Banks Expand Teams That Cater to World’s Wealthiest People

Real-Time Money Mobility Helps Leave ‘Banker’s Hours’ Behind

Banks are reportedly expanding their efforts to cater to the world’s wealthiest people.

J.P. Morgan Chase’s 23 Wall, for example, is a family office that includes about three dozen people catering to 700 families worth more than $4.5 trillion, Bloomberg reported Tuesday (May 30).

Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, too, are expanding their family office and private banking operations and are competing with J.P. Morgan Chase to serve the world’s wealthiest people, according to the report.

The expansion of these business units has been driven by the increasing wealth of the world’s richest people, the challenges they face as investors dealing with rising interest rates and inflation, and the growing tendency of wealthy families to become more sophisticated in how they manage their wealth, the report said.

The 23 Wall business unit has people in the United States, Asia and Europe who work with J.P. Morgan Chase’s investment and private banks to meet the needs of these clients, per the report.

“We have a robust pipeline of demand,” Andrew L. Cohen, executive chairman of J.P. Morgan Global Wealth Management, who leads 23 Wall, told Bloomberg.

J.P. Morgan’s 23 Wall team has found that the principals of billionaire families dedicate time and resources to preparing the next generation to inherit wealth, creating clear rules around the family enterprise and making a lasting local or global impact, according to a January press release.

The 23 Wall team also found that these principals are increasingly focused on private investments and that they are investing primarily in technology, healthcare and real estate, the release said.

“One of the private bank’s greatest honors is the opportunity to work with some of the world’s wealthiest families, many of which we have served for generations,” Cohen said in the release.

One of the other banks that has been expanding its efforts to cater to this market, Citigroup, announced in September that it was planning to end its retail banking operations in the United Kingdom and shift its focus to its wealthiest clients.

The bank said at the time that it was inviting its wealthier customers to begin using its private banking services as it scales down its retail business.