How to Snag a Post in Wealth Management

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While other sectors in the financial markets contract, private banking and wealth management continue to boom. Even with mass layoffs in other divisions, many of the national and global banks as well as investment banks are devoting resources to expanding wealth management operations. But as wealth management ramps up, how can a banking professional without direct wealth management experience segue way into it?

In an interview with eFinancialCareers, Tim White, managing partner of the private wealth management practice at executive recruiter Kaye/Bassman International, says if you’ve handled institutional sales and developed new institutional clients for your firm, that experience is useful in wealth management. These sorts of skills—relationship building and client development—can go a long way, White added, saying, “If you have a portfolio modeling background, this can be applied in private wealth management.” Analytical and financial planning skills are also easily transferable.

According to White, you should focus on the talents developed in your current position and see if those same talents are transferable. This might take a little homework to get a sense of the job requirements for a post in wealth management. And the chances of a newbie to wealth management being hired to a post at a bigger bank just may be increasing, given the dearth of seasoned talent and the expansion of the business. Top advisers are also finding the times ripe to jump ship and form RIAs.

Poaching of experienced wealth managers is also growing

According to a report from Reuters, JPMorgan Securities has been big in grabbing seasoned advisers from the likes of Morgan Stanley, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, UBS, Barclays Wealth and Deutsche Bank. JPMorgan Securities reportedly had 439 advisers at the end of 2011. They’re likely to “add up to 75 this year and reach 650 over the next four years,” noted Chief Executive Officer Greg Quental in an interview with Reuters.

Opportunities are likely to come very soon at a number of other banks and investment firms in the U.S. and abroad. Bank of the West recently opened two dedicated wealth management centers in the Los Angeles area and another in Silicon Valley. United Overseas Bank rolled out its wealth management operations in Singapore three months ago, and just announced two new dedicated wealth banking centers in the country. UBS recently announced the opening of a wealth management office in Israel.

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