Spotlight On: Christopher O’Connell, Managing Director, Regional Market Leader, Webster Private Bank

Spotlight On: Christopher O’Connell, Managing Director, Regional Market Leader, Webster Private Bank

2023-11-17T15:57:54-05:00November 17th, 2023|Banking & Finance, Boston, Spotlight On|

3 min read November 2023 — In a market like Boston with large investment management firms, Webster Private Bank sees an opportunity to serve clients who are seeking a more personalized approach to private banking services. “There is an opportunity for a boutique private banking group like Webster’s to offer high-touch service to clients in this marketplace,” says Christopher O’Connell, the bank’s managing director and regional market leader in Webster Private Bank

What makes your institution different from other firms in the market? 

Webster Private Bank is part of the larger company, Webster Bank, which has the scale and resources as a mid-size regional bank to be able to provide comprehensive private banking services in the markets it serves. While there are many investment management firms and private banks in the Boston area, our size and strength and our nimble approach allow us to meet the needs of the high net-worth individuals and families in the Boston area. 

What overarching opportunities do you see for Webster Private Bank?  

We see opportunities as a result of the recent disruptions in the market where our team can provide the personalized attention and services that clients have been unable to find in other firms. Our private bank team focuses on investment management, tailored lending and trust services.

What are the lessons learned?

Companies with a strong risk culture like our own, were better positioned to withstand the disruption caused in the marketplace by the banks that ultimately closed. This allowed us to spread our risk, in contrast to other institutions with a more concentrated industry base.

Is Webster Private Bank participating in the high-growth, high-value subsectors that are emerging in the Boston market?

As a private bank, we primarily focus on individuals who are creating wealth, however, high-growth sectors are an obvious indicator of where new pockets of wealth are emerging. Our business development efforts are complemented by our Webster commercial bankers who are providing products and services to these high-growth sectors.

Who is the typical Webster Private Bank client? 

Our clientele tends to be affluent individuals and their families. Our typical client invests from $5 million to $25 million with us. We have clients with significantly higher balances than that but our sweet spot is in that space from $5 million to $25 million. Many of our clients are entrepreneurs who have significant concentrations of wealth in their businesses. Taking that into account, the portfolios that we create for our clients are tailored to manage levels of risk in their industry and in the company that they own.

What are the challenges for Greater Boston’s financial industry?

Boston is a very dense but fragmented wealth management market. While the market is very competitive, it offers a great opportunity for a boutique Private Bank, with a suite of services, delivered in a very high-touch fashion.

Where do you see the biggest opportunities for your bank? 

Webster Bank continues to invest in the Boston market. Our growth has been noteworthy, but there is a great opportunity to grow further, the result of our customized approach to our clients’ needs. As a private bank, we have multiple disciplines that create a family office-like experience including investment management, concierge banking services, trustee services and tailored credit among other services This resonates with clients that enjoy and benefit from working with a comprehensive team of specialists.

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