High and ultrahigh net worth investors in North America increasingly turn to the region’s biggest private banks.
The past couple of years have been a wild ride for North American high and ultrahigh net worth (HNW and UHNW) investors. Following unprecedented growth in 2021 and a declining economic picture the following year, 2023 has seen a plethora of unexpected challenges, including bank failures and persistently high interest rates. The upshot has been volatility in investment portfolios and on balance sheets.
Against this difficult backdrop, investors have turned to the region’s leading private banks for the expertise and long-term vision they hope will ensure top-tier performance stability. Smaller institutions, by contrast, have struggled to keep their clients ahead of the curve.
More than any other year since the 2008 global financial crisis, 2023 has distinguished the exceptional from the ordinary, as successful institutions have rewarded their clients with above-average growth.
Best Private Bank In North America: J.P. Morgan Private Bank
Displaying its cornerstone role in the region, J.P. Morgan’s parent bank, JPMorgan Chase, helped maintain the stability of the US banking system this year by incorporating the failing First Republic Bank in an overnight deal with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and by assuming billions in costs for the Federal Reserve’s lifeline program for the country’s endangered banks, helping to tame the most significant crisis the US banking system had faced since the 2008 crash.
On the positive side, these initiatives helped the banking behemoth’s private bank to grow in assets under management (AUM) and bring world-class, high-level staffing from failing institutions like Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic into its best-in-breed team. As a result, net income for J.P. Morgan in wealth and asset management totaled $1.2 billion in the second quarter, up 22% from a year earlier.
The bank also improved its offering by launching a new US Family Office Practice designed explicitly for UHNW clients. The new unit aims to help the private bank’s advisers deliver more integrated services to clients, according to J.P. Morgan US Private Bank CEO David Frame.
Best Private Bank For Sustainable Investing: Bank Of America Private Bank
In this volatile year for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns, Bank of America Private Bank stood out for seamlessly blending sustainability research with traditional financial analysis, offering insights that helped clients make informed sustainability-linked investment decisions.
Overall, this was a year of impressive growth: The private bank has posted a remarkable 14% year-over-year surge in AUM as of this year. Likewise, the bank’s ESG commitments expanded, giving its North American clients a competitive advantage in comprehending and investing in a diverse array of investment products.
Unlike many of its peers, Bank of America prioritized the “S” in ESG, committing a substantial $500 billion to enhance equality in underserved communities, alongside its third $2 billion offering of Equality Progress Sustainability Bonds designed to advance racial and gender equality, economic opportunity, and environmental sustainability.
Best Private Bank Digital Solutions For Clients: Citi Private Bank
Citi Private Bank’s commitment to digital innovation made it a standout choice for clients looking for high-tech solutions that streamline wealth management, drive informed decision-making, and provide easy accessibility across regions and banking platforms. Citi’s wealth management portal, In View, combines institutional-grade tools with traditional private banking functions, offering real-time financial insights, analytics, and execution capabilities.
Clients can access features including portfolio monitoring, detailed asset analysis, and digital transactions. The platform offers an intuitive interface, expanded transaction capabilities, and comprehensive performance reporting, even for remote support. Over the past 12 months, Citi has introduced further enhancements such as user-friendly navigation, expanded transaction capabilities, seamless DocuSign integration, mobile app expansion, streamlined cooperation with other banks through Citi Direct, multisigner payment options, and in-depth performance reporting.