Throughout 2001 asset management firms have been developing or expanding their managed account platforms in a number of ways. In July, Eaton Vance agreed to buy 80% of Fox Asset Management for $62 million in an effort to broaden the company's managed account product line. Last month, New York Life Investment Management acquired QED Investments LLC, which gives the firm an additional $650 million in assets under management, but more importantly, a developed managed account product line.

Also last month, Lincoln Financial Distributor increased from six to 24 the number of salespeople promoting Delaware Investments' managed account products.

"We're dramatically increasing our commitment to promoting Delaware Investments' managed account business because of the changing nature of the financial services industry," said Steve Long, managing director of Lincoln, at the time of the announcement.

Other firms have rolled out programs recently that further support their managed account business. Charles Schwab and Co., for example, released such programs on both the institutional and retail sides. Schwab Institutional launched Managed Account Select, an offering for independent investment advisors, and Schwab Retail launched a pilot program designed to give select retail clients, who don't use an advisor, access to managed accounts. Also recently, Prudential Investments launched a new product called the Managed Assets Advisory Program, which offers both managed accounts and mutual funds to investors with "substantial wealth."

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