Amid growing demand for unified managed accounts, BNY Mellon | Pershing-affiliated RIA Lockwood Advisors has expanded its unified managed account offering, while lowering its minimum asset requirement and yearly program fee.
Lockwood’s new Flexible UMA, launched Monday, aims to help advisors manage a diversified, multi-asset portfolio in a single account — which the firm says should reduce paperwork while facilitating customized solutions for varying investor needs.
Lockwood introduced its first UMA in 2005, according to Joel Hempel, COO of Lockwood Advisors. There are some key differences between the new offering and what it’s offered earlier, he said.
One main difference is that the new offering gives advisors flexibility, allowing them to “tweak the asset allocation,” he said. The program now includes a broader list of investment options, such as exchange-traded funds, model separately managed account strategies, fixed income products, mutual funds, third-party strategist models and proprietary Lockwood models.
Another key difference is the program’s availability to a much wider group of investors now, Hempel explained. While the minimum account size for a UMA was typically $250,000 before, the new offering’s minimum account size is now $50,000; it comes with an annual program fee that starts at 30 basis points (plus asset manager fees) vs. the earlier fee that were 75 basis points (including asset manager fees) and up.
So, why now? For one thing, “as you look across the industry, as you look across what we, Pershing, are doing, broadly speaking, there is this drive — this continuous evolution of holistic wealth management — and it is stitching together different sorts of technology [and] putting together various what were historically product silos,” he said.
The company, in other words, “had separately managed accounts that were a silo, we had mutual fund and ETF wrap programs, and we’ve taken the minimums and driven them from what were million-dollar minimums down to, in some instances,” as low as $50,000, Hempel explained.
“This is a time for us to leverage some of the best technology that Pershing has to offer. It’s completely integrated into our custodial platform and brokerage platform, and [done] in a way that allows us to benefit from that open architecture,” he added. Lockwood is also integrating with third-party technologies.
In addition, the RIA is “evolving the platform to be more inclusive of all of the products that Lockwood has to offer” among its standalone investment products with “one pricing model,” Hempel said. Advisors can select from “several hundred investment choices,” including ETFs and mutual funds.
“We are in a position to be very relevant and very competitive,” he told ThinkAdvisor. The new UMA offering will initially be made available to Pershing advisors’ clients, but he predicted it won’t be long before it migrates to others. “We’re already engaged with several firms.”