Nothing attracts as much attention in America as wealth.

From TV shows offering a chance to become a millionaire, to magazines that publish lists of the wealthiest people in the U.S., money continues to be a driving obsession in American culture.

Yet, the one truism among millionaires and billionaires is that they want to preserve their wealth and grow it. Certainly, no one wants to lose it.

To that end, there is a burgeoning industry of wealth managers, private bankers and
advisors whose sole purpose is to find ultra-wealthy people and convince them that they need someone to manage their money.

And Los Angeles is the best place to do it.

The number of millionaires in L.A. jumped 10 percent last year to roughly 92,800. Though some of the wealth in Los Angeles is generated in the entertainment industry, the majority of people with $10 million or more in investable assets are not celebrities. Rather, they're business owners who have sold their companies and suddenly have a huge nest egg to live on and play with for the rest of their lives.

That's where wealth managers come in.

The number of companies able to manage the wealth of high net worth individuals has grown dramatically in the past decade. Investment banks such as Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers are not the only firms on the front lines of wealth management. They compete against old-line institutions including Northern Trust and U.S. Trust, commercial banks such as City National and niche boutiques including Covington Capital Management and Bel Investment Advisors LLC.

In this section we'll identify the individuals who are vying to manage the assets of L.A.'s wealthiest, and explore how they advise them.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.