Prudential Financial Inc. is trying to persuade more banks to let it sell investments to their wealthy customers.[@@]

Prudential, Newark, N.J., which started selling managed account services through banks in 2003, has released a report that presents arguments in favor of banks working with outside firms to increase investment sales to wealthy customers.

In the report, consultants at 3C Financial Partners Inc., Manhattan Beach, Calif., a managed accounts firm, note that many banks have been focusing on serving customers who have more than $5 million in assets. Meanwhile, moderately affluent customers with $1 million to $5 million in assets get far less attention but generate about 71% of the $300 billion in annual revenue available through the “high-net-worth” market, the consultants write.

Banks may hate the idea of selling outside investment products, but appealing to moderately affluent customers by offering them a mix of homegrown products and outside products could lead to a big increase in investment sales and overall profit margins, the 3C consultants argue.