatorial management services, estate planning, and assistance in financing pieces of art.
An in-house finance team provides clients assistance in the process of acquiring and financing private aircraft.

Headquartered in London, HSBC Holdings PLC has retail offices in 68 cities worldwide. With assets totaling over $1.8 trillion, it ranks third in the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world’s largest firms and has also ranked third among the world’s best private banks by Euromoney for the past two years. HSBC’s private banking business has been growing through the recent acquisition of The Bank of Bermuda, Republic New York Corporation and Safra Republic Holdings.

Service highlights:
HSBC’s Specialist Advisory Services feature not just property, taxes and family office, but also charities and foundations, immigration services and diamonds and jewelry.
An advisory service for onshore dollar deposits, global fund strategy and emerging markets.

JPMorgan Chase
The 2000 merger between Chase Manhattan Corporation and JPMorgan & Co. created JPMorgan Chase & Co. Headquartered in New York City, its assets total over $1.3 trillion, and it boasts the biggest hedge fund in the United States, with $34 billion in assets. In 2006, Euromoney ranked JPMorgan Chase the No. 4 private bank in the world.

Service highlights:
Access to financial advisers available to serve as agents in the negotiation of contracts and leases, in addition to providing asset, investment, and risk management.
Assistance with asset, investment and risk management.

Barclays was founded in 1896, and is headquartered in London under the holding company of Barclays PLC. At the moment, Barclays is poised to become the fourth largest financial services provider in the world if the proposed merger with ABN AMRO, the biggest bank in the Netherlands, is approved.

Service highlights:
Bespoke services for clients in financial asset leveraging, foreign exchange and derivatives, residential and commercial property finance, and marine and aircraft finance.
Banking services include multi-currency cash funds, overseas asset structuring, foreign currency, and foreign exchange.
Wealth structuring services include pension solutions and structures that address different legal jurisdictions.
Its private bankers provide independent advice, as Barclays Private Bank is not tied to any product provider.

Credit Suisse
Founded in 1856, and headquartered in Zurich, Credit Suisse is the second-largest bank in Switzerland. Its private banking division is one of the largest such organizations in the world, and for the last two years it has ranked in Euromoney’s list as one of the top five private banks worldwide.

Service highlights:
Private investment opportunities, including private equity funds (minority co-investments, leveraged buyouts and mezzanine investments), hedge funds, collateralized bond funds, and venture capital.
Bond portfolio structuring in a wide variety of securities, including municipal, government, corporate, and high yield securities.

Private client brokerage services, including acting as a broker, executing trades and in-depth portfolio allocation.

The personal touch
More and more, the world’s wealthiest individuals are migrating towards private banks. According to a recent survey by Tulip Financial Research, in the recent past, those individuals preferred private banks largely due to the personalized service afforded to them. However, they are now turning to private banks because of the range of wealth investment advice and wealth management services available. Private banks are responding in kind, and one can safely expect the services they offer to become more and more specialized.

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