Citi Private Bank To Expand Canadian Footprint

Wendy Connett Editor New York September 30, 2010

Citi Private Bank To Expand Canadian Footprint

Citi Private Bank plans to open an office in Calgary, Canada next year to further tap entrepreneurial wealth there, one of the bank's top managers told this publication.

Citi Private Bank plans to open an office in Calgary, Canada next year to further tap entrepreneurial wealth there, Bob McGuire, global market manager for Citi Private Bank Canada, told Family Wealth Report in an exclusive interview. It has also set its sights on new wealth emerging from Mainland China.

The on the ground expansion into Calgary is being driven by entrepreneurial wealth, McGuire, who is also chairman of the board and president of Citibank Canada Investment Funds, said. The boom in oil and gas in the last couple of decades has created mega wealth.

Clients in Calgary are currently serviced from Vancouver. The private bank also has offices in Toronto and Montreal.

Citi has had a private banking presence in Canada for 25 years. The private bank in Asia saw immigration from Hong Kong and the wealth of that market as an opportunity to open in Vancouver.

In terms of Mainland China, McGuire said he “fully expects Canada to be a destination for this new wealth as well” like it was in Hong Kong in the last few decades. “The amount of wealth being created in Mainland China is significant,” he added.

Indeed China remained the world’s fourth largest HNW individual base in 2009 with 477,000 such individuals, up 31 per cent over 2008, according to the Merrill Lynch/Capgemini World Wealth Report released in June. Moreover, in Asia Pacific China is among the countries expected to lead the way in HNW population growth. 

For this growing segment of wealth Citi is leveraging its global brand. “We’ve been in China for over 100 years,” McGuire said. The Citi brand is recognized which gives the bank a competitive edge, he added.

The bank works closely with colleagues in Hong Kong to cater to affluent Chinese clients. Having a global network and open architecture platform is also key for this segment and for the private bank worldwide.

In Canada the private bank has a fairly big amount of clients whose wealth was created by real estate. They are heavy users of loans. The second generation of these real estate families is now looking to diversify away from real estate holdings, McGuire said.  

Citi’s ultra high net worth private banking customers have a minimum net worth of $25 million. It has about 40 professionals in Canada.


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