PMFM has caught onto a trend, or is perhaps helping cause the trend, with its emphasis on the use of separate accounts for its clients portfolios. Growth of assets in separately managed accounts (SMAs) was brisk in 2006, and that growth is likely to continue in 2007. A growing number of SMA platforms are available to advisors, and some firms are creating unified managed account (UMA) platforms designed to hold multiple SMA, mutual fund, stock, fixed income, and other types of assets in a single account, simplifying account management and statements. Some SMA minimums are being lowered, allowing more investors access to this type of customized money management.
SMAs captured $805.8 billion in assets for the year ended September 30, 2006, an increase of 24.8%, or $160 billion year over year, according to the Money Management Institute and its partners Financial Research Corporation and Dover Financial Research. The estimated number of accounts has reached 2.52 million, up from 2.13 million year over year, and up sharply from 1.66 million as of the end of 2001.