Why Commercial Bankers are Shifting Focus to VHNW Individuals: A Strategic Approach

Why Commercial Bankers are Shifting Focus to VHNW Individuals: A Strategic Approach

Commercial bankers are beginning to recognize the untapped potential of Very High Net Worth (VHNW) individuals.

Traditionally, the focus has been on catering to Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) clients, but a growing understanding of the unique needs and preferences of VHNW individuals is prompting commercial bankers to realign their strategies. VHNW individuals have between $5-30 million in net investable assets. UHNW individuals have over $30 million in net investable assets.

Let’s explore why commercial bankers are pivoting towards this emerging segment and how they can effectively prospect VHNW individuals for sustainable growth.

Rethinking Priorities: From UHNW to VHNW

For years, commercial bankers have prioritized UHNW individuals, drawn by the allure of substantial wealth and high-profile clientele. However, a shift in wealth dynamics and changing consumer behaviors are challenging this traditional approach.

VHNW individuals, with their sizable yet more accessible wealth, are emerging as an attractive market segment for commercial bankers seeking sustainable growth opportunities.

Understanding the Appeal of VHNW Individuals

The decision to focus on VHNW individuals is grounded in several key factors:

  1. Accessible Wealth: While UHNW individuals command attention with their immense fortunes, accessing and engaging with them often requires navigating through layers of gatekeepers and complex networks. In contrast, VHNW individuals offer a more direct and accessible avenue for engagement, allowing commercial bankers to establish meaningful relationships more efficiently.
  2. Entrepreneurial Spirit: Many VHNW individuals have accumulated their wealth through entrepreneurial endeavors or successful business ventures. Their entrepreneurial spirit and proactive approach to wealth management resonate with the ethos of commercial banking, making them natural partners for financial institutions looking to provide tailored solutions and personalized services.
  3. Digital Engagement: VHNW individuals, particularly those from younger demographics, are highly digitally engaged. They embrace modern banking solutions and value convenience, making them receptive to digital marketing efforts and innovative financial products offered by commercial banks.

Strategies for Prospecting VHNW Individuals

To effectively prospect VHNW individuals, commercial bankers can adopt strategic approaches tailored to their unique characteristics:

  1. Personalized Engagement: Building personalized relationships is paramount when targeting VHNW individuals. Commercial bankers should demonstrate a deep understanding of their financial goals and aspirations, offering tailored solutions that address their specific needs and preferences.
  2. Digital Outreach: Leveraging digital channels such as social media, targeted advertising, and personalized email campaigns can enhance visibility and engagement with VHNW individuals. By leveraging technology, commercial bankers can effectively reach this demographic and nurture relationships in a digital-first era.
  3. Value-Added Services: Offering value-added services beyond traditional banking can differentiate commercial banks in the eyes of VHNW individuals. Whether it’s providing access to exclusive events, investment opportunities, or specialized financial advisory services, delivering exceptional value can foster loyalty and long-term relationships.


As the wealth landscape continues to evolve, commercial bankers must adapt their strategies to remain competitive and relevant. Shifting focus from UHNW to VHNW individuals presents a strategic opportunity for commercial banks to tap into a growing market segment with considerable potential. By understanding the unique characteristics and preferences of VHNW individuals and implementing tailored prospecting strategies, commercial bankers can position themselves for sustained growth and success in the dynamic world of modern banking.

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Commercial Banking