Optimism reigns in the bank brokerage world, according to the first annual Kehrer-Limra 2011 Predictions Survey. Not only are the 106 executives from 65 responding banks—which range in size from tiny credit unions to Wells and JPMorgan—bullish on hiring, but they report that sales are shifting toward newer hybrid products, and institutions are more optimistic about succeeding at an integrated approach across brokerage, trust and private banking.

"While hiring means executives feel positive about the opportunity in 2011 and want to be staffed to meet it, two of those three findings are potential game changers," says Scott Stathis, managing director of Kehrer-Limra. "The evolution of products and the integration of trust, private banking and investments are going to enhance banks' ability to increase wallet share."

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