(Dow Jones) Citigroup Inc.'s private banking unit plans to set up a social networking site exclusive to the kids of Citi's ultra-rich clients.
Citi has yet to come up with a domain name for the Web site, which will combine elements of functionality found on Citi, Facebook, Twitter and the Financial Times' website, says Peter Gaudry, vice president and business development officer of New York-based Citi Private Bank.
"The goal is not to social network but to reinforce friendships they've built from other platforms," Gaudry told wealth managers at last week's Private Banking and Wealth Management Forum in Toronto hosted by Insight Information.
The site will not be all about finances: among other things, children will be able to rate the best restaurant they've been to.
"It builds an online tribe without acting like you're building one," Gaudry added.
Citi has been expanding the use of Web-based sites and tools to reach the next generation of wealthy clients, particularly the children of its private banking clients, who typically have at least $25 million to invest.
Retail brokerage firms in North America have long been holding events like summer bootcamps for the children of affluent clientele, but the social networking arena is fairly new territory.
"Your future clients are already there whether you're there or not," Gaudry says.
In the case of Citi, the bank partnered with Tile Financial for last year's launch of www.spendgrowgive.com, an online financial tool exclusive to the kids of Citi's private banking clients ages 15 to 22.
The tool allows users to track down their spending, investments, and donations to charitable causes, helping the children of its private banking clients learn more about the responsibilities and complexities of wealth early on.