Magazine article American Banker

Bank Leumi Opens Branch in Fla. for Private Banking

Magazine article American Banker

Bank Leumi Opens Branch in Fla. for Private Banking

Article excerpt

The U.S. unit of Israel's Bank Leumi has opened a Florida branch in an effort to expand its private banking business in the United States.

Bank Leumi, a Tel Aviv-based institution, announced last week that its Bank Leumi USA had promoted Avi Stein to senior manager to run the new branch in Boca Raton, Fla. Mr. Stein, 59, has worked 37 years for Bank Leumi, most recently as head of international private banking for New York-based Bank Leumi USA.

Mr. Stein said that Bank Leumi is going to go after customers with more than $1 million of investable assets. He said that, considering the bank's strength in Israel, New York, and Latin America, the Florida market was a logical expansion opportunity. The bank has $2.5 billion of U.S. private banking assets.

"I feel it. There is a good opportunity here to expand our private banking with domestic customers in the United States," Mr. Stein said. "Bank Leumi has a worldwide network in Europe and in other financial sectors. Southern Florida is a good hub of activity."

Bank Leumi began a push into the United States in 1997 by consolidating all its U.S. operations and changing its name from Bank Leumi Trust Co. to Bank Leumi USA.

Bank Leumi established sites in New York, Chicago, and Beverly Hills and Encino, Calif. It also had a Miami office -- not a branch -- that collected deposits from non-U.S. citizens.

Since then, the bank has established an additional branch in San Jose, Calif. Analysts said the Southern Florida office will be a good opportunity for Bank Leumi to leverage its heritage and experience overseas to attract wealthy retirees in Florida. …

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