There's gold in BayBanks' customer base, and Jack Arena plans to mine it.

The president of BayBanks Investment Management Inc. is gearing up to aggressively sell private banking services to some 20,000 customers of the bank company.

The targeted group -- which represents 3% of BayBanks' 750,000 depositors -- comprises customers with at least $750,000 to invest.

"We have close to 4,000 private banking clients right now," Mr. Arena said. "But where are the other 16,000? Why aren't they doing business with us?"

One reason may be that the Boston-based company never heavily promoted its private banking services, which Mr. Arena termed traditional.

To change that, he is shifting the unit's focus to investment management, and says he's hiring the staff he needs to make the change.

"The real issue is to marshal a real good number of people to make a real good effort at tapping into the customer base BayBanks has," Mr. Arena said.

"Most of them view us as their primary bank, and we'd like to take advantage of that."

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