Private Banks Ramp Up Hiring of Relationship Managers

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Banks and investment and asset management firms are ramping up their hiring of client relationship managers in private banking and wealth management. "There was a definite pickup in the 4th quarter of 2010 on the institutional and retail side," says James L. Langan III, partner and manager of the investment and financial services division of staffing firm Winter Wyman. He expects hiring to expand in 2011.

Hiring is also particularly strong at regional and global banks in Singapore and Hong Kong. Barclays recently announced expansion of its private banking practice in the region. If you have relevant regional or global banking expertise and knowledge of the local language, then you're a hot property abroad.

Relationship managers and associates are "important behind-the-scenes personnel," says Langan. "They take ownership of client issues and get the problems solved," he says. They're expected to manage the book of current clients, as well as develop new customer relationships. The job requires someone to have natural sales and marketing skills.

What You Need to Know

Client relationship managers and associates also need to know about investment products, investment strategies, and complex financial issues. Some investment firms and banks will require Series 7 and 66 licenses. Series 6 and Series 63 are also preferred. Stateside, word is hiring's going on at a number of regional banks, as well as at PNC Bank, the Vanguard Group, JPMorgan, and Credit Suisse.

Many investment firms use a number of titles to describe the same job functions, Langan notes, so can be hard to tell the pecking order without looking at job requirements and duties. Some might call junior staff by the title of portfolio relationship or wealth management associate.

One bank might have a manager and then an associate under them, while another could have a senior manager and a manager in the spot below. For those with three to seven years of experience, pay can range anywhere from $60,000 to $110,000, Langan says.

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