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12 Top Career Options for Private Bankers

Working for the rich and famous is lucrative and sometimes glamorous, but never easy. Similarly, Private Banking had always been challenging.  Private Banking clients are successful, powerful, influential, at the forefront of their profession, with some very in touch with political and economic trends.

Private Bankers have to keep up with the latest global development in economics, financial, political, legal and many areas to provide an edge in advisory on global wealth, asset and banking services.

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Sometimes, the financial institution lags behind economic developments.  What do Private Bankers do?  Do they wait for the Private Bank to change? Or do they switch to one that can facilitate their clients’ needs? Would there be a “perfect” Private Bank that satisfy clients’ needs and fulfil the personal expectation of the Private Banker?

We look at 12 Career options for Private Bankers:

No. 1 Universal Banks

Financial Center Singapore
Financial Center Singapore

The modern Private Bankers typically start / come from Universal Banks.  The banks are global, provide full banking facilities, have a strong global network, strong branding and a wide range of products & services.  Because of their customer base, Private Bankers are able to tap onto the banks’ network, client base or inherit a book size.

Characteristics: Full Banking, Global, Strong Network, Strong Branding, Wide range of Products & Services

Why Join Them: Strong branding, Big client base, and offer almost any financial services

Examples: Citibank, HSBC


No. 2 Regional Private Banks

Bank of China
Bank of China

Regional Private Banks focus on serving their client base.  For example, an Australian bank that focuses on providing banking services to their clients would complement their consumer & corporate banking services with private banking services.

Characteristics: Full Banking, Regional, Strong Regional Network, Strong Regional Branding, Wide Range of Products & Services

Why Join Them: Focused client base in the region, strong regional branding and client’s loyalty

Examples: Bank of China Private Banking, ANZ Private Bank, DBS Private Bank, CIMB Private Banking


No. 3 Boutique Private Banks

Private Banking
Private Banking

Boutique Private Banks are fully dedicated to serving the needs of only high net-worth clients.  They focus on bespoke banking services, wealth advisory and global asset management services.  They provide independent advisory services by building less in-house products and services, and source their products and solutions through leveraging on their wide network of industry partners.

Characteristics: Bespoke Banking, Boutique, Independent Advisory, External Products & Solutions

Why Join Them: Specialised, independent and bespoke private banking services, for established & experienced Private Bankers

Examples: Pictet Private Bank, Bordier & Cie Private Bank


No. 4 International Private Banks

International Banker
International Banker

International Private Banks provide a holistic range of Private Banking services.  Besides bespoke banking and a full range of wealth management services, they provide investment banking and private equity expertise.  They have a strong international network and can execute complex transactions for their most valuable clients.

Characteristics: Bespoke Banking, International, Full Range of Wealth Management Services, Investment Banking, Private Equity, Complex Transactions

Why Join Them: For full range and dedicated private banking & wealth management services, with access to international financial services and non-private banking in-house services such as investment banking services.

Examples: UBS, Credit Suisse


No. 5 External Asset Manager / Independent Asset Manager

Private Banking Event
Private Banking Event

External Asset Managers (EAM) or Independent Asset Managers (IAM) are asset managers managing clients’ assets.  They are licensed and independent financial advisory companies using Private Banking’s infrastructure, with access to the full-suite of Private Banking services.  Typically, each EAM or IAM will use a few Private Banks and Brokerages to reduce bank risks and improve pricing and product options.

Characteristics: Bespoke Banking, International, Full Range of Wealth Management Services, Investment Banking, Private Equity, Complex Transactions

Why Join Them: Independent asset management and advisory services to clients, and with access to full range of private banking services, and usually with multiple private banks.

Examples: Swiss-Asia Financial Services, Taurus Wealth Advisors


No. 6 Single Family Office


Single Family Office (SFO) is a private company or office that provides full and dedicated services to a single family including financial, banking, asset management, real estate, vacation and lifestyle services.  The total assets of a SFO usually runs into a few hundred millions.

Characteristics: Dedicated Asset Management Services, Financial, Banking, Real Estate, Vacation, Lifestyle, Assets of at least a few Hundred Millions Dollars

Why Join Them: When you have one client with a few hundred millions to billions of assets, who wants you to manage their assets and money, and not for other clients. Able to provide full attention, full-suite and dedicated services to a single family.

