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Portfolio > Asset Managers

Advisor Group Rolls Out Updated UMA Platform

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Advisor Group says its enhanced unified managed accounts platform is now available to all financial professionals affiliated with its broker-dealers, including those recently acquired from Ladenburg Thalmann.

The updated platform lets advisors actively manage a portion of a client’s assets in a “Representative as Portfolio Manager” format and gives them access to some 7,000 mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, 1,000 separately managed accounts and 200 model portfolios, the firm says. 

“Periods of economic disruption and market uncertainty are when our financial professionals shine … ,” said Advisor Group President and CEO Jamie Price, in a statement. “Our enhanced UMA platform reflects the continuous investments we are making in our business to ensure that our financial professionals have the resources they need to best serve clients across the widest possible range of market conditions.”

Since the beginning of 2020, financial professionals have added 56% more assets to Advisor Group’s overall wealth management platform compared with the same period of 2019, the firm said Thursday.

“More than 40% of the increase in assets came from assets in new accounts opened on the enhanced UMA platform, which was made available to [some] financial professionals and their clients earlier this year,” it explained.

Advisor Group works with some 11,300 financial professionals overseeing about $450 billion in client assets.

As of February, its BDs are FSC Securities, Royal Alliance Associates, SagePoint Financial, Woodbury Financial Services, Securities America, Triad Advisors, Investacorp, KMS Financial Services and Securities Service Network. (KMS, SSN and Investacorp are set to become part of Securities America by year-end.)

Platform’s Timeline

Advisor Group launched a more limited UMA platform in 2010 and moved to redesign it in 2019.

For this effort, the firm worked closely with Envestnet but developed the overall strategy for it on its own — including the streamlined pricing, reductions in minimum assets for the portfolio strategies, and updates that  give advisors and others more tools to make changes and “implement the rep as PM sleeve,” the firm said.

The expanded platform “reflects our commitment to continuously investing in the asset management tools and capabilities that our financial professionals want and need,” according to Shannon Larson, Advisor Group senior vice president for Platform Management and Product Development.

“As everybody adjusts to a ‘new normal’ … , financial professionals are seeking asset management resources that are affordable, accessible and easy to use … ,” Larson said in a statement, adding: “Our enhanced UMA platform accomplishes just that.”

Details on Some Features

Pricing has been reduced and standardized, so fees are the same for “Rep as PM” portfolios, model portfolios and SMAs. “The harmonization makes the enhanced platform Regulation Best Interest-ready should the professional and client opt to shift the allocation of assets,” the firm explained.

The account minimums for Advisor Group’s Genesis Model Portfolios and other model portfolios have been reduced to as low as $5,500.

The firm also introduced an “investor journey” framework that focuses on “the optimal mix of investments that can help them pursue their goals during specific phases of their lives,” it said.

These changes come about two weeks after Advisor Group said it had made improvements to its eQuipt digital client onboarding and account management platform to help advisors comply with Reg BI.

These changes aim to help advisors by giving them “streamlined options for managing electronic delivery of required disclosures, key account documents and more,” according to the BD group. 


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