The Future of Advice: The State of the UMA and the Mass Market

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20 September 2011
David Easthope


The unified managed account (UMA) is more than an account structure or advisor capability. It can be more fully described as a radical new approach to efficiently providing advice to clients across multiple accounts. In addition, many of the same benefits that apply to high net worth investors can also apply to the mass affluent.

In a new report, The Future of Advice: The State of the UMA and the Mass Market, Celent provides a status update on the UMA sector and points the microscope on developments in the mass affluent market segment.

UMA structures are not generally marketed to the mass affluent, since minimums are generally over US$250,000 in investable assets, out of the reach of much of the market. In addition, adopting a UMA is a big mental leap for most mass affluent investors and their advisors.

In 2011 UMA asset growth has not matched the most optimistic projections. However, despite these shortcomings, discount brokerages are increasingly supplying platforms to support UMA delivery to a wider audience of investors, including the mass affluent segment.

“We continue to believe that mass affluent investors will find the UMA account structure increasingly useful and appropriate,” says David Easthope, Research Director with Celent’s Capital Markets Group and author of the report. “Industry momentum, advisor education, marketing, and technology will all advance the UMA structure to a broader audience over time.”

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Insight details

Insight Format
Geographic Focus
North America