SEI Advisor Network is targeting registered investment advisors with less than $10 million in advisory assets under management with a program it says bucks the trend among large custodians and asset managers with this message: It won’t charge advisors will small accounts a fee.
Other firms haven’t been so generous. Fidelity, for one, recently doubled the fee it charges advisors with less than $10 million on its platform from $1,250 to $2,500 per quarter, starting Dec. 31. Charles Schwab charges $1,200 per quarter for advisors with smaller accounts, said Steve Onofrio, SEI Advisor Network’s managing director.
Many of the 6,000 advisors that use SEI’s platform manage significantly more than $10 million—the average per advisor is $75 million. SEI can afford to skip the fee for smaller accounts because advisory assets wind up in SEI funds, which do charge fees. By contrast, Fidelity’s platform is open architecture, so advisors can buy whatever they want, not just Fidelity funds. Schwab didn’t return a request for comment at press time.