Assets in separately managed accounts totaled $417.1 billion at the end of the second quarter, the Money Management Institute has reported. That marks a 3.5% increase from assets of $403.1 billion in the second quarter of 2001, a 1% increase from assets of $413.3 billion in the first quarter of this year and a 4.3% increase from assets of $399.7 billion at the end of 2001, according to MMI.

Christopher Davis, executive director of the Money Management Institute, called the increase, albeit small, "noteworthy," given the "extreme market volatility the markets have been [experiencing] all year long."

By comparison, the top 50 mutual fund groups have lost 6% of assets year-to-date through June 30, according to Financial Research Corp. The leading 50 fund complexes held $3.26 trillion in assets at the end of June, down from $3.45 trillion in assets at the end of 2001, according to FRC.

Mark Pennington, a partner with Lord Abbett who also serves as director of private advisory services, attributed the separately managed account industry's ability to retain client assets to the strong relationship that managers of such accounts form with investors.

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