Phone: 412-261-5966 | Fax: 412-261-3353

Private Banking vs. Wealth Management: Key Differences

Young Couple meeting with a Wealth Advisor

If you think that private banking and wealth management are
pretty much the same thing, we’ll admit that they do look similar on the
surface—and to confuse the two even further, several areas do overlap. While
both services can help you build and manage your assets, they fulfill different
requirements depending on your unique financial needs. 

Private banking means that financial institutions and banks will
offer clients exclusive access to a suite of their products and services. That
might include retirement planning and investment-related advice, and it also
comes with the bonus of skipping the line at the bank, but private bankers
typically won’t deal with your actual investments. A private banker will have a
friendly relationship with you—they’ll know your name, your financial account
details, and they might even ask you about your family over a cup of

On the other hand, wealth management firms offer extremely
personalized advice, financial planning, and ongoing portfolio management. A
wealth manager might be a better option for a well-rounded approach to your
investments by providing up-to-date investment advice, recommendations, and the
actual implementation of a strategy.

Like private banking, this happens on a one-to-one basis, but
unlike private banking your wealth management advisors are invested in getting
to know you; who you are, what you’re working toward, and what matters to you
most in your life. They then will work with you to build customized investment
strategies based on all of those factors to protect what you’ve built, maximize
your wealth potential, and put you on track to pursuing your life goals and

Another significant difference between private banking and
wealth management is that private banking will typically offer a limited number
of “off-the-shelf”-style financial products. Also, that bank or financial
institution will probably only offer you their specific products, rather than
presenting you with multiple options and explorations. The tendency to push
their products might lead to a conflict of interest or leave you unsure of
whether you’re getting a variety of possible options for your financial situation.

Where private bankers are restricted, a wealth manager may have
more freedom to provide you with a variety of options, products, and services
that suit your needs, rather than meeting the needs of an institution. This
client-centric approach is ideal for anyone who wants the certainty and
reassurance of knowing they have a trusted team member who is looking out for
their best interests and presenting them with the best options.

Selecting a private banking service is as simple as choosing
your preferred financial institution. You’ve probably already been with them
for years, and starting the process is as easy as walking through the door.
However, when you want more than fast-track banking, look for a wealth
management firm that uses an integrated approach and one that demonstrates an
interest and investment in building a long-standing relationship with

At Hapanowicz and Associates, we’ll work with you to integrate your financial plan, your advisors, and your portfolio to help you pursue your vision and create a path to financial success that is uniquely yours.

To learn more about our wealth management philosophy, contact us by calling 412-261-5966 or feel free to email me directly at