First the seminar, then the pitch. The formula is probably as familiar to investment professionals as tea before haggling is to customers in a Turkish bazaar. But a few years ago, Nuveen Investments decided it didn't want to sell their managed accounts like oriental carpets anymore.

"When I was sitting on the other side of the table, we were always approached by firms wholesaling and basically telling us, Let us tell you about practice management. Let us tell you about the industry, and oh by the way, we have this great product in the value space,'" recalls Frank Maiorano, the managing director at Nuveen responsible for developing relationships with registered investment advisers.

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