Tuesday, November 06, 2007

"My, That's a Big Boutique You Have!"

Thanks to Bessemer Trust, even those of us not subscribing to Barron's Online can read their recent cover story on private banks.

As in prior years, Barron's contrasts private banking behemoths with the boutiques.

Do the perceived advantages of each still exist?

Consider the biggies: Merrill Lynch and Citigroup. These behemoths are losing billions and billions because they were so willfully ignorant as to think subprime mortgages could be sliced and diced into safe investments. Would you entrust your family fortune to them?

Entrusting the family fortune to a specialized fiduciary organization seems the better idea. Yet Bessemer Trust, for example, manages over $50 billion and maintains offices all over the U.S., not to mention London and the Cayman Islands. Can Bessemer still claim the status of a boutique?

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