Private Banking

Hi monkeys, I see that the private banking/PWM industry is not very discussed here (maybe nobody cares about PB/PWM apart from me?), but I'd like to have some insights from people that actually work/have worked in the industry.

What is the best way to get clients? How are the hours like? What can they possibly ask during an interview? Salary/comp (UK data would be great but US is still fine)?

Any insight would be great, if London-related even better, thanks in advance to everyone.

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Comments (13)

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Other
May 24, 2021 - 2:27pm

This is a 2021 guide on Private Banking by M&I. Recommend it highly to anyone looking into the industry:

I work in the industry, everything in this article is extremely accurate including salary info. I think it's a great role for people wanting exposure to UHNW clients/family offices/foundations and investing. Relatively better WLB than IB or other finance roles. JPM/Citi have the best global private banks. UBS/CS are also well respected and top players in the PWM/PB industry. 

May 24, 2021 - 3:04pm

Thanks for the useful reply!

Being yourself in the industry, do you happen to know what are the banks (3/4 are fine, just to have an idea) that offer the classic salary + bonus comp and the Analyst-Associate-VP etc structure instead of the fees-only comp and the Financial Advisor title? Because I really struggle to find information on the internet about PB and PB firms' insights.

  • Analyst 1 in AM - Other
May 24, 2021 - 4:51pm

Good question. A quick and easy distinction is when banks use "Private Bank" in their division names, they offer the base salary + bonus comp structure with the exception of GS. For e.g. JPM Private Bank, Citi PB, DB PB, HSBC (offers a graduate program in PB), BofA PB, CS PB. I'm not sure if the wirehouse model even exists out of US so UBS/CS and others should offer a similar structure if you are based in Europe/APAC. 

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
May 24, 2021 - 6:47pm

Not familiar with the UK structure, but in the US, PB will have longer hours and higher starting pay than PWM. However, PWM typically has more upside in the long term as your book grows. Despite the hate on this website, it is a pretty great career if you're successful at it. The hours to comp is about as good as it gets once you get a few years under your belt.

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May 24, 2021 - 7:26pm

Yep, pretty much.

At this point I don't even care, when people wanna mock something that is not IB/PE/HF that's perfectly fine to me, I'll keep ignoring them and instead thank the people that actually give useful answers, that's it.

May 24, 2021 - 10:12pm

Been in PWM essentially my whole career (spent about 15 yrs as an MD and now just kind of do my own thing - all in 30 yrs). I know so many FAs, regardless of channel or firm, who make high 6 figures and in to 7 figures. Some make several million. Like tons of them. I got to the high 6 figures before I just wanted to go in a different direction and have pretty much coasted the past 5-7 yrs while being very involved with my family. If you can build and maintain relationships and learn a lot about the markets, it's a great career. I also know a ton who couldn't make it. Just wasn't them. It takes a few years to get a comfortable base built. Then it gets fun. 

Aside from the income, it's really a blast and quite humbling to know you have so much impact on your client's  financial lives. Hardly a day goes by when I don't have a meaningful advisory type conversation discussing  various strategies with my clients. Many have become good friends. Great to make a difference and get paid quite well.

On this forum. it gets crapped on because it's not as technical or model / excel driven (aka transferrable skill). Doesn't lead to HF / PE (actually could lead to the sales side of those). You know what is transferrable? Revenue generation and being client facing. Young IBers don't necessarily get that but there is virtually nothing as important as driving revenue. A monkey can learn the technical skills (at least a fairly smart monkey). Only a certain type of person can be effective client facing and revenue generating. If that's you, I would get in a client facing position as early in your career as possible. Yes it's sales. Who cares? Sales is what every business is about. No it's not predictable. Yes you can fail. But you can also win big if you've got the stones.

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