The path to affluent clients has always been through personal contact or referrals. But as the pool of wealthy consumers grows larger, sophisticated marketing, driven by new technology, has become so pivotal that it's naive for any bank to believe it can stake out a sizeable portion of the affluent market without it.

In 1996, there were 11.8 million affluent households with annual incomes above $100,000. Recent statistics indicate that the number of affluent households will reach 16.9 million by 2000 and 25.7 million by 2005. "The key to the affluent market is effective cross-selling, and a separate division is essential," says John DeMarco, svp and director of affluent market research at PSI Market Research in Tampa.

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