The number of wire houses has also dwindled. There are now only four—Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Wells Fargo, and UBS. With Morgan Stanley trying to sell its Smith Barney unit, that number could soon become three.
 
Technological developments and changes in the marketplace are fueling the trend. Multi-family offices and independent RIAs are offering clients unbiased advice. They continue to attract clients as their focus increases on integrated wealth management instead of selling product.

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