In a recent advertisement, Lincoln Financial Group of Hartford, Conn., told financial planners, "Customized financial solutions. Just another way we make you look like the good guy." In fact, many separately managed account providers have begun to make separate accounts' customized features the cornerstone of their marketing efforts, according to Cerulli Associates of Boston.

However, it's not clear that investors are getting the message, as few are taking advantage of the customizable features for which they are paying.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.