Wealth Bulletin: On the lookout for big tribal money
"After centuries of being marginalised, Native American tribes are being wooed by advisers attracted by money they make from gaming and other activities.

The Florida-based Seminole tribe’s $965m (€683m) acquisition of Hard Rock Cafe from UK leisure business Rank Group in December 2006 was a turning point.

Jeff Carey, head of Merrill Lynch’s Native American banking division said: “Before, many venture capital funds and corporations did not see their financial or political muscle.”

Merrill Lynch began offering private banking services to American Indians 40 years ago. Four years ago, it started a business focused on hiring Native Americans to improve its coverage and education in the niche market.

Rival banks have also built teams to tackle the nuances of Native American wealth management. Around 560 tribes are each governed by complex sets of investment rules.

Last month, Morgan Stanley recruited a team of three from Lehman Brothers’ Native American wealth management team to broaden its coverage."

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Wealth advisers on the lookout for Native American money (Wealth Bulletin 9/15)

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