Private banking 2012: United Bankers – Finland
Since 2008, the financial crisis has played in United Bankers’ favour, explains Jani Lehti, chief executive of United Bankers Asset Management. "As a result of the banking crises, customers often find foreign players suspect and prefer local names with good reputation and contacts they know," says Lehti. "Finnish private customers also consider local companies more trustworthy."
But according to United Bankers, there is little competition between them and the global players anyway as the markets they each focus on are rather disconnected. "We are challengers for small and mid-size mandates where a high degree of understanding is needed of the profound needs and goals of the clients," says Lehti. "Global players usually only chase business from the ultra-high-net-worth individual segment. [Global banks] don’t currently have meaningful representation on our market area as global private banks usually do not have enough interest to access smaller markets like Finland."
Founded in 1986, United Bankers is a Helsinki-based wealth management, fund management and brokerage firm. "There is an increasing number of wealthy private customers as well as SMEs who seek wealth management services [in Finland]," says Lehti.