The signs are clear, but few firms are making decisions that will benefit them in the long term. The financial crisis is prompting firms to feel forced to react and make changes to their short-term and long-term strategies.

The industry has already lost $1.3 trillion in assets under management in the first three quarters of the year. Distribution teams are responding by cutting the bottom-performing wholesalers and their national accounts staff. Forty-two percent of firms have already reduced their external wholesaling teams and a full 25% of firms are expecting to reduce their sales and national accounts staff in excess of 20%.

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