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How to Succeed in Private Banking—or Maybe Get in a Lot of Trouble

A legal fight shows the symbiotic relationship between the superwealthy and their money whisperers.

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Illustration: Thomas Colligan for Bloomberg Businessweek

When Moisés Cosío Espinosa’s car sputtered to a halt on a Los Angeles roadside, he knew who to phone for help, and it wasn’t a relative or the AAA. Instead, Cosío dialed a number three time zones away—the office of Iñigo Domenech, his private banker in Miami.

Domenech’s team at Citibank summoned roadside assistance. When the crew reached the scene, they found nothing wrong with the car. Cosío, one of Mexico’s richest men, had simply run out of gas.