New Bank Of The West Unit Will Serve Ultra-Rich
Ultra-high-net-worth families and individuals, foundations and family offices have a new resource in Bank of the West Wealth Management Group, which has launched a new division to serve that market.

Family Wealth Advisors, which officially launched October 14, is focused on integrated wealth management solutions for ultra-high-net-worth individuals, families, foundations and family offices with more than $25 million in assets, according to Bank of the West.

“Most families have challenges and large ultra-high-net-worth families are no different,” said Steve Prostano, head of the division. “These family dynamics often need to be addressed before they can effectively put a plan in place to transfer their wealth. These issues are definitely intertwined.”

Financial advisors in 27 offices nationwide will be part of the division, offering rich clients solutions to develop and implement strategic family plans.

“We help families envision the future, translate that vision into concrete goals and objectives that the generations agree upon and provide a road map or action plan for them to follow,” Prostano told Private Wealth.

Because the division will be serving clients with complex issues and needs, Prostano said it is recruiting financial advisors with at least 20 years of experience across various disciplines, including law, investment banking and even social work.

“There is now a trend in the industry to focus on the EQ or emotional intelligence level of advisors because softer issues are becoming a more important component of what they are delivering,” he said.

Three core teams made up of trust and portfolio strategists, as well as experts in wealth planning, philanthropy, family governance and capital advisory and banking, will support the division’s senior client advisors in San Francisco, California’s Orange County and Denver.

“The general trend is a move towards direct investing and private equity investment,” said Prostano. “Families that are philanthropic are often focused on having a significant positive impact on society, and they are exploring ways in which they can deploy their capital. There has been a definite move from SRI to impact investing and other more innovative approaches.”

Sustainable, responsible and impact investing (SRI) are investment disciplines that consider environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria in generating long-term competitive financial returns and a positive impact on society.