How private bankers can simplify banking for business owners

Business owners can leverage a private banker as their personal banking relationship manager to simplify their banking experience. Private bankers provide a single point of contact for all of the solutions and services within a bank, helping their clients manage their personal and professional financial complexity.

Private bankers maintain a small book of clients and work across the bank’s footprint to connect them to all of their banking needs, whether that’s originating loans, opening deposit accounts, managing wealth and more. This can both save time and simplify the banking process.

“Individuals with a lot of financial complexity who don’t use private banking services are probably working too hard to coordinate their banking relationships,” says Jennifer Scroggs, Wealth Management Director at Premier Bank. “On their own, they could be trying to connect with a commercial lender, a mortgage lender, a personal lender, etc. They’re taking on a lot of that banking work themselves when a private banker could be doing it for them.”

Smart Business spoke with Scroggs about private bankers, what they do, who can benefit from their services and how to choose the right one.

Who should use a private banker?

Individuals with a high net worth — depending on the bank, that could mean between $250,000 to $3 million on deposit or more — who have financial complexity benefit greatly from a private banker’s help. Many business owners qualify for private banking services, generally, but there are events that can make a private banker a useful adviser, such as a business owner looking to sell their business or for someone who’s recently inherited a business or money. These individuals often have a great deal of financial complexity to manage and can benefit from customized solutions to help them meet their financial objectives and goals.

Why use a private banker?

Private bankers are not in a compensation arrangement that incentivizes them to push product. They’re focused exclusively on identifying their clients’ needs by asking questions, digging deeper and finding holistic solutions. Business owners who don’t use a private banker miss out on an additional set of eyes to provide feedback. These professionals have worked with individuals both in similar industries and in similar transitions — through succession or estate planning, for instance — and can provide feedback based on that knowledge to help business owners make decisions because they’ve seen what’s worked and what hasn’t.

They’re able to provide customized solutions for managing, developing, implementing and monitoring their financial goals while also making introductions to other members of the bank’s team who can help further those objectives, such as trust officers, portfolio managers and brokers. With their background, experience and connections that they have in the community, they’re able to direct clients to other resources outside the bank to help them manage the financial complexity of their business or their family. And because they’re working with a smaller book of clients, they have the time to focus on each client’s goals and objectives.

For those who haven’t worked with a private banker before, what should they look for?

When searching for a private banker, look for someone who’s not afraid to ask personal, sometimes uncomfortable questions — about death and taxes, the person’s goals for their children or succession plans for the business. It’s important that the private banker dig deeper to have a full understanding of the client’s circumstances before making a recommendation and introducing them to other partners within the bank.

It’s also important to find the right bank to work with. Some banks are only accessible to individuals with upwards of $3 million on deposit, but the private banking threshold at other banks is much lower.

There’s a great deal that a private banker can do for a business owner. By centralizing their banking relationship with one professional, and being honest and open about their needs and goals, business owners can save a lot of time and effort while also connecting to just the right services for their situation. ●

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Jennifer Scroggs, SVP

Wealth Management Director
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