How do I Become a Private Banker?

Elva K.

Private banking involves banking for individuals with liquid assets of $1 million US Dollars (USD) or more. Private banking service might include things such as wealth management advice, high interest savings account opportunities, tax advice, or actual hands-on wealth management service. If you aspire to become a private banker, you generally will need a college degree and a post-graduate degree.

At some large banks, there are special programs which train individuals to become private bankers.
At some large banks, there are special programs which train individuals to become private bankers.

Getting a bachelor's degree in finance can be useful if you want to become a private banker. Having knowledge of finance will be helpful because investment and money management are part of what a private banker does. Having knowledge of finance is also helpful because, as a private banker, you must be able to have stock, bond, and private equity discussions with clients in the process of advising them.

Application for a job in the banking arena will typically occur during the final college semester. Granted, it is possible that instead of applying for a job, you might instead have to apply for a training program first. For example, at some large banks, there are special programs which train individuals to become private bankers.

Also, while not absolutely essential, having a master's degree in business can be an asset. The master's degree shows prospective employers that you are serious in your goal to work in private banking. Applying to a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program after two years of work experience is generally recommended.

In terms of career path, those who want to become a private banker can choose to pursue sales or they can choose to pursue investment. Sales will typically involve telephone work, establishing a relationship with individuals, and selling whatever products the bank might have to offer to those individuals. Investment personnel will tend to focus on putting together investment plans and investing clients' money.

If you want to become a private banker, it is important to have good oral and written communications skills because you will spend much of your time communicating with clients. Having the capacity to listen to and make insightful observations can also be helpful in terms of determining clients' needs. Being able to keep investment information confidential is also important. Salaries do vary depending on how much experience a private banker has and depending on how successful the private banker is in bringing in clients or investing clients' money. Granted, if you have good sales skills or good investment skills, a career in private banking can be lucrative.

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Discussion Comments


I work for a bank with a private banking department, and I hope to transfer there when I get a little bit more experience. It is not an easy place to get a job, even for current employees of the bank.

They require graduate school, a couple of years of experience, and references. Those with contacts in the upper ends of the local business market are definitely looked on favorably.

This is definitely a job designed to benefit two distinct groups: First, obviously the wealthy people who use the services of the private bankers. They get the convenience of someone doing most of the "work" of banking for them and also keeping an eye on their accounts to make sure nothing out of the ordinary happens like fraud, overdrafts, or other inconveniences.

The second beneficiary is definitely the bank. As much as they require their private bankers to provide excellent service, they also expect them to constantly make a subtle sales push to the clients. Job performance is tracked partially on customer satisfaction, but definitely also on sales.

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