The bank wealth management business is going through a seismic shift, possibly unlike anything in the past generation. The fiduciary evolution and the fallout from low-cost, auto-pilot investing have commoditized (or even rendered obsolete) much of the traditional business model in the bank channel. The old ways will not survive, and the direction you take at the fork in the road will determine whether you’re still in business five years from now.

The middle market has defined the bank channel for years. But the advent of robos, and before them ETFs, not to mention the trend towards fiduciary service levels, makes serving segments from the middle market on down unreasonable if you’re a financial adviser (as opposed to an algorithm).

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