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Private Bankers

The Job

The careers of private banker and wealth manager are similar in that both manage the wealth of clients, but private bankers aim to address the complete financial circumstances of their clients. They are employed by commercial and investment banks with private banking divisions. To attract wealthy clients, these banks provide higher-than-average interest rates on deposits, reduced transaction fees, and concierge-like services (i.e., a dedicated private banker or team of private bankers to assist them with their every financial need—and sometimes personal needs). High-net-worth clients are a boon for banks because they generate large profits (via fees for large mortgages or business loans, and fees earned for total assets under management), and provide the bank with large pools of money in which to invest or loan to other customers—thus generating healthy interest income. They also entail much less financial risk than middle- and lower-class customers. Major duties of private bankers include:

  • meeting with high-net-worth individuals to learn about their financial needs and goals and creating a comprehensive wealth management plan
  • providing ongoing advice on investments, planning and saving for retirement, annuities and insurance products, tax issues, real estate, business restructuring or the sale of a business, and other topics to clients
  • managing clients’ financial portfolios
  • facilitating large business loans or mortgages or establishing lines of credit and letters-of-credit
  • structuring plans to help clients pass on wealth to family members or other beneficiaries
  • handling basic tasks (e.g., money transfers, cashing checks, or paying bills) that regular clients would have to do by seeing a teller or customer service representative 
  • creating and maintaining a pipeline of high-net-worth (HNW) individuals and families and successfully transitioning prospects into clients
  • performing an eclectic range of services such as delivering foreign currency and travel checks to clients who about to leave for a family vacation to Europe, helping elderly clients remain active in their communities and connecting them with other HNW individuals, scheduling exclusive events for clients (such as plays, art exhibits, and mixers), and even educating the children of clients about financial literacy
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