SOURCE: Luxury Institute

April 29, 2008 11:00 ET

Luxury Institute Survey: High Net-Worth Consumers Rank the Most Prestigious Regional Bank Wealth Managers: BB&T, PNC Advisors and La Salle Bank

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - April 29, 2008) - High net-worth consumers rated BB&T Wealth Management the most prestigious regional bank wealth manager in the 2008 Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) survey from the independent New York City-based Luxury Institute (www.LuxuryInstitute.com). Respondents who would recommend BB&T Wealth Management commented, "They have a more personalized approach to doing business." PNC Advisors and La Salle Bank Wealth Management rank second and third, respectively.

"Regional Wealth Management firms have not been spared the significant downdraft in ratings of the overall Wealth Management category in 2008. Wealthy consumers feel betrayed by financial institutions as a whole," said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. "Last year the benchmark score for this category was 6.56, with the first place firm receiving a score of 6.88. This year the category scored 5.60 with first place at 5.99. Many Wealth Management CEOs ignore the voice of wealthy consumers, continuing to erode the trust that many wealthy consumers have for this opaque industry. Enlightened, ethical and transparent CEOs will listen and take strong positive action to improve their brands."

Following are the eight Regional Wealth Managers that were rated (alphabetically):

1.      BB&T Wealth Management
2.      Fifth Third Private Client
3.      Harris Private Bank
4.      La Salle Bank Wealth Management Group
5.      National City Private Client Group
6.      PNC Advisors
7.      SunTrust Private Wealth Management
8.      US Bank Private Client Group

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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