Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bank Uses Genealogy to "Shake Money from Family Trees"

These days, you can find genealogy articles just about anywhere.

A friend sent me a recent article from the Wall Street Journal which describes how Wells Fargo & Co. uses genealogy to court wealthy potential clients for its "private banking" business. Private banking is wealth management services for clients with at least $1 million in balances at Wells Fargo.

The article describes how the bank's chief historian has been researching the family histories of wealthy prospective and current clients as a way of opening the door to their further investment with Wells Fargo. He discovered for example that one wealthy woman had a grandfather who had been a Wells Fargo stage driver in the 1880's. After a genealogical presentation, the woman transferred funds to Wells Fargo.

The article is full of poignant stories and some rather surprising discoveries. The title is "A Bank's Historian Shakes Money from Family Trees." It appeared in the May 19, 2007, edition of the Wall Street Journal. It's available free to subscribers at, and after May 27, will be available to nonsubscribers for $4.95.

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