Webster Banks push to expand its wealth management business is making a difference in the banks financial performance. In the first quarter of 2013, wealth and investment services generated $7.8 million in revenue, up 7% from a year ago but down 1% from the previous quarter, the banks holding company announced Monday.
The increased revenue reflects the banks renewed focus on its wealth management business, which was rebranded last March as Webster Private Bank. Since then, it has beefed up its team of private bankers, including hiring Daniel FitzPatrick, an executive from BNY Mellon Wealth Management, to head up the business.
Websters chairman and CEO James Smith noted in the earnings call that Webster has immediate plans to open a dual retail and private banking office in West Hartford, Conn., as part of a strategic initiative to open dual facilities in attractive, high-net-worth markets. The new office follows the recent opening of a similar office in Greenwich, Conn. He also noted that significant additional investment in senior talent is ongoing, including the hiring of a chief investment strategist, new leaders for the lending and fiduciary teams and seasoned portfolio managers.
Overall, Webster Financial Corp, the banks holding company, earned $39.2 million, or 44 cents per share (diluted), for the first quarter. Thats up 2% from $38.3 million, or 42 cents per share (diluted), for the same quarter last year.
Websters first quarter results delivered a solid 16% increase in core pre-tax, pre-provision net earnings from a year ago. Core revenue grew and expenses dropped, creating positive operating leverage of 6 percent compared to a year ago, Smith, said in a statement.