Offshore Bankers

What is a Relationship Manager?

As the name speaks for itself, Relationship Managers represent the bank or financial institution and manage relationships with clients.

In Wealth Management, Relationship Managers manage a portfolio of clients, typically in Priority Banking.  They provide wealth & financial advisory to clients and work with products such as stocks, bonds, foreign exchange, derivatives, unit trusts, structured products, insurance linked products and estate & trust services.


Personal Banker Working Hard

1What does a Relationship Manager really do?

A Relationship Manager is the key person representing the bank or financial institution to the client.  He or she will have to nurture a strong relationship with clients and find out more about their financial situations and financial aspirations. Thereafter, Relationship Managers can work with their wealth management team to provide a comprehensive suite of wealth management solution to clients.

A Relationship Manager does more than just managing relationship and providing wealth & financial advice.  The Relationship Manager needs to acquire clients, manage sales & revenue, manage clients & portfolio, ensure documents and procedures are in line with internal compliance, adhering to local and global regulations, attending regular training and doing administrations and operational tasks.

Read More: What does a Relationship Manager do?


Bank of China

2Why are there also Relationship Managers in Corporate Banking and Institutional Banking?

Similarly, in Corporate Banking & Institutional Banking, Relationship Managers managed relationships with corporates and institutions.

In Wealth Management, most Relationship Managers handle individual relationships.  At times, they may be corporate relationships such as handling accounts for individuals whose assets may be parked under a company instead.  There could also be companies, fund managers, charity organisations, university endowment funds that require wealth management services.  This classification depends on the business model of the financial institution.


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3How do you become a Relationship Manager?

A Relationship Manager role is usually not for fresh graduates but for wealth managers or bankers with some experience in wealth and financial advisory. This is because Relationship Managers are expected to have adequate knowledge or experience in managing a portfolio of clients.

The job title “Relationship Managers” are usually assigned to advisors managing affluent clients’ account such as in Priority Banking, Premier Banking or Privilege Banking.  Though in general,  “Relationship Manager” refers to all the jobs listed below since all wealth managers actually manage clients’ relationship for the banks.

Client Segment Banking Type Job Titles
Mass Market Personal Banking Personal Banker, Personal Financial Consultant, Personal Wealth Manager
Affluent Priority Banking Priority Banker, Premier Banker, Privilege Banker, Preferred Banker, Relationship Manager
High Net Worth Private Banking Private Banker, Client Advisor


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Relationship Manager

4What is the procedure to become one?

Most Relationship Managers or Wealth Managers in banking begin their Wealth Management career as Personal Bankers providing financial advisory to clients in retail banking.  Common job titles include Personal Financial Consultants or Personal Wealth Managers.

For Personal Bankers, they usually go through a period of 1 – 2 months of intense training, learning about banking & wealth management.  They will also need to have the required regulatory license, which means taking examinations.

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5Is there any qualifying criteria?

Having a tertiary education and a minimum age (Eg. in Singapore minimum age 21) are  usually the basic requirements.

Someone who has the potential to be able to represent the bank, learn about banking and wealth management would be important.  Equally important is to be able to communicate, build relationship, advice clients, balanced sales & profitability for the bank. You must also be able to fit into the organization culture and serve the clients’ demographics.


Independent Financial Advisory

6Are there Relationship Managers role outside banking?

Yes.  Despite Relationship Managers being closely associated with banks, a few non-banks financial institutions such as independent financial advisory firms, insurance co, also call their Wealth Managers – Relationship Managers.


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