Research

Institutional Management: Fees in Focus

Released April 2022

Separate accounts are complex, professionally managed portfolio offerings by asset management firms to institutional and high net worth investors. Separate accounts afford investors transparency, direct ownership of underlying securities, tax advantages, and the flexibility to make custom decisions such as inclusion or exclusion of individual securities or entire industries from their portfolios. Whereas offerings geared towards retail investors generally charge a flat fee on all assets, the majority of separate accounts implement a tiered fee structure dependent on various allocation levels (the higher the amount, the lower the fee).

Asset managers report their fee structures into eVestment’s global database. Understanding what each individual manager may charge is straightforward, but because of the nature of individual fee structures, comparing a strategy to its peers is more complex. The aim of this report is twofold:

  1. To organize reported fee data from eVestment Analytics into a visually consumable and usable reference for comparing individual fees among peer groups.
  2. To see differences in the level of stated fees versus what investors may have negotiated, using data from eVestment Market Lens.

Included are the stated management fees of 1,139 separate account structures from within eVestment’s Analytics platform, and 88 cases of actual fees paid by public plans and their corresponding managers’ stated fee comparisons, using documents uploaded to eVestment Market Lens.