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Wall Street banks take on summer school: Investing 101 for rich kids

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"Time for a prenup?" is not a typical title for a summer school course, but it was one of the most popular at an event Morgan Stanley (MS.N) held last week for the millennial-generation children of its richest clients.

Every summer, some of Wall Street's biggest wealth management firms organize events catering to future heirs of their ultra-wealthy clients, hoping they can teach them a thing or two about money, and plant the seeds for what banks hope will be fruitful business relationships down the line.

Wealth managers see a big opportunity in the millennial generation, those born between 1980 and 2000, who are expected to inherit an estimated $30 trillion from their Baby Boomer parents over the next 30 years, on top of their own earnings.

The millennials already control nearly $17 trillion, or 10 percent, of the world's wealth, and that figure is expected to rise to $35.3 trillion, or 16 percent, by 2020, according to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

But capturing millennials' attention has been difficult for wealth managers like Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N) and UBS Group AG (UBSG.S), because of cultural differences between generations and competition from digital startups called roboadvisers. Of the assets under management at private banks, only about 6 percent belong to millennials, according to BCG.

Conferences like the one held by Morgan Stanley are an attempt to get young adults to warm up to Wall Street wealth managers.



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