Just about everyone in the industry has thought about cultivating a celebrity client or two, but SunTrust Bank is aggressively capturing firms that work with the stars.
The bank's recent acquisition of CSI Capital Management, which runs $1.5 billion for "high-net-worth clients including highly visible professional athletes," leaned heavily on the athletes.
SunTrust has built up a separate sports and entertainment group inside its private wealth management unit to serve entertainers and NASCAR drivers based in Los Angeles and Atlanta.
Buying CSI gives the bank not only AUM and new offices in San Francisco, Connecticut, and Boca Raton, but deeper access to the sports community around the country.
While terms won't be public for awhile (if ever), it's likely that the strategic allure of this unique client base earned CSI a higher price than it would've gotten for simply bolting its AUM onto SunTrust's more traditional business.
Clearly, glamour can be lucrative as well as fun -- and the way a business is positioned matters when it's time to sell.