U.S. Bank Expands, Hires for Wealth Mgmt. Biz

A new unit that will serve the wealthiest individuals is in the process of being created; employees of all types will be hired to staff that unit-and, separately, the bank's broker-dealer unit plans to hire another 110 financial advisers by the year's end.

U.S. Bancorp subsidiary U.S. Bank is in the process of expanding its wealth management group and adding a unit to serve ultrahigh-net-worth individuals.

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank has served ultrahigh-net-worth individuals-those with more than $25 million in investable assets-for many years. But the ultrahigh-net-worth “client base has grown significantly” within the past three years, said spokeswoman Cheryl Stone.

Employees ranging from marketing staff to operations and investment professionals are being hired to staff the new unit-which also will operate a family wealth institute.

According to Stone, the institute “will help some of the wealthiest families in the country” with family governance and risk management, family dynamics (including leadership and communications), multi-generational wealth planning, strategic planning, education, and stewardship.

Stone said it's too soon to tell how many employees will be hired for the new unit as a whole and specifically for the family wealth institute-but several office locations for the institute will open across the country. Among the individuals U.S. Bank will hire for those offices are psychology and genealogy professionals who will work with ultrahigh-net-worth clients and help paint a picture of their family histories.

Separately from the new ultrahigh-net-worth unit, the wealth management group's broker-dealer unit-U.S. Bancorp Investments-is growing. It now employs about 490 financial advisers, but plans call for growing that number to about 600 by the end of 2011, according to Stone.

Stone explained that U.S. Bank has made “significant investments” in its wealth management group since 2008. As the client base has grown, so have their needs-and the growth “has come to a point where the bank wants to accommodate the specialized needs of the wealthy,” said Stone.

According to Stone, U.S. Bank's wealth management group has close to $60 billion in assets under management. The assets are distributed fairly evenly among ultrahigh-net-worth clients, high-net-worth clients (those who have more than $1 million in investable assets), and affluent clients (those who have more than $100,000 in investable assets).

The wealth management group offers investment management services, brokerage, financial planning, private banking, and personal trust and insurance services to a broad range of clients.

With $308 billion in assets as of the end of 2010, U.S. Bancorp is Minnesota's largest bank-holding company. U.S. Bank-which operates 3,069 banking offices in 25 states-is the fifth-largest commercial bank in the country.

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