As the world's wealth pumps into the pockets of a new generation of heirs and entrepreneurs, private banks are looking for new ways to attract a clientele worlds away from the stuffy image of wealth management.

Younger clients are looking for something different from the cocktail parties and the opera, said Sebastian Dovey, a consultant at Scorpio Partners.

Their interests are more in networking and education and banks haven't been educators, he said at the Reuters Wealth Management Summit in Geneva.

Banks like Julius Baer and Citi have gathered future mega-heirs from around the world to talk about protecting their wealth as well as to network and have fun with millionaires their own age.

Baer's Generation X and Citi's The Next Gen programs have both have set up alumnus groups to keep the contacts going.

Succession planning isn't just setting up trust funds but it's making sure the next generation is aware of the issues and knows how to look after the assets, said Samir Raslan at Citi Global Wealth Management.

It's a critical part of focusing on our clients' needs.

Stephanie Jarrett, a partner at Baker & McKenzie law firm advising on wealth management tax issues, said banks were also holding seminars for families to discuss issues the new generation will face.

The issues run from whereabouts to invest to legal issues like divorce laws in different countries -- anything you can do to protect the family money, she said.

Julius Baer is also hiring younger private bankers who are closer in age and interests to the Generation X millionaires to build relationships with them.


Private bankers are also touting for business among young millionaires who have made their own money rather than inherited it, particularly in the fast-booming economies in Asia.

Recent studies suggest that the total wealth of high net worth individuals is around $37 trillion, of which only about $12.5 trillion are being managed by banks and boutiques.

Of the rest, about half is held by young people so banks have to work out how to reach out. If you do it cleverly, you can get to somebody who doesn't have much time and once they sign up they'll be booked, said Scorpio's Dovey.

Bigger banks, particularly those with retail and corporate banking arms around the world, said they had ways of scouting out the new money.

The bank is tracking business owners and what they're up to. Once we hear something's happening and somebody has cash available, the teams run, said Bernard Coucke, deputy head of ING Private Banking.

Wealth managers are also broadening their product spectrum to appeal to young millionaires who have a more business-savvy approach to wealth, offering structured products and tailored projects in new markets and sectors like renewable energy.

However, private bankers were still unwilling to move too far away from the traditional face-to-face approach.

They're still relying on a limited sales force to get to clients rather than using Internet tools the young use like Facebook and YouTube, said Scorpio's Dovey.

It's like trying to reach a shelf with short arms.