Representative-driven programs are projected to reach $1.7 trillion by 2015-the largest asset increase across the managed accounts industry, according to a report issued this month by Boston-based research firm Cerulli Associates.

According to Cerulli, rep-driven programs hold $882.1 billion in assets, with rep-as-advisor programs holding $475.9 billion. The other type of rep-driven program, rep-as-portfolio-manager, has $406.2 billion.

The key distinction between rep-as-advisor and rep-as-portfolio-manager programs is that advisors in rep-as-portfolio-manager programs can make changes to client portfolios without first getting the client's permission.

"As advisor practices grow, making changes to model portfolios becomes challenging and difficult to scale," said Patrick Newcomb, senior analyst of Cerulli's managed accounts practice. "If they do not need to contact a client before making a change, advisors can spend more time on other, more profitable activities, such as meeting with clients.''

Of the two types of programs, rep-as-portfolio-manager programs are expected to grow faster, somewhere between 17 to 22 percent each year through to 2015. Rep-as-advisors programs, meanwhile, will grow between 16 and 21 percent per year, according to Cerulli.

The total managed accounts industry has approximately $2.2 trillion in assets.