Ahmie Baum, managing director for UBS Financial Services in Pittsburgh, has only one-third of the clients he had five years ago—and he couldn't be happier. That's because in 2008, Baum analyzed his business and decided to narrow his focus. He kept the clients who wanted a full suite of wealth management services. He moved the bulk of his book to other advisors.

The main idea behind the shift is cultivating fewer—but wealthier—clients who put a premium on service. "We're looking for a small group of people we can help in a big way," Baum says. The shift is still in process, but since the advisor slimmed down his client base, his assets under management are up about 10%, and he expects that number to climb to 100% within the next three years.

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