When it comes to separately managed accounts, performance is the top issue for advisors, according to a recent poll conducted by Market Metrics of Quincy, Massachusetts. But strong sales and marketing support are important as well because it helps to “accelerate growth for money managers,” said Joe Babiec, principal at Market Metrics, who presented the firm’s annual research polling 400 advisors at the Money Management Institute’s annual gathering in Washington May 2.

Unified managed accounts will grow substantially in the coming years, and it’s important for money managers “to get on the train,” added Bob Cunha, a principal at Market Metrics who joined Babiec in unveiling the survey’s findings. He said UMAs “are the wave of the future,” and will help money managers grow a “higher margin mutual fund business.”

In an ad hoc poll of audience attendees at the event, Cunha and Babiec asked whether attendees believed that the trend toward UMAs will be a tremendous boost for industry growth, only slight growth for the industry, or no boost at all. Forty-one percent of attendees said that UMAs would produce only a slight growth for the industry while 28% said industry growth would get a tremendous boost. When asked if they would support growth of UMAs, 51% said they would do with full support, 25% of attendees said they would “grudgingly go along with UMAs,” and 5% said they would “fight UMAs tooth and nail.”