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CUSTOM RESEARCH

The Case for Direct Indexing: Differentiation in a Competitive Marketplace

December 1, 2022

Demand for customization and differentiation from financial advisors and wealth management firms will lead to a surge in assets for direct indexing, with assets expected to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.3% and close 2026 with $825 billion in total assets.

Growth is expected to exceed that of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, and retail separate accounts.

Our latest white paper, sponsored by Parametric Portfolio Associates, examines how leading advisors use direct indexing to differentiate their practices in an increasingly competitive environment with seven real-life case studies. Explore why advisors recommend direct indexing to address clients’ needs and learn how it can fit into your business.

Key case studies evaluated include:

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Tax-Loss Harvesting

Core-Satellite Portfolio Construction

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Trimming Highly Appreciated Stock Positions

Exiting Concentrated GameStop Position Scores Points

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Planned Charitable Giving

Helping First-Generation Wealth Creators Fulfill Their Charitable Plans

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Environmental, Social, and Governance Investing

Coastal Practice Using ESG for Specialized Client Acquisition

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Customized Fixed-Income Ladders

Making $50 Million in Cash Work for the Client

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Report Authors

Matt Belnap

Matt Belnap

Associate Director

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Matt Belnap

Matt Belnap

Associate Director

As an associate director, 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.

Donnie Ethier

Donnie Ethier

Senior Director

Bio →

Donnie Ethier

Donnie Ethier

Senior Director

Donnie Ethier is the head of Cerulli Associates’ Wealth Management practice. The Wealth Management practice is dedicated to helping clients proactively adapt to retail financial advice and planning trends, including the high-net-worth markets. Donnie oversees the practice’s annual research agenda and is a core contributor to consulting engagements, syndicated research, and the U.S. Advisor Edge.

Since joining Cerulli in 2012, Donnie has led several practices and research initiatives including the Wealth Management, High-Net-Worth, and Annuity practices. Prior to joining Cerulli, Donnie held roles at Sun Life Financial and Sun Life Financial Distributors for eight years focusing on market and distribution strategy, product development, competitive intelligence, and professional development.

Full biography here.

Michael Manning

Michael Manning

Associate Analyst

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Michael Manning

Michael Manning

Associate Analyst

Michael is an analyst in the Wealth Management practice at Cerulli, specifically working in Managed Accounts. He is a contributor to the U.S. Managed Accounts annual report and The Cerulli Edge series, providing quantitative and qualitative analyses. He also supports various consulting projects within the Wealth Management practice.

Prior to joining Cerulli Associates, Michael started his career as a financial analyst at Granite Telecommunications where he created quote proposals and developed special pricing analyses in response to customer needs.

Full biography here.

John McKenna

John McKenna

Research Analyst

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John McKenna

John McKenna

Research Analyst

John specializes in investor trends and behaviors across different provider and advisory relationships. He contributes to The Cerulli Edge—Retail Investor series and two annual reports, as well as providing quantitative and qualitative analyses for multiple practices and consulting engagements.

Prior to joining Cerulli Associates, John was an assistant at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, researching philanthropic habits among ultra-high-net-worth Chinese and American benefactors.

Full biography here.

Tom O'Shea, CFA

Tom O'Shea, CFA

Research Director

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Tom O'Shea, CFA

Tom O'Shea, CFA

Research Director

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.

Bing Waldert

Bing Waldert

Managing Director, U.S. Research

Bio →

Bing Waldert

Bing Waldert

Managing Director, U.S. Research

Bing Waldert leads Cerulli’s U.S. Research team comprising seven research practices that cover all elements of the U.S. asset management, wealth management, and retirement markets. He has authored Cerulli reports on the wealth management industry, high-net-worth market, the annuity industry, and retirement markets. He is a frequent board-level and C-suite speaker and well-regarded industry thought leader. He has spoken in front of the Investment Company Institute (ICI), the Asset Management Association of China (AMAC), the Investments and Wealth Institute (IWI), and the Money Management Institute (MMI).

He has worked on client projects on emerging manager expansion strategies, independent registered investment advisors (RIAs), multi-family offices (MFOs), investment platforms, and the outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) industry. In addition, he has advised multiple private equity firms on acquisitions in the wealth management space.

Full biography here.

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