According to a recent report from Cerulli Associates, increased demand from financial advisors had led fund managers to include separately managed account (SMA) strategies into their model portfolios. Matt Apkarian, a senior analyst at Cerulli, told FundFire “Typically, model portfolios tap mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, but large asset managers are now seeing demand for SMAs, given their customization and tax-management capabilities.” According to FundFire, citing data from Cerulli, assets in model portfolios hit $2 trillion through the end of 2021. That was a 22% increase from the prior year. That included assets from home-office model portfolios and portfolios offered by asset managers, but excluded advisor-built model portfolios. Cerulli attributes the rise in assets to home offices directing their advisors to outsource investment management. The firm also believes that home offices will increase their model portfolio capabilities to compete with third-party strategists.
Finsum: SMA strategies are being incorporated into model portfolios as a result of advisor demand for more customization and tax management.