Specialized banking services cater to the very wealthy.
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.
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. UBS
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:
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.
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:
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.