To carry out its worldwide expansion plan, Dutch-owned ABN Amro Bank is calling on a U.S. private banker.
The $341 billion-asset Amsterdam-based bank promoted Peter H. McGuire from its U.S. banking subsidiary, Lasalle National Corp. in Chicago, to the position of deputy head of global private banking.
Mr. McGuire, who as a senior vice president directed Lasalle's regional private banking in the U.S. and Latin America, is moving to Zurich on Aug. 1.
ABN Amro has been in private banking for 50 years. It is now changing to keep in step with its clientele and the types of investments they are demanding, Mr. McGuire said.
"We've accumulated these clients, and now we're getting down and looking at their needs and rewriting the strategy," he said. "We're improving products, systems, and people."
In Zurich, Mr. McGuire will work for Reinout van Lennep, ABN Amro's executive vice president of international private banking.
Under Mr. van Lennep's direction, the wealth management unit, which deals with accounts of $1 million and more, is taking a new course. It moved last year from ABN Amro's headquarters in Amsterdam to Switzerland to respond to its clients' needs.
"That may reflect a recognition that private banking is changing. You have to sell it, you can't sit on it," said Keith Sjogren of Toronto-based Taddingstone Consulting Group.
The former international private banker offered one reason why the Dutch bank tapped an American to do the global marketing job. "I've seen Americans as more aggressive in sales than European private bankers," Mr. Sjogren said.
The total amount of client assets held at ABN Amro are not disclosed, but its U.S. affiliate, Lasalle National Trust, has $21.7 billion under management.
Part of the expansion blueprint entails getting client managers closer to prospects.
For instance, there are now 40 investment managers in the bank's Miami office as opposed to eight people five years ago. Overall, ABN Amro hired 61 private bankers during that time to work with Latin American clients.
Chicago, which remains a kingpin in the banks' lineup of wealthy markets, has 20 private bankers and a total of 50 portfolio managers, tax experts, and financial planners.
Because his new job is an extension of his former one, the bank has not yet decided if it will replace Mr. McGuire in Chicago. There, Mr. McGuire reported to James B. Wynsma, president of Lasalle National Trust.