Banks Billionaires
Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East|1 July, 2018

In an age of concentrated wealth, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan are focusing on the upper-upper class

Simone Foxman and Sonali Basak

America’s last Gilded Age had its “List of 400,” the people said to be worthy enough, or at least rich enough, to climb to the pinnacle of high society. Today there’s something closer to a List of 55. Its members are so rich that they can seem less like actual people than vast investment empires. Their ranks include familiar names such as Bezos and Dell, as well as a growing number of lesser lights whose dynastic wealth is reshaping global business.

This unofficial list represents the first rough cut of the most sought-after banking clients at JPMorgan Chase & Co., and it’s by no means complete. Major banks are vying for the world’s hyper wealthy as never before. They woo billionaires and their family offices much the way they do multinational corporations or institutional investors.

Anyone can buy stocks. Only a privileged few behind the velvet rope of bespoke investment banking can bankroll multimillion-dollar ventures or buy entire companies. Services offered by banks to billionaires range from advising on mergers and acquisitions to arranging financing for the companies in their portfolios to providing counsel on expanding or selling family businesses. Not since the days of John D. Rockefeller has so much been owned by so few. “This is a new world that’s been around, basically, forever,” says David Dwek, head of private sponsors at Morgan Stanley. “They’re an important part of the deal ecosystem.”

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