The growing ranks of the super rich and their increased appetite for risk have caught the eye of investment bankers.

Traditionally focused on companies and institutions, investment banks are hiring staff and reorganising teams to cater to wealthy clans, from Chinese multimillionaires to old world dynasties in Europe and the United States.

While some such families have been involved in direct investment for years, many more are just getting interested, seeing more potential for profit there than in funds or markets.

"The global scale of this is meaningful so the group takes notice," said Philip Higson, Vice Chairman of the Global Family Office Group at Swiss bank UBS which, like others, had previously courted individuals via its wealth management arm.

Unsurprisingly, investment banks in Switzerland, the global hub of wealth management, have led the way in targeting family offices, the private firms that manage the financial affairs of the richest families.

But U.S. banks are also deploying more investment bankers to focus on the super rich, whose numbers are on the rise. At the top end, a study by UBS and consulting firm Wealth-X identified 2,325 billionaires last year, up 7.1 percent over 2013.

BoA Merrill Lynch hired a Goldman Sachs banker last year to look after family offices within investment banking, while JP Morgan asked two of its investment team to focus on the area.

And banks are also trying to reorient their structure to seize the opportunity - UBS created a joint venture between its investment bank and wealth management department at the end of 2010, and Credit Suisse has also adapted.

"At Credit Suisse we set up a private banking multi-asset class sales desk within the investment bank, so the client has one point of contact," said Matthew Haimes, Managing Director and Head of Family Office and Institutional Clients.

Family offices traditionally managed a clan's day-to-day financial affairs, from paying the heir apparents' school fees to dealing with tax and charitable interests. For investment advice they tapped private bankers and fund managers.

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