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Dreyfus Separate Accounts Grow 56% in 2002 to $2.5 Billion

Dreyfus Corp.'s separately managed accounts have grown about 56% since the beginning of the year, as the New York asset manager has seen assets flow into these products from mutual funds, annuities and other investment vehicles.

Michael G. Millard, the president of the Dreyfus unit of Mellon Financial Corp., said his company had $2.5 billion of assets under management in separately managed accounts as of May 31. Dreyfus' separate accounts unit was started in February 2000, he said, and its assets grew from $211 million at the end of 2000 to $1.6 billion by the end of 2001.

Millard said that after fairly stagnant results in the early to mid 1990s, managed accounts have more than doubled in the past four years. Managed accounts are individually packaged portfolios set up by advisers for high-net-worth customers.

A recent study by Cerulli & Associates found that managed accounts have a 15.6% market share among investment products, up from a market share of 5.6% share in 1994.

Millard said he expects managed accounts to reach an 18% to 20% market share by the end of this year. Dreyfus has named a senior executive, Anthony C. DeVivio, the president of Dreyfus' retail division, to oversee the separate accounts unit, Millard said.

"Right now mutual funds and other investment vehicles are flat, and separately managed accounts are growing. They are growing at [a rate of] 1-1/2 times that of mutual funds," Millard said. "There has just been tremendous growth for managed accounts. It is much more than what was expected compared to the rest of the investment universe."

Analysts said more wealthy individuals are buying the product because it gives them an investment set up exclusively for them by a financial adviser. With wealthy investors intrigued by the product, more banks and insurance companies are looking to sell it.

"This is clearly a hot product right now. People want the advice. They want the attention, and they want the focus," said David Ross Palmer, a high-net-worth analyst at Lobue & Associates. "Money may be leaving other products, but it isn't leaving managed accounts."

The Money Management Institute, a Washington organization that tracks managed accounts, says that total assets in these products rose to $417 billion as of March 31, up from $400 billion at the end of last year.