Magazine article American Banker

Union Bank of Calif. Plans A Private Banking Group

Magazine article American Banker

Union Bank of Calif. Plans A Private Banking Group

Article excerpt

Union Bank of California's new investment chief is overhauling services for wealthy individuals and institutions, with an eye toward bolstering customer loyalty.

Yoichi Kambara, a bank vice chairman who was named head of trust and private financial services last month, said trust services, investments, deposits, and credit for clients with net worths of $5 million or more will be centralized in a private banking group in January. Currently, those services are split up along product lines.

Mr. Kambara also said he plans to consolidate mutual funds and common trust funds under the bank's investment management division, Pacific Alliance Capital Management. Assets in that unit, which currently deals only with separate accounts for institutions and individuals, will have $16 billion of assets under management.

"The aim of this reorganization is to create a customer- oriented, dynamic marketing organization," Mr. Kambara said, adding he will not take credit for the idea.

"It's not management change-driven, it's really customer- driven," he said.

With the move, the $30.3 billion-asset Union Bank of California, a San Francisco-based unit of the world's largest commercial bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd., is following in the footsteps of several banking companies, including Fleet Financial Group Inc. and PNC Bank Corp., that have streamlined their asset management businesses.

Union Bank next year plans to convert close to $3 billion of common trust fund assets into its proprietary Highmark mutual funds. …

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