Thomas Schreier, vice chairman, wealth management, Nuveen Investments, shared some of his thoughts with a packed house today at the Money Management Institute Annual Convention in Chicago today.

According to Schreier, business models that encompass global specialists and retirement specialists are key for any firm. Also, performance, or the perception of performance, matters.

“Four and 5 Star funds have driven nearly $1T in flows over the past five years while other funds have lost some $80 billion during the same period,” said Schreier.

He also said firms can win over new business with multiple products, alpha, new opportunities such as emerging markets and alternatives, income, tax management and retirement target-date funds.

Within the wirehouse channel, Schreier said wirehouses are going through very “significant changes” with meaningful consolidation happening within the last 12 to 24 months. “Large platforms have settled their leadership and technology perspectives,” he said. As a result, wirehouses encompass 43% of the mutual fund AUM marketshare, according to data from research shop Cerulli Associates.

“It is much more of a gatekeeper access so the ability to undergo meaningful scrutiny matters,” he said.

Schreier also noted that the independent broker-dealer channel is the fastest growing of all channels where nearly 31% of advisors exist, citing data from Cerulli Associates.

In the registered investment advisor channel, 62% have 10 years of experience and 48% manage more than $50 million in client asset. Also, 57% service clients with AUM over $1 million, according to Schreier, citing data from Morningstar

“Channels are evolving both within and across. Relationships and distribution matters and scale is critical to support all channels,” he said.

“We’re all trying to build a franchise and the good news is that smart matters. Those people who come away from an event like this end up being successful.”