Why SMAs May Outshine AMCs for Asset Managers?

Asset Managers

Why SMAs May Outshine AMCs for Asset Managers: A Consideration

Separately Managed Accounts (SMAs) and Actively Managed Certificates (AMCs) present two distinct approaches to managing client assets. While both offer unique benefits, SMAs are increasingly viewed as potentially more advantageous, especially for asset managers seeking to provide personalized investment solutions.

Personalization and Client Alignment

SMAs stand out for their ability to offer highly customized investment strategies. Unlike AMCs, which are structured products combining various assets to replicate a strategy, SMAs allow asset managers to tailor portfolios directly according to the specific needs and goals of each client. This level of customization enhances client satisfaction and retention by directly aligning investments with individual financial goals and risk tolerances.

Control and Transparency

One of the critical advantages of SMAs is the degree of control and transparency they afford both managers and their investors. With SMAs, investors own the individual securities within their portfolio, allowing for transparent reporting and straightforward assessment of each asset’s performance. In contrast, AMCs, due to their nature as packaged products, can sometimes obscure asset details, making it challenging to provide a clear view of asset performance and management actions to clients.

Cost Efficiency and Tax Benefits

From a cost perspective, SMAs often prove more efficient over the long term. They typically involve lower overhead and fewer embedded costs compared to AMCs, which may carry additional fees related to their structured nature. Moreover, SMAs can offer significant tax advantages. The ability to manage holdings actively allows for strategic buying and selling of securities, potentially leading to more favorable tax outcomes through tactics like tax-loss harvesting.

Flexibility in Asset Management

SMAs also provide unparalleled flexibility in managing investments. Asset managers can incorporate a wide array of investment types, including alternative assets often not available in AMCs. This flexibility extends to adjusting the investment strategy over time to respond to changes in the market or in clients’ financial situations, an option less readily available with AMCs due to their predefined structures.

Market Accessibility and Minimum Investments

While AMCs are accessible at potentially lower minimum investments, making them attractive at a broader market level, recent innovations have also made SMAs more accessible than ever before. Traditionally favored by high-net-worth individuals due to their personalized nature and direct ownership model, SMAs are now reaching a wider audience thanks to technological advancements and competitive fee structures.

These advancements have led to a significant reduction in minimum investment thresholds for SMAs, allowing even non-high-net-worth individuals to benefit from personalized, active management of their investments. This change expands the suitability of SMAs, making them a viable option for a broader range of investors seeking tailored investment solutions without the complexities and layered costs associated with AMCs.


For asset managers focused on delivering bespoke, client-centered investment solutions, SMAs represent a compelling choice. They offer the transparency, control, and customization necessary to craft tailored strategies that closely align with clients’ evolving needs. As the investment landscape continues to shift, understanding the nuanced differences between SMAs and AMCs is crucial for asset managers aiming to optimize their offerings and enhance client outcomes.

The content of this blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any security, company, or fund. The information provided does not constitute investment advice, financial advice, trading advice, or any other sort of advice and you should not treat any of the content as such. LYNK Markets does not recommend that any securities should be bought, sold, or held by you. Do your own due diligence and consult your financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

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