Family Office

New Citi Private Bank Group Draws Clients Amid Pandemic

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 4 June 2020

New Citi Private Bank Group Draws Clients Amid Pandemic

The US-based bank said its new private capital group, which is designed to give institutional service to entities like family offices, is drawing stronger demand for areas such as liquidity solutions and property. The comments show how certain lenders are building out FO-orientated offerings and broadcasting this area of business.

Citi Private Bank is trumpeting the work that a recently-launched group has been doing with family offices and other organizations since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This highlights how such banks, which have sought to tap into family office business, are pushing themselves forward amidst the pandemic’s turmoil.

The US bank recently formed the Citi Private Capital Group to provide institutional service to private investment companies, family offices and pools of private capital. 

“Our Lab for Family Offices provides dedicated analytics and insights by collaborating across the firm to deliver bespoke institutional asset allocation and strategies to families and family office clients,” Citi Private Bank said in a statement yesterday. 

As this news service knows, the bank has published a series of white papers on matters ranging from family privacy, philanthropy, and through to aviation resources, pitched at family offices and UHNW clients. Banks such as Citi, JP Morgan, UBS and Wells Fargo (via its Abbot Downing business) see family offices as important client segments. In Citi Private Bank’s case, it serves more than 1,400 family offices and private investment companies in more than 80 countries.

“Over the last several months, the group has received a heightened level of client inquiries around what other single family offices are doing especially regarding commercial real estate and liquidity solutions,” Citi Private Bank said. 

“As the world’s wealthiest individuals, families and their family offices continue to evolve, their needs are changing,” James Holder, global head of Citi Private Capital Group, said. 

As the amount of capital controlled by family offices increases, they are building sophisticated teams and investment strategies across every asset class. As a result, this client segment requires institutional capabilities and services in addition to their traditional private banking needs, the bank said. 

“Our Private Capital Group is one of our greatest growth drivers for the North America business and will deliver sophisticated global and institutional investment opportunities to our largest family office clients,” Ida Liu, head of Citi Private Bank in North America, said. 

The US firm recently set up a direct private investments business to distribute private deals and expand its share of clients’ wallets over this business. (Direct investing has been a growing trend as clients chase higher yields, even if that means less liquidity.) 

The direct private investments business, led by Itay Blasenheim, will work with the private capital group to identify opportunities for family offices and private investment company clients.

(The work done by banks and other institutions with family offices is a category recognized in the annual industry awards that this publication operates. See here for more details.)

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