separately managed accounts

Separately Managed Accounts to construct personalized portfolios

BlackRock Separately Managed Accounts (SMAs) provide enhanced capabilities to meet your clients’ financial goals.

How do separately managed accounts work?

In an SMA, the end investor has direct ownership of the assets, but an asset manager is responsible for making the actual trades and managing the portfolio. The asset manager typically charges a fee for their services, which is usually a percentage of the assets in the account.

SMA investment strategies

At BlackRock, we have over 40 years of experience delivering fixed income, equity, and multi-asset SMA solutions designed to address a broad range of investment objectives.
Municipal SMAs
Municipal Fixed Income
Build a tax-efficient portfolio of individual bonds.
fixed income SMAs
Taxable Fixed Income
Diversify the core of your clients’ bond portfolio.
Equity SMAs
Construct a portfolio of stocks across geographies, markets caps and styles.
Multi-asset SMAs
Craft portfolios with an optimal balance of risk and return.

SMAs vs ETFs vs Mutual Funds

Compared to pooled funds, SMAs provide visibility into the underlying securities, fee transparency, and the ability to personalize holdings to help manage tax consequences and align the portfolio with the client's values.
SMAs ETFs Mutual Funds
Cost effectiveness
Seek to generate alpha
Transparency of holdings
Direct ownership of securities
Customize based on client preferences
Active tax-management

How to start a separately managed account?

If you are interested in pursuing an SMA for your client, reach out to your BlackRock representative or contact us by calling 877-472-7625.

Email us       SMA dual contract form

Why BlackRock for SMAs

As your SMA partner, we leverage our people and technology to help advisors solve their clients’ most complex investment challenges.



Local partnerships

Access to personal portfolio managers (PMs)*, investment strategists and client service specialists.


Personalization beyond the ordinary

Enhanced customization capabilities seeking to deliver personalized solutions.


Proprietary technology

Institutional level risk management platform to help build resilient portfolios.


  • SMAs create benefits for both end investor and advisors by offering institutional investment management in an account of directly held securities. As a result, advisors of high net worth clients are increasingly adding SMA allocations in portfolios.

    Benefits for the End Investor:

    • Personalization: direct security ownership allows investors to tailor the holdings in their account to their investment objectives, personal values, and liquidity needs.
    • Tax Efficiency: SMAs can be funded in kind with securities to reduce capital gains realization, customized with tax efficient features like state specificity in municipal bonds, and systematically tax loss harvested to offset gains elsewhere in client portfolios.
    • Low Cost: SMA fees are often lower than those of mutual funds and can be negotiable for large client relationships.

    Benefits for the Advisor:

    • Capacity: advisors who adopt SMAs spend less time on research, portfolio management, and trading and more time with clients than peers who retain portfolio management responsibilities.
    • Institutional Access: SMAs give advisors the opportunity to deliver institutional risk management, market access, and execution in each client account.
    • Client Service: SMA PMs serve as an extension to an advisor’s team. BlackRock’s SMA PMs build client portfolios, conduct client reviews, and provide ongoing reports and analytics to both advisor and investor.
  • SMAs fees are billed monthly or quarterly as a percentage of the portfolio’s NAV. This billing process makes SMA fees more transparent than fund fees which are typically deducted directly from fund NAV throughout the year. SMAs like ETFs are generally lower cost than mutual funds, which may appeal to high net worth investors who qualify for their minimums.

  • SMAs are available through SMA or Unified Managed Account (UMA) platforms from broker dealers, custodians, and TAMPs across the wealth management industry. While each platform is unique, every SMA falls into one of two categories:

    Dual Contract: the SMA manager signs a direct contract with both advisor and client. This structure enables high levels of account customization and pricing flexibility, but may be more operationally cumbersome.
    Single Contract: the SMA manager signs a contract with the advisor, but not the client. While simpler to onboard, single contract SMAs offer less customization and pricing flexibility. SMAs on UMA platforms are single contract.

    BlackRock has SMA placement on all major industry platforms. For platform specific availability, please reach out to your BlackRock representative.