Wealth managers' profitability slid an astounding 69% in 2001, battered by the shaky global markets, which cost investors more than $2.9 trillion, or 4.4% of the total value of global investment assets.

The numbers, reported by Boston Consulting Group, are based on research from more than 60 global wealth managers, including seven of the top 10. The providers have total assets under management of more than $3 trillion.

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