Banks are positioned to corner the mass-affluent market, as separately managed account firms and other wealth managers choose to ignore investors with less than $500,000 of assets in order to pursue the ultra-wealthy, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The firm's 2003 Global Private Banking/Wealth Management Survey says that 49% of wealth managers expect to increase their ultra-high-net-worth clientele, defined as those with $10 million or more to invest, in the next three years, but only 14% plan to grow their base of merely affluent clients.

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