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10 disruptive trends in wealth management in 2018
Will 2018 bring a collective embrace of the holistic financial planning model? How will heightened scrutiny from regulators weigh on fees and the delivery of retirement advice? What about robos and artificial intelligence?

From regulatory changes to new technologies and approaches to client service, the Aite Group, a Boston-based financial services research firm, is looking ahead to a transformational year in the wealth management sector. Aite Group analysts have identified a number of prevailing trends they see reshaping the marketplace — many of which are driven by emerging technologies, some by regulatory and compliance concerns, and still others in response to competitive pressures and shifting client expectations.

"Redefining the business model is a wide-ranging undertaking," Alois Pirker, a research director with Aite Group, said during a recent online presentation. "And I do think that 2018 is probably a pivotal year in this undertaking."

Pirker and his team expect regulators to crack down on unsuitable advice, while firms are expected to focus more on helping clients plan for retirement, and many will elect to move toward a holistic, goals-based financial planning model.

On the tech front, Aite analysts see major disruption coming from robo advice, account aggregation, advisor dashboards and artificial intelligence, with ripple effects that will be felt in how firms approach client segmentation and engagement.

The Aite Group has been reading the tea leaves and compiled a forecast of 10 notable trends in the advisory trade that analysts are anticipating for 2018, changes that collectively will amount to a fundamental reorienting of the way many firms do business. Here's what they see in the year ahead.