Magazine article American Banker

Interaudi Bank Mulls Dropping Gold from Investment Menu

Magazine article American Banker

Interaudi Bank Mulls Dropping Gold from Investment Menu

Article excerpt

Despite the importance of gold as a hedge in volatile markets, Interaudi Bank is considering dropping it as an investment option for its roster of mainly high-net-worth investors.

Joseph G. Audi, the New York-based bank's founder, president, and chief executive officer, said it decided to add gold to its lineup last year on recommendation from an economist.

"We were very bullish last year, but we're not sure if we're going to keep" gold as an investment product, he said in an interview Wednesday at the New York Institutional Gold Conference and Diamond Expo. He would not say why the bank was considering dropping the product.

Mr. Audi was one of the roughly 3,500 attendees at the conference, held Wednesday and Thursday in New York at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. The annual conference draws more than 200 gold and natural resource companies, and its presentations are by the industry's top fund managers, analysts, and investors.

Gold is typically bought by individual high-net-worth investors, Mr. Audi noted. It has a historical element and is still popular with some Interaudi clients, he said. "It's one of the oldest investment tools."

The appeal for many is tangibility, Mr. Audi said. Investors "can have something in their hand instead of a stock" or mutual fund. The commodity remains very popular as an investment tool in regions including Europe, South America, Asia, and the Middle East, he said.

Interaudi Bank, a private outfit, targets those with assets of $100,000 to $1 million. It does not actively market gold as an investment option, and advises clients to invest no more than 10%-15% of their assets in gold.

"It should only be a small part of their overall assets," Mr. Audi said

Offering gold to customers has no downside, he said, and it represents another choice for Interaudi customers. …

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