Smith Barney has introduced a new segmentation program designed to offer benefits to clients based on the level of assets they keep with the firm.
Among the major attributes of the program is a new Citibank “Chairman” credit card for clients with $5 million or more at the firm, designed to compete with other high-end credit card offerings, such as American Express' platinum service.
“It keeps us on the cutting edge,” says one advisor at the firm. “It's a stair-step thing where the more revenue they generate with the firm, the more benefits they have.”
The program, called Accel, offers enhanced services to clients at five different levels, with the most for clients with $5 million or more. These include invitations to events and conference calls, all IRAs free and memberships to Citi Identity Theft Solutions. It also waives the $400 annual fee for the Chairman credit card in the first year, and offers access to concierge services.
According to internal materials, customers with $1 million to $5 million would be expected to save about $500 a year on certain account fees; customers with $5 million would be expected to save about $1,000. For those with a balance like that, it would seem like chump change, but several high-net-worth brokers have noted that even the wealthiest clients will do anything they can to save a few dollars.
Other firms have installed similar strategies, but Smith Barney has resisted this tack up to now.