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New Report Cites Private Banker Shortage

Wealth management CEOs are looking for a few good client-facing private bankers. Well, make that more than a few.

PricewaterhouseCoopers recently joined the drumbeat of authoritative voices warning that an industry-wide shortage of capable private bankers threatens the growth of the private wealth management sector.

In its bi-annual survey of 265 private banking/wealth management firms released last month, the worldwide business services firm emphasized that the need to recruit and train more effective, client-focused wealth managers has become a top priority in executive suites.

"Put bluntly, there are simply, not enough quality people to support the market's anticipated growth," the report's 60-page executive summary states.

Banks pursuing asset growth targets in the teeth of the shortage are expected to push up compensation "by far more than inflation," PWC says.

It says the shortage is greatest "for experienced individuals who can work at the upper end of the wealth pyramid." One in four openings for wealth managers has remained unfilled over the last 12 months, according to the report.

The conclusions align with other recent surveys that point up strong growth opportunities for private wealth management but urge greater efforts to expand the ranks of client-facing bankers. For example, London-based Scorpio Partnership, when unveiling its own private banking survey last month, also called upon firms to focus on hiring and training new bankers and sharpen their focus on serving clients.

CEOs who took part in the PWC survey rated only 17 percent of their firms' client relationship managers (CRMs) as having "very high" ability to meet client needs. Just 19 percent said their organizations are very good at attracting and retaining top bankers. At the same time, the demand for new CRMs is expected to swell 32 percent in the next two years, growing 57 percent in the Asia-Pacific region.

"Wealth managers must get serious about HR," PWC says. "Unless wealth managers address the shortage of CRMs, and improve their skills and core competencies, they will not achieve their growth expectations."

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AUTHOReFinancialCareers News Insider Comment
  • ja
    james Lesisnki
    20 September 2007

    A graduate from a quality prep school knows this only too well. If we would continue to emphasize the skills needed to formulate and maintain good relationships and networking rather than racing to the top of the ladder scholastically we would not have this type of shortage. I am constantly amazed at how often a school chum from the football team comes through for me when I need a real performer!!

  • Li
    Light
    20 July 2007

    Thank you,
    for writing this letter. It is high time to write about luck of quality people anywhere, especially in banking industy.
    These qualities are thought in family upbringing, they are not and could not be learnt in the school. Someone can get familiar with them, only split of a second is needed to make disaster with refind client.
    I have all, and more. I would love to get in touch with CEO.

  • Ch
    Chad Bodden
    9 July 2007

    Let me try to help alleviate the shortage by proposing that these private banks hire me. I am 31 years old with LL.B (Hons) and a Msc in banking and finance from a private school in London. I currently reside in Cayman and work at the Monetary Authority here. I compel you the CEO to take a chance on me.

    Regards,

    Chad Bodden esq.

  • An
    Anonymous
    6 July 2007

    All I have to say is, employers are finally realizing they have to be willing to train and not everyone is going to come ready to roll right out of the box

    some assembly required

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