Managed Account Assets Slide in Q3; Improvement Seen in Q4

Separately managed account assets dropped 5.6 percent to $392.57 billion for the third quarter from $415.86 billion in the previous quarter, according to The Money Management Institute (MMI). But at least one analyst sees business improving this quarter.

Separately managed account assets dropped 5.6 percent to $392.57 billion for the third quarter from $415.86 billion in the previous quarter, according to The Money Management Institute (MMI). But at least one industry insider sees business improving this quarter.

"We’ve already seen a dramatic pick up in SMAs," says Chris St. Laurent, president of Vista Analytics. "Investors sense that markets are at the bottom."

MMI’s figures are based mostly on totals taken from Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS PaineWebber, Prudential and Salomon Smith Barney, which together control 70 percent of the separately managed account market. Totals from a select number of smaller firms representing the remaining industry are also considered in the figures.

Despite the dip MMI executive director, Christopher L. Davis, says he believes the separately managed account business has weathered volatile market conditions. "Our asset base has proven relatively more stable than the markets in general."

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