How to Survive Your First Year in Private Banking

April 25, 2018


What makes wealth management one of the most stressful and demanding careers in the banking sector is that private bankers only eat “what they kill”. This makes surviving the early stages of your career particularly tough. You must constantly raise assets under your management, targeting high quality ones that are able to generate higher fees.

With growing competition in the private banking sector, the management of your clients’ assets also becomes more demanding, in terms of both scope of services and required consultancy expertise. In what follows, we give you some clues for how to meet your 12-month targets and keep your job.

Your performance depends wholly on your ability to generate revenue, so excellent selling skills are crucial for keeping your head above water: starting with careful planning, down to building client relationships and gaining long-term commitments. An outgoing personality, good taste, high emotional intelligence, ability to engage in conversation on virtually any topic of your interlocutor’s interest — these traits will help you to attract and keep the valuable clients you’re looking for.

There is only one reason that we haven’t mentioned your expertise in all things to do with finance; namely, that this goes without saying. If you don’t feel confident that you will be able to give your clients the very advice they need regarding their financial opportunities, you should reconsider pursuing a career in private banking.

Another obvious thing is networking. Good professional connections foster one’s advancement in any career, but private banking has very particular ways and means. Providing wealth management and other connected services to your clients basically means managing a whole network of connections for each client.

Being a private banker means having an extensive network of partners and contacts in other companies targeting high net-worth clients. Property and insurance agents, lawyers, accountants, investment and private equity managers, luxury concierges etc. All these people you have contact with on a daily basis have one crucial thing in common: they are also targeting high net-worth individuals. Which means that they can be of great help to you when you’re just starting your career in private banking.

In the search for new clients, try any connection possible. Sometimes, being socially connected with these people can get you introduced to potential clients. Of course, you cannot limit your networking to professional contacts: think broader in terms of who could possibly introduce you to the kind of person you would like to turn into a client.

Broadly speaking, to gain success in private banking you need a holistic mindset that is able to accommodate a broad and highly diversified set of competencies, letting you satisfy the ever-growing demands of people who know the price of excellent financial services.


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