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I have never before heard of private bankers. What do they do (compared to "ordinary" bankers)? What services do they provide? Are they expensive? Where does one find them?

Ok. They essentially serve "high net worth individuals", at a price of course, and the idea is that they primarily look after your objectives and interests, rather than the bank's.

Point is, you can use them to analyse your personal situation (not just your accounts, but your entire life, including retirement needs, education, succession planning, inheritance, tax, risk mitigation, etc. etc.) and come up with a personal plan to support YOUR needs and objectives, and then sell you the (often custom-tailored hence otherwise hardly accessible) products you really need to achieve them.

While the Swiss Banks (largest being UBS and Credit Suisse) are the traditional leaders in this segment, almost any other self-respecting financial organisation has a Private Bank or at least personal bankers/ wealth advisors. You should have no problem obtaining this type of service in London or large US cities (although you may have a harder time finding truly international [multi-currency] service in the US).

As someone else pointed out you'll need a sizeable level of assets to access this type of service, plus they charge you a yearly percentage for the service. Perhaps an independent wealth advisor is the cheaper route however then access to the products may be tricky.


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