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Fidelity, E*Trade Start Unified Managed Accounts

Fidelity Investments and E*Trade Financial Corp. are starting unified managed accounts for individual investors who want someone else to manage their money.

Fidelity, the world’s second-largest mutual-fund manager, requires a $200,000 minimum investment. In-house advisers will have discretionary authority over the accounts and will invest in Fidelity and third-party mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and stocks, said Steve Austin, a spokesman for the Boston-based firm, in an interview.

The minimum amount for E*Trade is $250,000. Accounts for New York-based E*Trade, the fourth-largest U.S. brokerage by client assets, will be co-managed by Malvern, Pennsylvania-based Lockwood Advisors, Inc., a subsidiary of the Bank of New York Mellon Corp. and E*Trade. They will invest in mutual funds, ETFs and separately managed accounts run by outside managers.

“Traditionally if you wanted to open accounts with several managers you had to open separately managed accounts with each of them,” said Paul Renken, executive vice president of E*Trade Capital Management. “This wraps that all together.”

Fidelity and E*Trade traditionally have catered to do-it-yourself investors who want to maintain control over their investments.

Management fees for Fidelity accounts will be from 55 basis points to 150 basis points in addition to fees on any non-Fidelity mutual funds. Fees on Fidelity funds will be reimbursed, said Sweeney. A basis point is .01 percentage point. E*Trade will charge 125 basis points in addition to fees assessed by the funds, the company said in statement today.

There was $101 billion invested in unified managed accounts in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2010, up from $62 billion in the prior year, according to Patrick Newcomb, senior analyst with Cerulli Associates, based in Boston. Morgan Stanley, based in New York, is the largest provider of unified managed accounts by assets, according to Cerulli.

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