Most financial professionals who work with high-net-worth clients would prefer to increase profitability by expanding their firms rather than by shedding lower-margin clients.

Consultants at Cerulli Associates Inc., Boston, have published that finding in a summary of results from a survey of advisors who work with wealthy families and individuals.

The consultants found that 84% of advisors strongly agreed that adding new clients to increase overall scale is a good way to increase profitability.

About 85% like the strategy of selectively adding only higher-margin clients, and 90% like the idea of getting referrals from existing clients.

Only 47% agreed with the idea of shedding lower-margin clients and raising the minimum account size, and 26% of the advisors strongly disagreed with the idea of shedding clients.

Somewhat more – 55% — endorsed the strategy of offering lower-margin clients lower-intensity service, but 30% strongly disagreed with strategy of reducing the service level for lower-margin clients.