Separately managed accounts are a hot growth segment for asset-management firms. According to the Money Management Institute, a trade group for asset managers, separately managed account assets were $506 billion at the end of 2003, up 29% from $392 billion at the end of 2002.
The J.P. Morgan Investor Services offering incorporates software from Vestmark Inc. that enables plan sponsors, asset managers, and service providers to handle the tasks of processing separately managed accounts. Vestmark's core product, LiveSpace, is a distributed workflow system for automating the account-opening process; any exceptions encountered during the process are flagged and forwarded to the appropriate person for expedited resolution.
The bank says the outsourcing of separately managed account processing relieves investment managers of the need to make costly technology upgrades to their servicing platforms.