Managed Account Sponsors Consider Less-Liquid Alternatives

April 3, 2023 — Boston

Sponsors are balancing increased demand for alternative investments with the challenges of fully integrating them into advisory platforms

Market turbulence has increased interest in integrating less-liquid alternatives into advisory platforms. In 2022, one-quarter (25%) of managed account sponsors were interested in adding less-liquid products, up from 14% in 2020, according to the latest Cerulli Edge—U.S. Managed Accounts Edition.

On average, advisors allocate less than 3% of their book to illiquid alternatives and expect to increase allocations over the next two years. While interest is growing, sponsor firms must overcome significant challenges when trying to integrate less-liquid products into their advisory platforms.

“Managed account platforms have long been centered on daily liquid products, and the entire managed accounts technology stack—from proposal generation to compliance to statement generation—has centered on daily liquid investment vehicles,” says Matt Belnap, associate director. “Incorporating less-liquid products takes substantial coordination. The technology integration is a long process with which many sponsors are just beginning to grapple; however, there is a market opportunity for firms that can effectively add this competency. No firm truly has moved ahead or differentiated based on its implementation of alternatives into advisory platforms,” adds Belnap.

Looking forward, Cerulli expects sponsors will continue to work on implementation or seek partnerships with the resources and tools to enable faster speed to market. “Strategic partnerships bear watching, as that may be the easiest entry for many sponsors,” says Belnap. “Market conditions will be key as well—should turbulence cease and equity and bond markets recover, the interest and urgency to increase alternative allocations could fall off substantially, just as it did a decade ago,” he concludes.

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Note to editors

These findings and more are from The Cerulli Edge—U.S. Managed Accounts Edition, 1Q 2023 Issue.

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