Private banking forms a more exclusive (for the especially affluent) subset of wealth management. At least until recently, it largely consisted of banking services (deposit taking and payments), discretionary asset management, brokerage, limited tax advisory services and some basic concierge-type services, offered by a single designated relationship manager.
Private banking is the way banking originated. The first banks in Venice were focused on managing personal finance for wealthy families. Private banks became known as ‘Private’ to stand out from the retail banking & savings banks aimed at the new middle class. Traditionally, private banks were linked to families for several generations. They often advised and performed all financial & banking services for families. Historically, private banking has developed in Europe (see the List of private banks). Some banks in Europe are known for managing assets of some royal families. The assets of the Princely Family of Liechtenstein are managed by LGT Group (founded in 1920 and originally known as The Liechtenstein Global Trust). The assets of the Dutch royal family are managed by MeesPierson (founded in 1720). The assets of the British Royal Family are managed by Coutts (founded in 1692).
Liechtenstein is bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and Austria to the east and north. It has an area of just over 160 square kilometres (62 square miles) and an estimated population of 37,000. Divided into 11 municipalities, its capital is Vaduz and its largest city is Triesenberg.
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a producer of wine. The country has a climate ideally suited for the cultivation of wine with mountain slopes facing southwest, calcareous soils and an average of 1,500 hours of sunshine a year. The hot dry wind during the summer months, known as the foehn aids cultivators by having a sweetening effect.
There are over 100 winegrowers in Liechtenstein which produce red and white wines in which despite the small size of the country can produce a significant variety. Liechtenstein is part of the European wine quality system and the international AOC classification.
Viniculture in Liechtenstein dates back to just over two thousand years. Growing began before Christ by a Celtic tribe that had settled in the area, and during Roman times production increased. After the Romans had been driven out of the area by the Alamanni, production virtually ceased, until the growth of Christianity in the 4th century, when monks encouraged the establishment of new vineyards. During the rule of Charlemagne (742–814), many of the municipalities and monasteries possessed their own vineyards.
This time the vineyards surrounding Gutenberg Castle yielded some three thousand gallons of wine a year. Charlemagne did much to alter the method of production, strongly encouraging better hygiene and pressing of the grapes by making it practice for the wine pressers to wash their feet although he was met with considerable opposition.