The Top 40 issue has become a sort of industry shopping mall for recruiters and firms looking to add some coveted young blood to their wealth management divisions. But when you look behind the numbers in this year's rankings, you'll see that youth is only a small part of the story.

This year's winners are not reinventing the wheel or bringing dramatically new "next gen" thinking to this industry. They are, in fact, succeeding the old-fashioned way, by using the same tactics to grow their businesses that their older peers have for generations.

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