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Vehicle-neutral UMAs are fastest-growing MAP, says Cerulli


Vehicle-neutral unified managed accounts (UMAs) are the fastest-growing managed accounts programme over the past three years, according to research from Cerulli Associates.

"The theme of convergence has cascaded through retail asset management distribution in recent years," says Scott Smith, director at Cerulli. "Institutional and retail lines have blurred as home-office due diligence teams have taken more control of the asset management selection process."
"Traditionally, managed accounts programmes and platforms were built around a product legacy, such as separate accounts or mutual funds," adds Tom O'Shea, associate director at Cerulli. "A number of factors led to crowded sponsor platform menus, and the industry's largest broker/dealers and program sponsors experienced multiple mergers."
These findings are from Cerulli's June 2014 issue of The Cerulli Edge – US Edition, which explores how managed account providers, banks, and multi-family offices weigh strategic choices when reviewing their lines of business and what the implications are for asset managers.
"As managed account platforms evolved from their product legacy and the UMA structure gained traction, sponsors began to evaluate redundant programmes," O'Shea says. "For asset managers, the consolidation of platforms accelerates the industry's move to a vehicle-neutral environment, where the advisor and their client choose how to own that manager.
"If an asset manager wishes to take full advantage of their opportunity to partner with a key distributor, they must offer their product in multiple structures.”

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