Bloomberg reports that the bank has combined trust, brokerage and private-banking at its Bank of the West unit as it seeks to manage more money for wealthy people in the world’s largest economy, Sofia Merlo, co-head of wealth management at Paris-based BNP Paribas, said in an interview. The subsidiary manages about $10bn, more than two-thirds in brokerage accounts, said John Bahnken, head of wealth management at the unit.
Wealth management has 'turned into a significant positive story', Bahnken said in an interview at the unit’s flagship office, which opened September 5th in San Francisco’s financial district. 'We came to the conclusion that given the client base and changing regulatory environment it was important to provide wealth management' for U.S. clients, he said.
About 70% of BNP Paribas’s assets at the end of 2011 were in four euro-area markets - France, Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg, based on data from its annual report. Expanding wealth management in the U.S. would lure more clients and increase revenue from a business less dependent on a region struggling with a debt crisis now in its third year.
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