Private Banks are no longer as elitist as in the past and provide access to multiple areas of expertise to allow a more global vision of heritage. Tailor-made financial and wealth management for their clients is the goal of these high-end banking establishments. Tailor-made yes, but not for anyone!
To push the doors of private banks and see your heritage taken care of by these top-notch experts, you have to show your feet, or rather a (relatively) well-stocked portfolio. Private banking is no longer reserved for the elite or the wealthy, however.
Client in a private bank
To be accepted as a client in a private bank, you must be able to place a minimum sum, which varies from one establishment to another, of € 75,000 for the least demanding to 3 million Euros (HSBC Private Banking). This is a net asset; hard-hitting money to place in the books of the bank, excluding real estate or pleasure investments (works of art or collector cars for example).
There may be exceptions, private banks also being attached to the potential of the client. “If he is a young entrepreneur whose company is growing, then we can help him develop his heritage, both personal and professional,” says Tanguy Poled, managing director of Swiss Life Private Bank.
Business managers are one of the categories of customers most sought after by private banks. “The objective is to support the growth of professional and private wealth from an inter generational perspective,” explains Sophie Brail, director of clients at OBC. Some establishments, such as Nebulizer, BNP Paribas Wealth Management and Reroof Peterman, have business managers specially trained in corporate law to assist managers.All profiles have their place, however, as long as they meet the financial selection criteria.
But, to begin with, what is a “private” bank? The difference with a traditional retail bank is not limited to the cozy lounges, the leather armchairs and the discretion of its offices. It is mainly due to the services it offers to its customers, the purpose of which is to produce returns through tailor-made management of the assets entrusted. “Our first mission is to seek performance for the client’s heritage, provide personalized service and reorganize assets if necessary,” explains François de Saint-Pierre, managing partner of Lazard Freres Gestation and responsible for private management.
In addition to the historic establishments of private banking, which have long positioned themselves on wealthy and affluent customers (Edmond de Rothschild Group, JPMorgan Chase, Banquet Lazard, Credit Suisse, etc.), almost all of the more “popular” banking networks have developed their department dedicated to private management.
Insurance companies (Swiss Life) or asset management companies (Ampleness, Meeschaert) also offer this type of service for large assets. “Simple management is no longer enough,” notes Alexandre Neuvy, managing partner and director of private management for Ampleness. Customers come not only to seek performance, but also a service, skills on the heritage. They don’t want what they find in a network bank, but experts available. Expertise in various fields is what promises private banks above all.
Clients are also looking for specific and tailor-made investments, impossible to subscribe to in a traditional bank. “We offer them an investment universe that the agencies cannot market because they are too technical. For example, access to external funds, private equity in companies, cutting-edge tax exemptions… ”, specifies Belorgey, director of BNP Paribas private bank.