Magazine article American Banker

Pa. Bank Is Counting on Wealth Management as Engine for Growth

Magazine article American Banker

Pa. Bank Is Counting on Wealth Management as Engine for Growth

Article excerpt

As he steps into a new role as president of Keystone Financial Inc.'s wealth management businesses, Mark L. Pulaski is solidifying plans to make them the centerpiece of the Pennsylvania company's growth strategy.

"We've done a very good job" selling investment products, he said, "but we've only penetrated 3% to 4% of our customer base. It would be nice to get to 25% over time."

Mr. Pulaski, who for the past two years had been president and chief operating officer of the Harrisburg company's flagship Keystone Bank, assumed his new post Nov. 29 in a restructuring of its retail banking operations. He says the wealth management business has fascinated him for some time.

"This goes to the core of our customer relationship," said Mr. Pulaski, 45. "Wealth management is a much stronger core around which to build."

As a division, wealth management encompasses all of Keystone's investment services operations, including personal trust, full-service and discount brokerage, mutual funds, and retirement benefit services. The unit has existed for about a year, the result of the merging of trust departments of Keystone's seven component banks, which the company is consolidating under a single charter.

Keystone executives are still ironing out details of corporate strategy and goals. But the key, according to Mr. Pulaski, lies in linking various products and services so as to provide a comprehensive suite of services tailored to the needs of a given bank customer.

For instance, Mr. Pulaski said, the bank will seek to attract young people to its trust department by extending business hours and running seminars on topics such as budgeting and household planning. It also plans to attract niche groups -- such as doctors and attorneys -- with which it works, by assembling investment packages tailored to their specific needs. …

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