Example: Walton Enterprises LLC


No. 7 Multi-Family Office

Accepting Investment Proposal
Accepting Investment Proposal

Similar to the setup of a Single Family Office, Multi-Family Office provides the same dedicated & professional services to all qualified families.  This setup eliminates the need to build up basic infrastructure, a team of professionals and at a lower cost.  This means a wealthy family with low hundreds of millions can now set up a family office faster and better.

Characteristics: Dedicated Asset Management Services, Financial, Banking, Real Estate, Vacation, Lifestyle

Why Join Them: When you have a few big clients with money and assets (usually $50 Million – $100 Million onwards), with little expertise and knowledge of finance to set up one, and requires the help of established professional family office services. Able to provide dedicated and full-suite of services to clients.

Example: Rockefeller & Co.


No. 8 Private Investment Companies

Private Meeting
Private Meeting

Private Investment Company (PIC) is a traditional company with the primary objective of managing investments.  This setup bypasses financial regulations while providing a wider range of investment options such as direct investments into businesses.  As it is not a financial-regulated business, the company is subject to the restrictions of local company laws such as limit on the number of shareholders.

Characteristics: Investment Holdings, Direct Investments, Company-like structure without financial regulations

Why Join Them: When you have access to investment opportunities and able to raise capital (equity / debt). Able to manage investments directly, quickly and with less regulations.

Example: None.  Most PIC are private companies and thus information is less publicly available.  If you have $2 Million and set up a company to invest into other companies or financial instruments, this is also an example of a PIC.


No. 9 Hedge Funds

Financial Market
Financial Market

Hedge Funds engage in any form of investments such as traditional financial instruments in equities, bonds, fx, options, futures and swaps.  They can be leveraged or non-leveraged, all subject to the decisions of the Hedge Fund Manager and the agreement of their investors.

Although the common strategies of Hedge Fund Managers would be convertible arbitrage, distressed securities, Long/Short, Global Macro, Funds of Funds, Hedge Funds simply allow the fund to invest in un-constrained manner.

Characteristics: Unconstrained, trading, sophisticated, derivatives, leverage, illiquid assets such as private debts / equities

Why Join Them: Good marketing ability or investment ability.  Able to raise capital from usually $250,000 per client to a few hundred million dollars. Able to focus on investments, risks & returns management for clients.

Example: Alternative Investment for Bedrock Group


No. 10 Private Equity Firms

Hong Kong Stock Market
Hong Kong Stock Market

Private Equity firms usually manage investments non-listed companies via equities, debts or structured securities.  The business involves raising capital and looking for investment opportunities.

Characteristics: Usually Non-Public Securities (Debts / Equities), Varied and Customised Financial Structures, Early Stage, Mid-Stage, Late Stage, Fund Raising, Investment Opportunities, Buy / Sell Side, Leveraged Buy-outs

Why Join Them: Able to focus on private investments and directly with business owners or business decision makers. Able to choose between raising capital / getting clients or getting deals, reviewing projects or doing due diligence on transactions.

Examples: Apollo Global Management LLC, Blackstone Group LP, Carlyle Group, KKR & Co LP


No. 11 Independent Financial Advisory

Independent Financial Advisory
Independent Financial Advisory

Independent Financial Advisory are non-bank financial advisory firms.  They provide financial planning, insurance & investment services and estate services.  They are non-bank financial firms, and usually are not affiliated to a single financial institution.  Similar to EAM / IAM, they use external products and solutions providers in providing holistic advisory to clients.

Characteristics: Full Range of Financial Services excluding basic banking products and services, Independent

Why Join Them: Having a strong network or key clients and looking for time and flexibility

Examples: Chevy Chase Trust, High Tower Advisors


No. 12 Luxury Real Estate / Luxury Service Providers

Lamborghini Car

Private Bankers are especially well-connected to the rich and famous.  They can easily associate with luxury brands.  Real Estate and Luxury Providers often connect with Private Bankers to  get access to their clients.  Similarly, clients are usually busy and sometimes rely on their Private Bankers to open doors for them.

Characteristics: Luxury, Lifestyle, Well-Connected

Why Join Them: Having a strong network or key clients and looking for lifestyle activities

Example: Knight Frank, Savills, Gulfstream


These are 12 Career options for Private Bankers.  Anymore or read more on:

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