Citi Private Bank has just completed its "NextGen" conference in New York and is currently holding one in London; next stop is Singapore. The most important thing to come out of it so far is the desire for world exposure among the next generation of wealth, says Money K, head of the program, in an interview with this publication.
“They [the younger gen] have this wanderlust in terms of business and entrepreneurship,” says K, who attends the five-day programs himself. “We’re looking into expanding into a few more cities.”
He says the bank gets requests from young clients to attend a program in Dubai, to understand and get closer to the Middle East, as well as queries about frontier markets like Africa – with clients saying they would support events in up-and-coming cities like Cape Town.
“We’ve got requests for California” – to get close to the heart of entrepreneurship – and “there’s been a request for China,” he says, and this especially resonates in the US and Latin America, where clients feel a long way away from the Far East but young people want to go there and experience it all first hand. “Africa is the sleeping giant,” he adds.
10 years in
The program has taken off nicely at Citi, according to K. It started globally around 10 years ago with 20 or so attendants. The latest one in NYC had over 40; London attracted 48, and the bank expects just over 50 in Singapore.
However, K thinks this is the optimal amount, and while the US firm is looking to set up more seminars around the world, it doesn’t want to expand each one beyond around 50 people. “You lose the intimacy,” explains K.
Of course, luring the next gen has become a competitive arena, and Citi is far from the only wealth manager to boast such a program. (To view a Family Wealth Report round-up of some next gen offerings click here.)
What K thinks the bank has got right though, and where he believes it’s ahead of the curve, is in developing the program after the five days. “This has become an alumni network and global peer network,” says K, adding that members are keeping in touch and this has given the program “a whole new dimension.”
“We have also created a website - a closed website - where they can keep in touch.”