U.S. Private Banks & Trust Companies 2022

Scaling for Growth

Evaluate Opportunities in the Private Bank and Trust Channel

  • Understand how banks are adapting advisory models to compete for client assets
  • Evaluate developments in banks’ investment management functions
  • Track changes in banks’ portfolio construction processes, use of models, and managed accounts platforms


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Report US Private Banks and Trust Companies 2020 Detail

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Drew O'Hearn, CFP

Drew O'Hearn, CFP

Senior Director, Account Management


Evaluate marketshare, business development strategies, portfolio construction, and changing demographics and client demands affecting private banks, trust departments, and non-depository trust companies.

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Each report is lead authored by a senior Cerulli analyst with significant industry experience. The report incorporates qualitative and quantitative inputs, based on Cerulli’s proprietary research process. For more on our research process, click here.

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A Note from the Author

M&A and Advisor Recruitment Are Paramount for Private Banks

Chayce Horton

Chayce Horton

Senior Analyst

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Chayce Horton

Chayce Horton

Senior Analyst

Chayce is a member of the Wealth Management team at Cerulli and contributes primarily to the U.S. Private Banks and Trust Companies and U.S. High-Net-Worth and Ultra-High-Net-Worth Markets annual reports. His analysis covers the wealth and asset management industries that serve high-net-worth (HNW) investors and families. Chayce also provides analyst support to strategic consulting projects in the wealth management space and contributes to The Cerulli Edge series.

Previously, Chayce has experience working in enterprise data governance, government affairs, and business banking at multiple global financial institutions.

Full biography here.

Private bank and bank trust executives are actively implementing inorganic growth strategies, namely mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and advisor recruitment, to achieve scale in an increasingly competitive wealth management environment. Firms that can offer a wide range of services (i.e., planning, trust, banking) and a strong advisor platform will be able to compete more efficiently to serve their clients’ needs.

According to our research, more than two-thirds (68%) of private bank and bank trust executives are considering M&A opportunities to grow and adapt their businesses. Activity is being driven by the desire to achieve greater economies of scale—75% of executives cite this as their top reason. Adding more scale will not only allow firms to reduce redundancies and improve margins, but will also enable the firm to deepen existing relationships with clients. Further, as technology and service demands grow among consumers, more scaled and integrated firms will be able to provide seamless, comprehensive, and cost-competitive financial services experiences for their clients.

Beyond M&A, bank trust executives are working to expand advisor headcount—53% indicate they are actively recruiting advisors and teams from other firms. As banks look to create scaled platforms and acquire top advisor talent, one of the goals is to be viewed as competitive outside of the banking world. Firms that have adequate operational scale with a wide breadth of services and a strong advisor platform can hope to be attractive landing spots for advisors who are dissatisfied with restrictions of very large institutions but do not want to bear the burdens of a fully independent operating model. Reaching a “Goldilocks” zone where effective integration is attainable, but scale is not cumbersome, is a balance that most firms in the bank and trust space can strike.

Learn more in our latest report, U.S. Private Banks & Trust Companies 2022: Scaling for Growth.


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