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Private Banking and Wealth Management Survey 2010: Methodology

For this survey, private banking is defined as banking services targeted at wealthy clients. The most obvious respondents would be customers but given their desire for secrecy and the issues of finding a representative sample this was problematic. We have therefore asked the private banks themselves to identify the companies that they admire as the top providers of both competitive and non-competitive services. Participating private banks were sent an online questionnaire by email, or were able to access the questionnaire directly from

The survey had two distinct components this year: Part A (performance figures) and Part B (nominations).

For Part A, heads of private banking/marketing/business development were asked to provide on a regional-level basis: (i) their bank’s latest reported audited annual non-institutional private banking assets under management (AUM); (ii) average AUM growth, last three years, arithmetic mean; (iii) number of employees in private banking division – average for latest audited year; (iv) net income from private banking – latest audited annual figures; (v) year-on-year percentage change in annual net income. On a country-level basis, we asked for: (i) latest year-on-year percentage change in the number of private banking clients; (ii) latest year-on-year percentage change in private banking gross revenue; (iii) latest year-on-year percentage change in private banking net income. The Best private banking services overall category in each region/country was 70% weighted by the nominations received in Part B and 30% weighted by the data reported in Part A. For each of the variables in Part A the banks were awarded pro-rata points, based on their share of the total.

In Part B, we were interested in the views of frontline banking staff – individual employees with a perspective on the relative merits and demerits of their banks and its competitors. We asked the voters to identify the country about which they had the most knowledge. They then nominated the peers in that country they thought were best, second and third in each category. We awarded four, three and two points, respectively to each of those nominations in that category and country. We also awarded a small number of points to the respondent’s own firm for each nomination provided.

Global and regional results are aggregates of country results. Regional Part A figures were used for the regional and global results and country Part A figures were used for the country results.

The survey was conducted from August to October 2009. We received 424 valid Part A forms (8% up on the 399 submitted in 2009) and 1,373 valid Part B votes (10% up on the 1,244 votes received in 2009), representing $6.8 trillion of assets under management.

For more information please contact Kalin Trifonov ( or Tim Moxon, head of research ( 

All references to Bank of America Merrill Lynch include the highest individual ranking for Bank of America or Merrill Lynch in the 2009 poll.