First came the SMA, then the MMA and now the UMA. Managed accounts are a fast-growing and fast-evolving product. And according to experts, the evolution is destined to continue, yielding an even broader umbrella-type vehicle than the UMA called the unified family (or household) account.

“I see the unified family account as the next iteration [of the managed account],” says Harry J. Clark, CFP, head of Clark Capital Management Group. “Basically it’s taking things like the pension, IRA, spouse’s accounts, kids’ accounts and other assets and investments, and managing them as pieces of one big account.”

Such an architecture empowers advisors to take a broader, household-wide approach to asset allocation and balance sheet management, explains Steve Gresham of Phoenix Investment Partners in Hartford, Conn.

“If the separately managed account or the unified managed account is the engine, then the unified managed household [account] basically is the entire car.”

Next on the managed account industry’s to-do list: settling on a tidy acronym for such an instrument. UFA has a nice ring to it.