All articles by Galen Stops

Galen Stops

Coutts executive named new Arbuthnot CEO

Arbuthnot Banking Group has appointed James Fleming as a member of the board and chief executive at Arbuthnot Latham & Co. Prior to joining Arbuthnot, he was one of six regional managing directors at Coutts responsible for managing UK entrepreneurs, landowners and inpatriates client groups.

2011 revenue up at Morgan Stanley’s wealth unit

Morgan Stanleys Global Wealth Management Group (GWMG) has posted a 6% revenue increase to $13.4bn, up from $12.6bn in the twelve months since 31 December 2010. Pre-tax income at Morgan Stanleys wealth unit stood at $244m, a 33% quarter-on-quarter fall and a 37% slump on a year-on-year basis. Morgan Stanley said that its revenue increase reflected higher asset management and net interest revenues, partly offset by lower principle trading and investment banking revenues.

EFG International shuts Lugano office

EFG International is closing its Lugano office due to challenging financial conditions. EFG said that it is closing the branch, which has been open since 2010, because it had not made the progress expected. The Swiss bank will now focus exclusively on their private banking businesses in Zurich and Geneva.

Wells Fargo reports 65% net income jump

Wells Fargo reported a 65% year-on-year net income increase in the fourth quarter of 2011 in its wealth, brokerage and retirement (WB&R) division. WB&R net income, which includes its private banking division, stood at $325m in the fourth quarter, up from $197m in the past quarter of 2010 This represented a 12% increase from the third quarter of last year when the division pulled in $291m in net income.

BofA net income drops 40% in 4Q, up overall

Net income at Bank of AmericaMerrill Lynchs (BofA) global wealth and investment management unit (GWIM) dropped almost 40% in the fourth quarter when compared to the three months to 30 September 2011. Net income for the GWIM unit slid $98m to $249m which represented a 28% decrease from the 2010 fourth quarter when the banks GWIM division netted $319m.

Trust products feed real estate appetite

Chinese HNWIs are the hottest property in global private banking circles, but understanding their preferences is not always straightforward Galen Stops reviews soon-to-be-released research from VRL that highlights the rapid growth of its trust market on the back of China HNWIs love affair with real estate. Its been well documented that the ranks of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in China is swelling and only set to continue growing.

Solving the social media conundrum

Social media has been swiftly gathering converts in retail and affluent banking circles, but private banks have been much more hesitant about how to use it effectively Galen Stops surveys how the worlds top wealth managers are using social media and speaks to two banks about how they utilise it.

Citi Private Bank boosts ICG’s poor results

Citi Private Bank was one of the few bright spots for Citis Institutional Clients Group (ICG) as it posted poor 2011 fourth quarter and full-year results. Citis private banking division, which is part of Citis ICG, was almost the only part of the ICG division to record a profit. The private banking unit reported fourth quarter revenue of $519m, up 4% on a year-on-year basis from $501m at the end of 2010. Total private banking revenue for 2011 was $2.15bn, a 7% increase from 2010 when it was $2bn.

HNWI less confident about making money in 2012

High net worth individuals (HNWIs) are less confident about making money in 2012 and private banks and wealth managers will have to work harder for their business, research suggests. The study by Scorpio Partnership, Futurewealth Report: A Client Revolution, surveyed 3,300 HNWIs with an average wealth of $2.5m on the issues of wealth confidence, customer experience, coveted brands and wealth aspirations. The survey found that these HNWIs, or futurewealthy, have become less confident in making money each year since 2010, despite the fact their actual wealth has grown each year during this period.

UK continues push to become RMB trading centre

The UK government is continuing its efforts to make London an offshore trading centre for the Chinese renminbi (RMB). A joint private-sector forum, London-Hong Kong Forum, is to be launched to support the Chinese Governments policy in the development of the offshore RMB market Facilitated by HM Treasury and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the new forum will initially comprise representatives from financial institutions in both Hong Kong and London, including HSBC, Standard Chartered, Bank of China, Deutsche Bank and Barclays.