Press Release

Bank of the West Wealth Management Group Launches Family Wealth Advisors Serving Ultra-High-Net-Worth Clients
San Francisco, CA | Oct 14, 2015

Bank of the West Wealth Management Group today launches Family Wealth Advisors, focused on integrated wealth management solutions combined with exceptional service, delivered to ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) individuals, families, foundations and family offices with more than $25 million in assets. Under the leadership of Steve Prostano, Family Wealth Advisors will provide wealth planning, global investment management and consulting, strategic philanthropy and purpose investing, family enterprise solutions and other specialized services.

As part of BNP Paribas Group, one of the leading wealth managers in the world, and Bank of the West Wealth Management Group, Family Wealth Advisors offers clients access to global and local solutions to develop and implement a family's strategic plan.

"Clients with highly complex financial situations today are seeking wealth planning techniques in addition to a customized approach to help them achieve their goals," said Michael Shepherd, chairman and chief executive officer of Bank of the West. "We've created a team of professionals who bring decades of experience working with ultra-high-net-worth clients to every relationship."

In addition to industry veteran Steve Prostano, the team includes the following professionals each with more than 20 years of experience serving UHNW families in their respective disciplines: Eric Sanderson, head of wealth planning and family enterprise solutions, has developed sophisticated wealth planning solutions for UHNW individuals and families; Julie Shafer, head of strategic philanthropy and purpose investing, has helped clients achieve their philanthropic goals; and, Ed Kleist has joined the Family Wealth Advisors team as senior client advisor with decades of experience serving UHNW families and specifically family offices.

These executives join three core client teams with a strong strategic presence in the San Francisco, Orange County and Denver areas, while Family Wealth Advisors will support clients across 19 states.

"Bank of the West Wealth Management Group along with Family Wealth Advisors can provide a level of breadth and depth of solutions for affluent clients that come from integrating Bank of the West solutions with the global access and capabilities of BNP Paribas." said Sofia Merlo, co-head of Wealth Management Business at BNP Paribas.

Global Access and Capabilities Delivered Locally
Family Wealth Advisors offers objective strategic advice, products and services that seek to simplify clients' lives, enhance and sustain wealth, and create a legacy that positively impacts client families, future generations, and society as a whole. Family Wealth Advisors will include a set of core family wealth services, family enterprise solutions, as well as specialized services which will be customized to the needs of each family. The core family wealth services will include a broad array of both financial and non-financial services. Those services include:

  • Integrated wealth planning: Integration of all wealth planning services and solutions including financial planning, estate strategies, and insurance planning.
  • Global investment management solutions: Access to investment professionals who customize investment portfolios based on the clients' risk tolerance and offer strategic consulting services to support a family's entire net worth.
  • Strategic philanthropic and purpose investing: Aligning philanthropic purpose with the clients' investment portfolio.
  • Fiduciary services: Comprehensive range of trust planning and administration services, as well as customized investment management.
  • Capital advisory and banking services: Analyzing and assessing clients' needs and creating customized credit solutions and banking services.

In addition to the core services, Bank of the West will provide family enterprise solutions, designed for families focused on multi-generational succession planning (i.e., strategic family wealth planning, family leadership and governance, family education, and family office services). Family Wealth Advisors will also offer specialized services to address many of the issues and challenges families face (i.e., private business owner solutions, financial management, risk management, lifestyle and logistics management, and art advisory services).

"Our collaborative, strategic approach drives the solutions we deliver from across our comprehensive family wealth offering," added Prostano, head of Family Wealth Advisors.

About Bank of the West Wealth Management Group:
Bank of the West Wealth Management provides wealth planning, investment management*, personal banking and trust services. The group is part of BNP Paribas' global wealth management business of more than 6,300 professionals in 30 countries worldwide with over $15.5 billion** in assets under management in the United States and €305 billion ($345 billion) in assets under management globally as of June 2015.

About Bank of the West:
Bank of the West is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $72.5 billion in assets as of June 30, 2015. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 600 offices in 22 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 185,000 employees.


Media Contacts:

Ayele Ajavon, Bank of the West 
Corporate Communications 

Miles Hill, Bliss Integrated 

Corporate Headquarters

180 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104


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Legal information and Disclosures

Bank of the West Wealth Management offers products and services through Bank of the West and its various affiliates and subsidiaries.

* Securities and variable annuities are offered through BancWest Investment Services, a registered broker/dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Financial Advisors are Registered Representatives of BancWest Investment Services. Fixed annuities/insurance products are offered through BancWest Insurance Agency in California, (License #0C52321), through BancWest Insurance Agency in Utah and through BancWest Investment Services, Inc. in AZ, CO, IA, ID, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, SD, WA, WI, WY, HI, GUAM and CNMI. Advisory Services are offered through BancWest Investment Services, an SEC-registered investment advisor. Bank of the West and its various affiliates and subsidiaries are not tax or legal advisors. BancWest Investment Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of the West and a part of the Wealth Management Group. BancWest Corporation is the holding company for Bank of the West. BancWest Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of BNP Paribas.

** Including assets under supervision at BancWest Investment Services

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