With markets off as much as 20 percent over the past year, many investors are jittery about their futures. To the uninformed, it might sound like a bad time to be running a wealth management business.

Diane Thormodsgard, however, sees the silver lining. "People are really concerned about their wealth. They want to preserve it; they're more interested in financial planning," says Thormodsgard, vice chairman and head of wealth management and securities services for U.S. Bancorp. "So this is a great time for us to build stronger relationships with customers."

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