The pioneering ways of registered investment advisors (RIAs) are coming back to bite them, according to a report from Cerulli Associates.

Once on the cutting edge of “holistic” financial planning and fee-based client relationships, RIAs are now just one of a pack of firms offering such services.

“What were once innovative trends found only in the retail RIA space are now more mainstream in the traditional broker/dealer channels, leveling the playing field,” writes Cerulli analyst Kirby Horan in the July report.

The RIA community is responding by defining itself more narrowly. Specifically, the hybrid practices (part retail, part institutional) that worked so well in the past are increasingly giving way to a focus on one or the other segment.

Another development, according to Cerulli: “Money manager and wealth manager practice types are growing in terms of assets, while investment planners and financial planners are reassessing the long-term viability of their limited service, single advisor practices.”