From the Editor's Desk

3 things that will change private banking this quarter

But first: An introduction.

Six years ago, I started WealthInsight, a wealth consultancy that advises private banks and other organisations on high net worth individuals. In September I swapped the metaphorical report for a pen and took over the editorship of Private Banker International.

This is not such a big jump as it may first seem: The private banking industry is built around a single group of people defined by their wealth. Call them HNWIs, ultra-wealthy or multimillionaires – this group is highly elusive and opaque in their nature. Swapping my consultant’s hat for a journalist’s one, I aim to bring to the readers of PBI a clear and true understanding of these individuals, your clients, and their habits, movements and wealth.

Which brings us nicely onto the latest digital edition of PBI and the three things effecting HNWIs and could therefore change private banking this quarter…


Q4 is the last complete quarter that Britain will remain inside the European Union as Brexit takes effect on 29th March.

This is an issue that will have a profound impact on private banks as they are forced to anticipate how the unknown impacts of Brexit will effect how they – and their clients –do business inside the EU. Mishelle Thurai looks at ‘Where private banks are moving ahead of Brexit’ and some of the perks different wealth hubs are offering the private banking sector.


In August UBS announced that it was closing Smartwealth, the online wealth management platform – or robo-advisor - that it launched in the UK little over a year ago. This announcement shocked many in wealth management, some of whom had spent millions developing their own robo platforms.

Why did UBS close Smartwealth after promoting it so vigoriously? Does this mean that HNWIs are not as interested in online wealth management as was widely assumed? What will this mean for other players – established and start-ups – in the industry?

Mishelle Thurai speaks to one of the newest wealth management fintechs about these issues and invites you to ‘Meet the fintech taking on UBS Smartwealth’s mantle’.


Almost one year since Bitcoin saw its value quadruple in three months and then return to where it started, many are questioning whether these so-called-currencies are worth investing in.

Our feature, ‘Are Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies worth investing in?’ outlines three reasons why this asset class will not be disappearing.

While these issues will impact private banking this quarter and beyond, others in this issue are worth your curiosity. We look at ‘How to become a millionaire CEO’ and, if your sights are not set so high then peruse our article on ‘Private banking salaries: What the top dogs are earning’.

Lastly, take a look at ‘The Briefing’, which from now on will take a specific theme and analyse recent news or studies concerning it. In this issue we have delved into the topical subject of sustainable investing and found some conflicting studies and surprising developments.

Oliver Williams                                                  Editor, Private Banker International