AP Advisor Private | January 2022

In the collective imagination, private bankers have come to represent an élite of sorts within banks and, lately, within networks of financial advisors.

Working with high-net-worth individuals, being part of the same milieux and often sharing interests (e.g., golf, art, vintage cars, watches etc.) has turned the private banker into a cliché.

Limelight aside, working with entrepreneurs and billionaires is much more complex than dealing with mass or upper affluent clients. In fact, high-net-worth clients are generally on the lookout for alternative, exclusive and dedicated investments; on the other hand, when it comes to costs, they tend to be conscious of basis points.

As a consequence, awareness of issues like trusts, family agreements, tax optimization has become fundamental in the field of generational transition. Not to mention club deals or private equity investments which require exceptional skills and knowledge.

Unsurprisingly, over the past ten years, the importance of education and training for private bankers has increased by +34%; at the same time, the level of satisfaction with the training provided has decreased drastically by -19%.

Of course, a distinction must be made between compulsory training defined by the law and ad hoc training designed for private bankers specifically.

With regards to compulsory training, the considerations of private bankers are overall consistent with the general opinion of their colleagues who work with mass and upper affluent clients.

Non-compulsory training designed by the HR management of private banks, often together with prestigious universities or trade associations and dedicated to private bankers, is altogether different.

When done right, training generates a multiplier effect that goes beyond acquiring new skills or professional knowledge. In fact, good training affects the learner’s level of loyalty and sense of belonging.

Key factors include topics, speakers, but also the mode of delivery including location. Social distancing, in particular, has made location a determining factor in allowing for the creation of team classes.

Moreover, training is not connected merely with education, but also to values: it can create cohesiveness and unity of purpose within teams of various sizes.

Today, the most missed aspects of training vis-à-vis pre-2020 activities are the possibility to meet off site or outside of the workspace (41%) and the possibility to meet teachers, trainers (34%) and colleagues (27%) in person.

Moreover, training holds an important social value for over 50% of private bankers.

In conclusion, today the private banker, as a young Ulysses, grants universal importance to training; this makes Dante’s infamous tercet all the more relevant: “fatti non foste a viver come bruti ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza”.

Nicola Ronchetti