When clients walk into National Bank Private Banking 1859′s new office in the heart of downtown Toronto’s financial district, they often take a step back.
“Clients walk in and say, ‘this doesn’t feel like a bank,’” says Sheila Jarvis, regional vice-president of Private Banking 1859 in Toronto, which opened at 121 King Street West in early March.
Ms. Jarvis describes the location as “more of a European-style office than a bank. It’s a concierge, high touch, customized client-centric approach to private banking.”
While the classic office-meeting experience was put on hold this spring, as part of nationwide COVID-19 business closure measures, Private Banking 1859 continues to serve its clients virtually. Ms. Jarvis says the bank’s professionals reach out to their clients via phone or email and meetings can be arranged either online or in-person at a distance to maintain a human connection.
Ms. Jarvis says her team is excited to return to full on-site operations in Toronto when the pandemic eventually eases.
“The Toronto market is ready for something different; it’s ready for us,” she says.
The move to Canada’s financial hub in Toronto was inevitable after Private Banking 1859, a firm specializing in serving complex financial needs, opened its first office in Montreal in 2009, followed by Calgary and Vancouver in 2015. The subsidiary has had a small presence in Toronto since Private Banking 1859 launched but moved to a full-service operation earlier this year. Ontario has the largest number of wealthy individuals in the country and many are turning to Private Banking 1859 to help support their wealth management needs and goals.
The private bank’s clients in Toronto include people who have inherited family fortunes, real estate developers, top corporate executives and business professionals, as well as entrepreneurs, celebrities and professional athletes.
“Our clients' needs are very customized and very unique,” Ms. Jarvis says.
She says many of the bank’s clients are seeking more holistic wealth management and guidance in areas such as financial, tax and real estate planning, business succession, insurance and philanthropy. The need for a different private banking experience is increasingly important amid a demographic shift happening as baby boomers continue to transfer their wealth to the next generation.
“That’s created the need for a refresh,” in how wealth services are delivered, Ms. Jarvis says “which includes not just sounds money management and advice, but also a human touch. We hear from clients that they want something different; they want a more authentic and human approach.”
Adds Mr. Jarvis: “We make sure the client is at the centre of everything we do.”
The Toronto market is ready for something different...— Private Banking 1859’s Sheila Jarvis
Private Banking 1859 handles the specific needs many wealthy families have, including partnering them with the right tax and legal professionals as well as experienced portfolio managers to help manage and maximize their wealth.
And while many banks seek to become larger, Private Banking 1859 aims to manage its growth to maintain the personalized attention that it has become known for, alongside its “co-ordinated and integrated team” service, Ms. Jarvis says.
The bank models its concierge style approach to the banking experience the wealthy often receive in places like Geneva or Paris.
“We call it the red-carpet experience,” Ms. Jarvis says, describing both the feel of the physical office and the relationship clients will develop with the private bank and its team of experts.
“Being a smaller bank, we’re nimble, more agile and we can get something done that’s customized very quickly for a client,” she says.
“Clients are looking for a trusted and respectful relationship with their advisors; it’s what we do best.”
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.