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Wealth managers court family businesses

Private banks are making a concerted effort to win clients from family businesses as they seek to grow their onshore assets under management, writes David Bain.
 
Swiss wealth managers who are under pressure to diversify away from non-compliant offshore money are rolling out a number of new initiatives.
 
"Private banks are wanting to court family members of businesses because they know their financial matters will be compliant," said a Zurich-based senior private banker.
 
"These individuals and families weren't about to risk their businesses by being non-compliant. They are the most attractive clients to have in these post credit crisis times."
 
Details about the services likely to be offered are still vague, but banks likely to be gearing up their services in this area include UBS, Bank Sarasin and Clariden Leu.
 
UBS is close to launching a new family office service, which will be linked to the investment banking business.
 
One source said the new service is expected to resemble the Credit Suisse "one bank" initiative for the bank's ultra-high net worth clients. Credit Suisse links its three financial services specialties – investment banking, asset management and wealth management – to provide a host of services, which is combined by a unit called solution partners to help bring these services together for its wealthiest clients.
 
Oswald Grubell led much of the thinking behind the one bank initiative when he was chief executive of Credit Suisse. Grubell now heads up UBS and is likely to be a big proponent of a more linked up service for UBS' wealthiest clients.
 
The push to gain family businesses as clients might also be due to the need to rebuild trust among wealthy clients. A Campden FB survey earlier this year found family businesses were frustrated with the services they were receiving from private banks and many were looking to change provider.

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