The Money Management Institute reported that assets in separately managed accounts have grown 17 % over the last year. This growth is relatively modest compared to what the industry could see in coming years, said Jean Sullivan, managing principal at Dover Financial Research, which helped compile the data for MMI along with Financial Research Corporation.

"There are several obstacles facing the industry right now," she said. "Once these hurdles, such as channel diversification, financial advisor penetration and systematic operational issues are overcome, we believe the industry will expand even faster."

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