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New clients, advisers key to keeping SunTrust's wealth market share, says CEO

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SunTrust will defend and expand its market share in private banking and wealth management through the addition of new clients and advisers, the bank's CEO Bill Rogers told analysts at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions conference.

"We've never been better in both of those categories," he bragged.
Rogers claimed that the bank has been attracting new clients to its wealth management platform, saying they like the unbiased advice that it offers. "We don't have any proprietary products sitting behind us," he noted.

"They like what we do. They like the capabilities. They like the technology we have," he said of new clients.

The bank has also lured many advisers away from other institutions, both within and outside its markets, the CEO said.

In Florida, the bank has added 15 new advisers over the last 12 months, Rogers noted.

"That says to me that we have a lot of relevance," he said.

In April, the bank snatched a top executive from BBVA Compass to lead the bank's newly established wealth management offices in Houston and Dallas. The executive was joined by seven other wealth management professionals.

Rogers was not overly concerned with the threat posed by robo advisers to the bank's market share. In fact, he swatted away the rivals, saying that the bank will be competing with them rather than against them.

SunTrust does not disclose the number of clients it serves or the number of advisers it employs in its earnings releases. At the end of 2016, the retail brokerage unit's assets under management stood at $12.9 billion, up a notable 22% from 2015, according to its year-end earnings report. Its trust and institutional assets under management, however, were off 4% from 2015, falling to $40.4 billion.

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