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Job market: Private Banking and Wealth Management

How to build, manage and retain staff? What are the evaluation criteria for good wealth managers ? What are the market’s compensation levels ? Specialised recruitment company, Norman Alex, shares with us their analysis and views.

Article also available in : English EN | français FR

During May 19-20 conference organized by “Investance” on private banking and wealth management in 2011, Ivor Alex, Norman Alex founding partner, and Paris office co-head Jerome Jouanneau-Courville and Frederic Foucard presented an analysis of the sector’s job market.

From a qualitative point of view, this market was not spared by the recent crises and the result is a low mobility of good managers. This shows a high risk aversion due to the economic context but also uncertainty around the transfer of clients from one institution to another. The profile of private bankers / wealth managers gradually changes given the size and type of structures: "Private Banking" division of major bank, "pure player" private bank, asset manager, multi-family office.

Sometimes the best candidate is not the "rare bird" that is already doing the same thing elsewhere but the "outsider" who has the potential to perfectly learn the role

The modern private banker must manage customers’ confidence level on his advices and must be aware that he can be challenged anytime by markets, competitors and other unexpected events. Thus, the assessment of "good" candidate must be thorough and based at least on two fundamentals: talent and relational factor.

- Talent can be evaluated on the basis of objective professional criteria such as portfolio quality, the types of clients, consistency in management choices, good sense of anticipation as well as risk analysis and finally integrity and reliability which can be measured by checking references. More and more pragmatic, the banker / manager provides opinions and set a course that may change subject to good explanations and justifications

- Relational factor plays a predominant role in the business of private banking. The values ??that emerge are: charisma which is defined as the ability to guide/drive clients’ choice, while getting their support; empowerment reflected in one’s ability to influence decisions and convince with a natural authority; networking skills to attract new customers and build long-term business relationships; empathy towards customers and ability to adapt when facing situations and behaviors that differ with speaker’s age, culture, temperament and psychology. More generally the emotional and social intelligence reconciles performance targets with the quality of the relationship with customers.

The recruitment strategy of a good manager / private banker is a process of marketing / sales comparable to the one used to win a client.

To convince the private bankers and successful managers to change, a clear recruitment strategy and communication are needed while competitive advantages must be outlined in order to attract the candidate. It is a process of marketing / sales comparable to the one used to win a client.

In this field, the specialist recruitment consultants are good representatives of their clients for potential candidates. The consultant’s added value is to properly assess the needs of candidates, probe the true ambitions and make sure that profiles match the needs and criteria defined by the client. This is to measure the personal and professional adequacy with the position.

In terms of methodology and research tools, the direct approach is essential. The development of social networks has drastically altered the spectrum of research / survey of protagonists. To be or no to be on the social networks ? In order to be visible and attract recruiters, the answer is Yes indeed! Especially since employers are also there in order to attract talents.

If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys

Another crucial factor is compensation. It is important (especially when associated with an attractive bonus, if possible defined by a mathematical rule), but the best way to retain talent is through a career management (management of high potentials in large structures) and an efficient communication with the company’s team.

Below are some indicative values and trends regarding compensation in Private Banking .

Universal Bank
Seniority Fix Salary Bonus Range
Junior private banker €35k / 45k 10% / 15%
Confirmed private banker €50k / €80k 10% / 15%
Senior private banker €80k / 110k 10% / 15%
Privately owned Bank independent
Seniority Fix Salary Bonus Range
Junior private banker €40k / 60k 50% / 60%
Confirmed private banker €60k / €90k 50% / 60%
Senior private banker €120k / 180k 50% / 60%
Pure Players
Seniority Fix Salary Bonus Range
Junior private banker €40k / 60k 20% / 40%
Confirmed private banker €70k / €100k 20% / 40%
Senior private banker €120k / 180k 50% / 100%
Asset managers
Seniority Fix Salary Bonus Range
Junior private banker €40k / 50k
Confirmed private banker €70k / €90k
Senior private banker €100k / 130k

Next Finance , May 2011

Article also available in : English EN | français FR

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