The Wealth-Management Arms Race Is Heating Up

(Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. is adding muscle to its private-wealth arm, hiring advisers from rival Bank of America Corp. as competition for assets intensifies.

Lance Bylow and Morgan Dever are joining in New York next month from BofA’s U.S. Trust unit, Citigroup said Wednesday in an emailed statement. Bylow will be a managing director and Dever a senior vice president. Lisa Yang, who also worked at U.S. Trust, started earlier this month as an associate banker working with ultra-high-net worth clients.

Big banks are bolstering their private-banking efforts amid growing competition from boutiques and some high-level defections. Smaller firms are benefiting as technology makes back-office operations cheaper, and bigger companies struggle with regulatory costs and sprawling operations.

Bylow, who previously worked for Bessemer Trust and Barclays Plc, will advise business owners, private equity and hedge funds, and family offices, while Dever will work with the firm’s New York clients.

“The team brings over four decades of experience collectively servicing ultra-high-net worth clients,” Ida Liu, global market manager in Citi’s New York office, said in the statement. Citi Private Bank oversees about $460 billion in 116 countries.

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