The California private banking market is heating up as big money management banks shift their focus away from large institutions to wealthy individuals.

BankAmerica Corp. said it plans to double its private banking sales staff in the state to 50 people by the end of the year. Meanwhile, New York's Bessemer Trust Co., which opened a Los Angeles outpost last year, is planning to open a San Francisco office early next year. And Beverly Hills' City National Bank said it too is on the hunt to build its staff catering to the rich.

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