Bank trust and investment management units, eager to keep up with nonbanks in the competition for wealthy clients, are on a hiring binge.

Executive recruiters say requests for investment management experts have risen as much as 30% to 35% a year for the past three years, with demand for experienced financial marketers running especially high. To fill business development positions, banks are seeking executives who have long lists of client contacts - often culled through a career at a money management firm or during a stint as a lender to the affluent.

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