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In the News . . .
Thursday, May 10, 2012



Small banks turn to wealth management

Community institutions embrace new area as customers look for bigger returns on investment
By MICHELLE PARK of Crains Cleveland Business
May 10, 2012


“You're going to have to get in the game one way or the other.”


That's how Bill Valerian, chairman, president and CEO of Liberty Bank, regards community banks adding wealth management to their repertoires of services — and there's evidence he isn't the only one who sees the need.


With so many people chasing higher investment yields because they're earning so little off their bank accounts, this is a time when wealth managers have opportunity, said Mr. Valerian, whose Beachwood bank has narrowed to seven the number of wealth management partners it's considering as a third-party provider.

A growing number of community banks statewide and nationwide are weighing the addition of wealth management services, said Robert L. Palmer, president and CEO of the Community Bankers Association of Ohio. Of Ohio's 223 community banks, probably 40 to 50 of them have some insurance and/or securities capabilities, Mr. Palmer said, and the association knows of many now evaluating their addition.

“More and more of their customers are asking for the services at the community bank level, (so) community banks are now starting to expand into these areas,” Mr. Palmer said.....


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