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How do Private Bankers Acquire New Clients?

For decades in Asia, Private Bankers rose into position through the banks’ Management Associate Program or as Assistants to Private Bankers for many years, before they inherit a small portfolio to be a junior Private Banker.

With the fast growing wealth in Asia, Private Banks are aggressively, getting junior Priority Bankers with a decent portfolio, betting on their strong networking ability and youth to develop accounts, and in time to build up a sizeable portfolio.

We look at some ways Private Bankers acquire new clients.

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No. 1 Existing Clients

Lamborghini Car
Lamborghini Car

Private Bankers are well associated with millionaires, and sometimes billionaires.  This means clients’ friends, families and business associates could be wealthy too.

Referrals by clients are the leading source of new clients for Private Bankers.  Clients’ friends could be unhappy with their existing Private Bank, Private Banker or investment recommendations, and subsequently request for recommendations to a good Private Banker.  And since turnover rate is high as a Private Banker and as they quit or change jobs, clients would need a new Private Banker.  Thus, a referral would come sooner or later.


No. 2 Existing Contacts

Rich Kids
Rich Kids

As you grow professionally, your network grows too.  And your friends and network do get wealthy gradually or suddenly.

As it is not easy to become a Private Banker, finding a Private Banker therefore is not easy too.  Many successful Private Bankers manage accounts for only the wealthiest people.  So if one has about $5 Million, it is not easy to find a good Private Banker.  So that leaves little choice, but maybe with the Private Banker they know.

Unless, they do not want their friend (you) to know their wealth.


No. 3 Business Partners

Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina

Private Bankers work with various business partners to exchange businesses and network. Below is a list of businesses which target the high net-worth clients.  Some Private Bankers actively work with them to not only grow their network, but also to learn about different businesses and how they can add value to clients’ personal and financial matters.

  • Lawyers
  • Accountants
  • Property Agents
  • Insurance Agencies
  • Private Equity Firms
  • Investment Banking Units
  • Hedge Funds
  • Investment Management Firms
  • Trust Services
  • Luxury Concierge
  • Luxury Lifestyle


No. 4 Business Associations


Businessmen and entrepreneurs have the fastest and highest wealth growth rate.  Private Bankers join or work with business associations to tap onto their wide business network.


No. 5 Country Clubs / Other Clubs


A more expensive way is getting Country Club memberships, which can cost anywhere from low thousands to a few hundred thousands.

Private Banking clients are successful and for some clients, have a strong lifestyle preference.  Joining Country Clubs is a great way to get to know these clients.

There are other groups such as clubs for Luxury Car, Boats, Watches, Antiques, Paintings … … lifestyles associated with the rich.


No. 6 Introducers

Chinese Family on Private Jet
Chinese Family on Private Jet

Close friend of Taylor Swift, Jack Ma, Jackie Chan.  Best friend of the rich kids of Billionaires?

Private Bankers work hard to get to know the people who knows the wealthiest people. ;;;They often get them to introduce clients to them, with them becoming official introducers.  Sometimes, introducers get incentives when they refer clients .


No. 7 Networking

Private Banking Event
Private Banking Event

The modern Private Bankers are rarely gifted a large portfolio of clients.  For junior Private Bankers and aspiring Private Bankers, they have to spend lots of time on networking.

Getting into the network for millionaires requires some work while getting into the billionaires network is, the odds of becoming a billionaire.


No. 8 Private Bank’s Organic Acquisition

Client Acquisition
Client Acquisition

If the Private Banker is fortunate, there may be a client acquisition team or marketing team that build suitable and potential clients’ leads for the Private Banker and Private Bankers.

As the Private Bank may have a handful to hundreds of Private Bankers, this channel of client acquisition strategy may take a longer time to bear fruits for the Private Banker.

These are 8 ways Private Bankers get new clients. Anymore?


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