Forget about the Olympics. The wealth management business is where the really fierce competition can be found.

"We probably were just not competitive enough in terms of what we could offer," says Alexandra Lebenthal, CEO of Lebenthal Holdings, describing why she decided to shutter 2½-year-old Lebenthal Wealth Advisers. "We didn't pay any upfront money. I know for a whole population that certainly cut us out."

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