Wachovia To Hire Nearly 300 Private Bankers
Charlotte, N.C.—Wachovia, the fifth largest U.S. wealth manager, has named Morrison Creech as managing executive, Private Banking, and announced plans to expand the group’s presence throughout its footprint by more than doubling its number of Private Banking relationship managers.
Creech will lead a team of Private Banking relationship managers, previously known as the Private Advisory Group, that currently numbers 240 and will more than double over the next three years. Hiring is targeted to take place in high-growth markets throughout the Wachovia footprint, including Florida, Texas, California and New York. Private Banking relationship managers will partner with the 1,300 financial advisors in the Investment Services Group of Wachovia Securities to serve the investment needs of the affluent market. Growth in the number of American households with $250,000 to $5 million in investable assets is projected to increase 30 percent from 14 million in 2005 to 18 million by 2010.
“With the significant transfer of wealth under way and the increasing number of affluent individuals, Wachovia Wealth Management and our Private Banking teams are well-positioned to grow and deliver our robust suite of wealth products and services across a broader client base,” said Creech. “Our goal is to be on the ground and fully-staffed in the markets where these potential clients are located.”
Based in Charlotte, Creech will report to Stanhope Kelly, president of Wachovia Wealth Management. In this newly created role, he will be responsible for the overall strategy, growth and performance of Private Banking, enabling Wachovia to heighten its focus on the affluent market. Previously, bankers who served this segment reported through Wachovia’s retail bank.
“Bringing Private Banking into Wealth Management makes it easier for clients to move through each stage of their financial life cycle and positions us to grow with clients over time,” Kelly said. “It maximizes Wachovia’s investment in two complementary businesses and allows more clients to take advantage of our robust products and services.”
Creech said that bringing in clients who are new to Wachovia will continue to be a primary focus of the group. Since 2004, the Private Advisory Group has added 30,000 new clients, reporting double digit growth in loans, deposits, revenue and investment revenue each year. In addition, Private Banking will work closely with Wachovia bankers to serve the personal financial needs of business owners and executives whose firms generate up to $15 million in annual revenue. Wachovia serves nearly one million of these firms.
“Wachovia has served many of these companies for decades, but their executives often are not aware that we have a sophisticated private bank to serve their personal financial needs,” added Creech. “Many of them have their net worth tied up in their businesses and need advice on succession planning as they transition to retirement.”
Wachovia’s Private Banking clients are typically working professionals, such as executives, doctors, lawyers and business owners. “These are busy people with complex lives who need advice to simplify their finances,” Creech said. “We know more about their needs than ever before and are prepared not only to meet, but to exceed their expectations.”
Creech joined Wachovia in 2003 and previously served as managing executive of Credit and Deposit Services in Wealth Management. Prior to joining Wachovia, he worked with Bank of America and its predecessors for 25 years serving middle market clients in the commercial bank. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2008, with Private Banking in place to serve affluent clients, the threshold for new Wealth Management clients will move up from $2 million to $5 million or more in investable assets. Wachovia will continue to serve Wealth Management clients with its Advantage investment platform, including a full range of traditional investment strategies, such as domestic and international equities and fixed income, as well as a wide range of alternative strategies for high-net-worth investors. Alternative strategies include hedge funds, commodities, real estate and private equity.
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