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The majority of advisory firms in the U.S. and Canada currently offer model portfolios to clients, according to a survey by Natixis Investment Institute.

The survey found that 84% of firms’ product gatekeepers said they offer model portfolios to clients. And, more than half (52%) said it was a priority to move a large share of client assets into model portfolios in the year ahead.

Sixty percent of product gatekeepers said the primary benefit of model portfolios is a consistent investment experience for clients, while 41% said the primary benefit is they allow advisors to spend more addressing clients’ needs.

Advisors were also receptive to the benefits of model portfolios: only 19% of product gatekeepers said they had trouble convincing advisors of the merits of model portfolios, for managing at least a portion of clients’ assets.

Thematic investing and use of alts

Most respondents (60%) said they have a greater need for specialty model portfolios.

Sixty-four percent said models would be useful for environmental, social and governance (ESG) themes, and 54% said they plan to offer ESG model portfolios to clients.

Respondents also said they’re planning to add disruptive technology (45%), alternative (36%) and tax-aware (32%) models.

Alternative investments have been resilient during the pandemic, and 50% of respondents said they expect their use of private assets to increase.

Firms are looking to add funds offering exposure private equity (48%), private debt (46%), infrastructure (45%) and real estate (45%).


Natixis commissioned CoreData to survey 133 fund selectors in the U.S. and Canada in November and December 2020, as part of a global survey that included 400 respondents in 21 countries.