BB&T Corporation (NYSE: BBT) today said it has introduced an enhanced investment management process for clients of BB&T's award-winning Wealth Management division.
Based on the state-of-the-art "unified management account" (UMA) platform, the enhanced process will provide clients with a single, unified view of their entire investment strategy among other benefits.
And it will allow BB&T's local portfolio managers to more closely monitor all facets of their clients' portfolio, including asset allocation based on investment preferences and tax implication management.
The UMA platform is nearing "accepted standard" status for best-in-class wealth managers, said BB&T Wealth Division Manager David Fisher. The platform allows the manager to provide a broad array of investment solutions and services for the high-net-worth client.
An evolution of the separate-accounts platform (in which a different account is required for each kind of investment), UMAs offer clients more control over the management of their portfolios and are grabbing an increasing share of investor dollars.
The UMA platform can include external and proprietary mutual funds, stocks, bonds, alternative investments, exchange-traded funds and other investment vehicles.
"The UMA investment solution means our wealth advisors can become even stronger advocates for their clients," Fisher said. "All of our investment recommendations are based on objective analysis and thorough due diligence. And our emphasis on objectivity and open architecture enables us to offer a broad selection of investment styles and draw on the expertise of world class money managers to the advantage of our clients.
"By aligning our Wealth clients' existing portfolios with our state-of-the-art process, we can now offer them an even more robust and diversified portfolio along with the same local control of investment decisions and transactions they've always enjoyed. And it's all in one convenient account with one statement."
Through BB&T's enhanced investment process, clients will have access to the recommendations and models from the top institutional money managers in the world, comprising a wide range of asset classes and styles.
But if those recommendations conflict with a client's risk tolerance, personal investment preferences or other parameters - including how to rebalance and manage cash - the client's personal BB&T portfolio manager will serve as an "overlay manager" who can override the recommendations.
"With our investment management process, our local portfolio manager receives trading recommendations from the carefully selected models for each client," said Andy Pulliam, director of Portfolio Management for BB&T Wealth. "The portfolio manager will act on those recommendations only if the transactions optimize the portfolio and align with the client's other financial and nonfinancial parameters.
"For example, clients can do things like screen for social investing criteria, concentrations, or tax management. That's a deep level of customization reflecting a client's unique preferences and circumstances - and a big selling point of this platform."
Overlay management also allows BB&T portfolio managers to identify, in advance, the tax implications of an investment transaction or portfolio rebalance - and make any necessary changes to improve the portfolio's overall performance.
"Our clients are supported by a team of professionals whose primary goal is to make sure each investment decision is made within the context of the client's overall financial strategy," Pulliam said. "Through our enhanced investment management process, we'll be sure that each client's investment portfolio is performing as efficiently and productively as possible to generate the best net after-tax outcome. It allows us to offer the highest level of personal attention available."
Unified managed accounts are expected to surpass separately managed accounts as the open architecture wealth management account of choice for the U.S. market in the next five years, according to a January report from Celent. The Boston-based research firm projects that UMA assets will reach $327 billion by 2013, representing a compound annual growth rate of 35 percent.