U.S. Managed Accounts 2021
The Evolution of Personalized Investing
Strengthen and Scale Advisory Solutions
- Uncover renewed interest in direct indexing
- Understand the evolution of the separate account from component to portfolio
- Dive into the continuing growth of asset allocation models
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This annual report dissects the managed account marketplace, providing key business metrics gleaned from Cerulli’s managed account database. It contains analysis and data critical to managed account asset managers and program sponsors, such as market sizing and growth projections, distribution dynamics, business practices, industry economics, proliferation of fee-based relationships among advisors and firms, developments in product design and delivery, channel-specific attributes, investor pricing, and program features.
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A Note from the Authors
Managed Account Sponsors Shift Top Priorities
As a senior analyst, Matt plays a critical role in developing research across the retail financial services spectrum, including wealth management, managed accounts, and product development. Matt contributes to nine Cerulli reports across three research practices and manages The Cerulli Edge—U.S. Advisor quarterly publication.
Matt began his career in financial services at Eaton Vance investment management, serving in a variety of roles, ranging from shareholder services, to institutional marketing, and in competitive analysis seeking strategic distribution opportunities.
Full biography here.
Tom O'Shea, CFA
Tom has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Cerulli, Tom was an Investment Product Manager at Fidelity’s Global Asset Allocation Division, where he played a leadership role in the ongoing development of Fidelity Personalized Portfolios, Fidelity’s Unified Managed Account (UMA) for retail customers. He also led the investment managers in creating the Breckenridge Municipal Portfolio, Fidelity’s first separate account for consumers managed by a third party. Before working on the retail side of Fidelity, Tom built and led the team that developed Fidelity’s Separate Account Network for registered investment advisors (RIAs), and his group partnered with a third party wrap sponsor to create Managed Account Resources, a UMA platform for RIAs.
Tom began his career in high tech, working in sales, business development, and product management at a number of software firms, including Lotus Development Corporation.
Full biography here.
Platform consolidation—a long-running strategic priority for managed account sponsors—has taken a back seat to helping advisors build better portfolios, according to this year’s research. While platform consolidation remains important, sponsors place greater importance on several other objectives outlined below.
Increasing the Use of Home-Office Discretionary Managed Account Product
Managed account distributors are encouraging advisors to adopt home-office portfolios to produce more consistent outcomes for investors and increase advisor efficiency, with 45% rating it a top priority. Forward-looking firms understand that financial planning is the most important service they can provide investors and that other aspects of investing, particularly portfolio construction, should be outsourced.
Providing Better Portfolio Construction Support for Advisors
While they continue to encourage outsourcing, sponsors have made peace with the fact that some advisors will never want to surrender portfolio construction. For these hard-core, discretionary advisors, firms are providing tools, analysis, and supporting personnel to help them become better portfolio managers. Over one-third (39%) of firms rate this a top priority.
Responding to Regulatory Scrutiny
Responding to regulations is also a concern, with 39% rating it one of their firm’s top initiatives. The changing of administrations has many firms concerned that new fiduciary standards will be introduced that will require significant changes to their technology, policies, and procedures.
In addition to covering key priorities for managed account sponsors, The Cerulli Report—U.S. Managed Accounts 2021: The Evolution of Personalized Investing, provides in-depth market sizing, assesses challenges and opportunities for asset managers, and provides a comprehensive overview of the industry movement toward direct indexing. Connect with our team for more details.
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