Bank of the West is one step closer to launching its ultrahigh-net-worth wealth management unit, hiring a prominent industry executive to build out the unit and lead it. 

Steve Prostano, the former CEO of Silver Bridge Advisors, a well-known wealth management firm that was scooped up by a rival in 2013, joined Bank of the West's Wealth Management Group to develop services for ultra-wealthy individuals, families and family offices with more than $25 million in assets, the San Francisco-based bank announced this week.

He will deliver services to ultrahigh-net-worth clients throughout the country. The new service offering is expected to formally launch this fall, the bank said.

The anticipated new program for the ultra-wealthy will parallel the one that the bank's parent, BNP Paribas, rolled out in Europe and Asia, John Bahnken, head of Bank of the West's Wealth Management Group, told Bank Investment Consultant.

The new business unit represents the third leg of the bank's expanding wealth management group. In April 2011, it introduced the Private Client Services unit targeting high-net-worth investors with more than $250,000 in investable assets.  And last July, it launched the Retirement and Investments group within the brokerage unit to attract the mass affluent

"We are building a world-class wealth management business at Bank of the West and I am pleased to have such an experienced leader joining our team," Bahnken said of Prostano in a statement. "Steve's deep expertise in working with and finding solutions for this client segment will help our organization better meet the complex needs facing these clients today."

After his departure from Silver Bridge Advisors in December 2012, Prostano founded global consulting firm SPI Partners, which he led as managing partner from January 2013 to March 2015, according to his LinkedIn profile. The firm served wealth and asset management firms, professional services firms, multi-family offices, single family offices and not-for-profits.

Prior to joining Silver Bridge in January 2006, he held several senior leadership posts at a number of financial institutions, including Chase Manhattan Bank, where he served as president of Chase Global Asset Management. All told, he has more than 30 years of strategic and tactical experience designing, building, managing and growing successful businesses, both nationally and globally, according to Bank of the West.

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