Managed accounts started as separately managed accounts (SMAs) and have since evolved into multiple strategy accounts (MSAs) and the rapidly emerging unified managed accounts (UMAs). There is broad agreement that managed accounts provide the added benefits of greater transparency, liquidity and control.
Managed account minimums and the cost to operate managed account programs have steadily dropped as technology helps with efficiency and scale. Increasingly, managed account products are seeing interest from the "mass affluent" as well.
The retail managed accounts industry was sized at $1.70 trillion in 3Q 2009. Managed Accounts are typically offered by global investment banks and specialist investment firms.