U.S. Asset Allocation Model Portfolios 2021

Improving the Advisor Experience

Win Advisor Assets. Combat Fee Pressure.

  • Review the advisor experience with model portfolios, from access and sourcing, to implementation, to ongoing use and review
  • Analyze financial advisors whom Cerulli categorizes as “modifiers,” or those who start with model portfolios and make changes to them
  • Dive into model design, including how asset managers are working together to create optimal model portfolios, how fee compression impacts models, and how vehicle use is changing


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Report US Asset Allocation Model Port 2020 Detail

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Ryan Hanratty

Ryan Hanratty

Account Manager


Define and size the current and future opportunity in the asset allocation model portfolio landscape with Cerulli's report. This includes a review of the perspectives of the financial advisors, model marketplaces, and model providers.

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Each report is lead authored by a senior Cerulli analyst with significant industry experience. The report incorporates qualitative and quantitative inputs, based on Cerulli’s proprietary research process. For more on our research process, click here.

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A Note from the Author

Why Asset Allocation Models, Why Now?

Brendan Powers, CFA

Brendan Powers, CFA


Bio →

Brendan Powers, CFA

Brendan Powers, CFA


Brendan is a member of Cerulli’s Product Development practice, which focuses on trends related to asset managers’ product development and management functions. This broadly includes assessing the opportunity for product development, evaluating emerging product trends, and understanding distribution and product positioning for investment products across retail and institutional channels.

Prior to joining Cerulli, Brendan worked as a Senior Client Associate at Eaton Vance Management, focusing primarily on the firm’s exchange funds.

Full biography here.

Model portfolios are increasingly being woven into asset managers’ core offerings alongside component mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). According to our research, nearly three-quarters (74%) of model providers believe that models are an essential part of remaining relevant in the industry. Offering models allows asset managers to engage with advisors on two fronts. They enable firms to work with practices that may not normally be engaged with by sales teams either due to their (lack of) size or because they operate as investment outsourcers. Simultaneously, sales teams appreciate the conversation openings that using models and their accompanying commentary as thought leadership can provide. Supplying resources that materially impact portfolio construction efforts can help managers cut through the barrage of content that advisors receive from service providers.

Unaffiliated broker/dealer (B/D) managed account platforms are the top method of model distribution for asset managers. 70% of model providers view the wirehouse channel as a top-five opportunity to grow assets—a percentage that has grown from 25% in 2018. Why? It’s the channel that boasts nearly $9 trillion in assets and is slowly opening shelf space for nonproprietary models. Furthermore, many B/D home offices are also pushing advisor practices to firms to explore investment outsourcing, so that advisors can dedicate more energy to client relationships. This has created new optimism and openings for model providers to partner with firms at the home-office level.

If you are interested in exploring the multi-faceted dynamics driving asset allocation model growth, explore our latest report today. Use it to uncover opportunities for product development and new distribution possibilities, and gain a comprehensive breakdown of the addressable market. Access these insights today.

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