Bank of America prides itself on combining a “highly customised”, boutique client experience with providing access “to one of the world’s largest financial institutions, including the top global research team, a tremendous balance sheet for lending and $10bn annual in technology investments,” says Jeff Busconi, chief operating officer at Bank of America Private Bank. The bank’s approach, defined as “high tech and high touch”, enables clients’ sophisticated and complex needs to be met, including custom lending, philanthropy, art services, environmental, social and governance investing and specialty asset management.
A key differentiator for the US institution is its ability to handle non-financial assets in a portfolio, which originates from the private bank’s long history of managing those types of assets in trusts. With Covid-19 leading clients to reassess their priorities, combined with the start of the great wealth transfer, the US institution has been focused on meeting the increased wealth, estate and philanthropic planning needs of its clients and their families. Moreover, owners whose businesses succeeded through the pandemic are now increasingly considering a transition, especially in light of high valuations and with potential tax changes on the horizon. “Clients want to ensure their families are protected, that they’re living their legacy, and that their values are passed on to future generations,” says Mr Busconi. Clients plan to pass 80 per cent of their wealth to family, yet nearly 60 per cent are not confident their children will use the money responsibly, reports Jesse Mandell, whole family engagement strategist at the bank. “We aim to close that gap and reinvigorated our work providing family meetings and financial education through our bespoke programme, financial empowerment, reaching more families in 2020 than in 2019, and all virtually.” With an intentional focus on the under-represented communities of women, people of colour and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, plus (LGBT+), the bank implemented several initiatives and routines which aim to retain and promote its existing diverse workforce,while attracting additional diverse talent. ET