While the high net worth market is growing in America, it's growing even faster overseas.
James W. Zeigon, an executive vice president at Chase Manhattan Corp. in New York, said the fastest-growing markets are in Latin America (8% a year) and Asia (11%).
New York-based Chase, which has $69 billion of assets under management, targets entrepreneurs with at least $5 million of investable dollars.
"We find that our clients are much more interested in the capital markets, emerging markets-type products. And we have a strong capability in emerging markets."
Serving wealthy customers in 120 countries has also required major spending on systems. "We've invested over $40 million in the last few years in hardware alone," said Mr. Zeigon. "Because to operate on a global level you have to move information quickly to your client management teams - not only about markets but about products."
In addition to installing local and wide area networks, Chase has built videoconferencing systems.
"A client can come into London and 'meet' with his portfolio manager in New York. Or a client can come into San Francisco, and meet with a product specialist in New York or London," said Mr. Zeigon.