Separately Managed Accounts (SMA) are tailored to the parameters agreed by the investor and the asset manager. Therefore, unlike mutual funds, such investments are not pooled. This structure allows a higher level of control for the investor, including customization of the fee and portfolio structures.
There are a number of differences between mutual funds and SMAs. Investors can
choose between the two options depending on preferences.
Mutual fund fees are set by the regulator and are typically a % of the assets under management. Separately managed accounts can however be structured in any way deemed logical by the investor and the fund manager.
Mutual funds have guaranteed IPO allocation. Separately managed accounts do not have this quota benefit unless the investor is an eligible institutional investor.
Mutual funds are subject to specific constraints. i.e. single stock exposure cannot exceed 10% and single sector exposure cannot exceed 25%. SMAs are not limited by these constraints.