SOURCE: Luxury Institute

April 30, 2008 11:00 ET

Luxury Institute Survey: High Net-Worth Consumers Rank the Most Prestigious Private Banks: Northern Trust, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Private Bank

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - April 30, 2008) - High net-worth consumers rated Northern Trust the most prestigious private bank in the 2008 Wealth Management Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey from the independent New York City-based Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com). Respondents who would recommend Northern Trust commented that they are "well-established and have been focused on wealth management for a long time." Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Private Bank tied for second place.

"What a difference a year makes in Wealth Management," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. "The industry has seen its overall reputation damaged as wealthy consumers, who value competence and trust as the most critical attributes of a wealth manager, count heavy losses. Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are, not surprisingly, among the few who continue high in the rankings. The ratings and comments on the defunct Bear Stearns brand indicate the strong sentiment that abounds. Investors are so confounded that some great boutique brands, normally rated highly, did not get enough familiarity ratings to be included, since the bad news from large institutions has absorbed the attention span of investors. Not all brands have been affected equally, yet many have been hit hard. As bad news continues to trickle out, we will see more damage. Many industry CEOs will choose to ignore the voice of their clients and prospects, but it is truly time that Private Bank brands come down from their imaginary gilded perches, measure their brand reputations, and take immediate action to earn back the trust and confidence of wealthy investors. Our independent and impartial surveys deliver the unbiased quantitative and qualitative scorecards that these tattered brands need to begin to recover from the damage."

Following are the 17 Private Wealth Managers that were rated (alphabetical order):

1.    Ameriprise
2.    Bear Stearns
3.    BNY Mellon Wealth Management
4.    Boston Private Bank and Trust
5.    Charles Schwab
6.    Credit Suisse Private Client
7.    Deutsche Bank Alex Brown
8.    Fidelity Investments
9.    Goldman Sachs
10.   J.P. Morgan Private Bank
11.   Lehman Brothers
12.   Merrill Lynch
13.   Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management
14.   Northern Trust
15.   Smith Barney
16.   U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management
17.   UBS Wealth Management

The proprietary Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey is the only measure of the prestige of leading brands among wealthy Americans. A national sample of 551 wealthy American consumers, with an average income of $751K and average net-worth of $13.9 million, was surveyed online. Survey results are weighted to match demographic and net-worth profiles of the same audience according to the latest Survey of Consumer Finances from The Federal Reserve.

About the Luxury Institute

The Luxury Institute is the uniquely independent and impartial ratings, reviews and research institution that is the trusted and respected voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute provides a portfolio of proprietary publications and research that guides and educates high net-worth individuals and the companies that cater to them on leading edge trends, high net-worth consumer rankings and ratings of luxury brands, and best practices. The Luxury Institute also operates the Luxury Board (www.LuxuryBoard.com), the world's first global, membership-based online community for luxury goods and services executives, professionals and entrepreneurs. To reach the Luxury Institute, please call 646-792-2669 or go to www.LuxuryInstitute.com.

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