Reuters: Big U.S. brokerages chase the rich in departure from retail roots

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  • Large U.S. brokerages such as Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Wells Fargo are using a combination of incentives and penalties to push their financial advisors to bring in more multi-millionaires and move away from clients that have less than $750,000 to invest.
  • The shift away from clients with “only” a couple hundred thousand dollars to invest continues to accelerate due to concerns about margins and regulatory change.
  • The story notes that clients with less than $100,000 at Morgan Stanley and less than $250,000 at Wells Fargo and Merrill Lynch are being referred to call centers and digital advice platforms as bonuses and commissions for brokers are being trimmed or eliminated at those levels.
  • From a regulatory standpoint, advisors are getting ready for the phasing in of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, which requires advisors to act in clients’ best interest. The current standard just requires that they offer products that are suitable.

Our Take

  • The industry shift away from clients with assets from $50,000 up to $1 million is one of the four critical trends we identified when we initially defined the business model for Entasis. We believe everyone should have access to investment advice.
  • All of our portfolios, including our GenerationTechTM portfolios, which are specifically designed for investors beginning to accumulate wealth, are accessible to clients with lower household asset balances.
  • All of our founders are CFA charterholders. We adhere to the asset manager code of professional conduct and are fiduciaries. We do not need regulation for us to move in this direction. It is our duty to act in the best interest of our clients.
  • If you are an individual that has never worked with a financial advisor, does not believe you have enough assets to work with a financial advisor or have been directed to a call center by an advisor, please reach out to us.