We’ve all grown used to being able to get any kind of coffee we want in Starbucks, so much choice that I’ve literally seen people freeze up when it comes to ordering. Yesterday, however, I realized that customer tailoring had even permeated the product-dominant world of McDonalds. All three people ahead of me special ordered – in one case even asking for three choices of toppings (in separate containers) for a basic ice cream sundae. Staff were happy to comply. They didn’t even raise an eyebrow. Special requests are expected, even in a business which depends on adhering to mass production and limited choice.

If customers expect to customise their food choices in a fast-food restaurant (and not pay extra), how much more will they expect when it comes to managing their money? The culture that is driving the demand for custom-tailored, highly transparent and lower-cost portfolio management begins with the most basic of human requirements.

The rise of consumer dominance is no longer a trend. The consumer – whether drawn from retail, mass affluent or high net worth segments – is dominant. Period.

An interesting recent perspective, emphasising current critical characteristics of successful wealth management firms, is included in the brief article attached.