Summit Notebook

Beautiful or ugly we’re all in this together – or not

October 19, 2009

The massive overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system backed by President Barack Obama could face a court challenge if it is ever enacted into law.

Napolitano: recommendations split on threat color system

October 19, 2009

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says she is reviewing recommendations on the color-coded threat alert system and experts are evenly split over its usefulness.

Grassley grades Obama’s performance C to F

October 19, 2009

We asked Senator Charles Grassley to grade President Barack Obama’s performance (close your ears Sasha and Malia) and the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee was a bit of a tough schoolmaster.

Washington divided, more trouble ahead for Obama?

October 19, 2009

Washington insiders say that not since the 1890′s have the people that represent the U.S. been so divided. From Gay rights to Afghanistan lawmakers are at polar opposites on issues that are on the Obama administration’s agenda. What’s next? And, what’s likely to get the green light or the stop sign?

from DealZone:

Wealthy clients ask about Facebook relationships for kids

October 8, 2009

Northern Trust has thought very carefully about how to communicate with its wealthy clients. In the U.S., it says it has people within a 45 minute drive of 50 percent of all of the millionaire households.

Time private bankers got professional

October 7, 2009

It’s hard to imagine that a banker who represents multimillionaires would be anything but professional – but a top executive at a leading global bank thinks that’s precisely the wealth management industry’s problem.

Everyone needs a private banker

October 7, 2009
Everyone needs a private banker. Full service means exactly that for one speaker at the Reuters Wealth Management Summit. The ’normal’ range of extras that wealth managers are offering super-rich clients under the banner Lifestyle Management has expanded as they scramble to keep on board clients whose massive wealth was rendered a little less massive during the financial crisis.   Citigroup’s private banking arm keeps an art curator on staff to make sure clients don’t overspend at auctions and maximise the value of their collection – it’s a real problem apparently.   But one of the smaller banks represented at the summit goes a lot further than that. “We do pretty much whatever they want.” On further investigation this stops short of walking the dogs but it does include managing fleets of vehicles, relocation for tax exiles, school selection for the rich in-waiting, wine cellar stocking, art advice (of course) and payroll services for the hired help.   But what was the most unusual request he has ever had from a client? “We were once asked pick up some strange medication and we organised the redecoration of the interior of a private jet in questionable taste,” said one private banker. He wouldn’t say any more, but some might think that was too much detail already.

Tax evaders on the run

October 7, 2009

  By Neil Chatterjee
    The U.S. has promised it will hunt down tax evaders.
    And it seems tax evaders are on the run.
    DBS bank, based in the growing offshore financial centre of
Singapore, told Reuters it had been approached by U.S. citizens
asking for its private banking services. But when told they would
have to sign U.S. tax declaration forms, the potential clients
disappeared.  
    Swiss banks also approached DBS on the hope they could
offload troublesome U.S. clients to a location that so far has
not been reached by the strong arms of Washington or Brussels.
    DBS said no thanks. In fact many private banks and boutique
advisors now seem to be avoiding U.S. clients.
    Will this spread to other nationalities, as governments
invest in tax spies and tax havens invest in white paint?
    Is this the end of offshore private private banking?

Private bankers chanting new mantra

October 7, 2009

Private bankers still getting their ears bashed from clients enraged about massive portfolio losses now are chanting a new mantra.

Investment tales from private bankers

October 7, 2009

By Neil Chatterjee

Top private bankers are no different from the rest of us when it comes to looking after their money.