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For millionaires who know their roots

Amy Scott Oct 4, 2007
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For millionaires who know their roots

Amy Scott Oct 4, 2007
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Doug Krizner: It’s been nearly a year since Bank of America bought private bank U.S. Trust. Private banking serves wealthy clients, but B of A’s got kind of a blue-collar image. So how do you convince millionaires you can manage their money, too? Start with a $25 million ad campaign. Marketplace’s Amy Scott reports.


Amy Scott: One new ad shows a photo of an old-fashioned diner. The tagline reads: “Two-thousand bottles of wine in his cellar, and somehow he’s never lost touch with his inner meatloaf.”

Tim Maloney runs U.S. Trust’s operations in the central U.S. He says the ads depict what he calls the new face of wealth: self-made millionaires who remember where they came from.

Tim Maloney: More and more of our clients built their own wealth. So the ads are attempting to speak to those individuals in ways that we believe other may not have done in the past.

Bank of America paid top dollar for U.S. Trust. Analyst Ganesh Rathnam Morningstar says the bank’s now under pressure to make the merger work.

Ganesh Rathnam: They’ve spent 3.3 billion to acquire U.S. Trust, and they better well make sure that investment pays off.

The strategy of going after nouveau millionaires could offend some existing customers. Rathnam says U.S. Trust traditionally has catered to old money — the kind that’s inherited.

In New York, I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.

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