Research recently conducted by data provider ClearGlass has identified nine ‘elite’ asset managers that have consistently provided exceptional value for money for their clients over the course of ClearGlass data collection.

For institutional investors, transparency of cost and performance is key to ensure they can make informed decisions on manager selection and manager retention, and that they are receiving the best value for money from these asset managers.

With this in mind, ClearGlass Research aims to showcase the discrepancy in value delivered across the high volumes of mandates included in any investment strategy, to give both asset managers and asset owners a true picture of how the market is functioning, and to recognise some of the most competitive asset managers.

ClearGlass’ research used CTI data obtained from 479 asset managers (of which 192 hold mandates in public markets) serving more than 900 institutional asset owners in the UK through a total of more than 23,000 mandates with total assets worth £1.3trn (€1.5trn).

The firm has identified an ‘elite’ manager as having delivered long-term best quartile net performance whilst simultaneously doing so with lowest (i.e. best) quartile ongoing charges for a given strategy. Only nine managers achieve such ‘elite’ status across a limited range of strategies, according to ClearGlass.

Asset managerStrategy

Baillie Gifford *

Global active equity

Active emerging market equity

Multi-asset targeted absolute return


Passive corporate fixed income 

Liability-driven investments (LDI)

Columbia Threadneedle Investments (Ameriprise)

Multi-asset targeted absolute return

Dodge & Cox

Multi-asset credit

Fidelity International

Active emerging market equity

Legal & General Investment Management

Absolute return fixed income 

Active corporate fixed income

Multi-asset credit

Multi-asset diversified growth fund

Multi-asset dynamic asset allocation

Reams Asset Management (Carillon Tower Advisers)

Absolute return fixed income

Sands Capital Management *

Active emerging market equity

Securis Investment Partners *

Insurance linked securities

There are several additional managers that were close to the ‘elite’ status, but fell short by dint of slightly higher ongoing charges and/or slightly lower net performance, ClearGlass noted.

The firm plans to shortly reach out directly to these asset managers to work with them on how and where their attention should be focused in order to reach the ‘elite’ status.

ClearGlass also monitors and assesses asset managers on the timeliness of data delivery, and quality and accuracy of data provided. Three of the nine ‘elite’ asset managers are also exemplary in the provision of CTI data and are rated as Tier 1 data providers (*).

In total 43% of the 479 managers from which ClearGlass collected data were rated as Tier 1. In general, the managers that failed to achieve Tier 1 status did so as a result of sometimes painfully slow data delivery.

ClearGlass will shortly release a full list of the Tier 1 ‘data excellence’ managers, as well as a list of those that fall significantly short of reasonable expectations.

Chris Sier, research director at ClearGlass Research, said: “When we provide asset owners clients with cost and performance benchmarking data, we are often asked which managers excel and are ‘elite’. Similarly, asset managers use our benchmarking data and also want to know if they are ‘elite’ and/or which of their competitors are.”

He added: “In the interests of transparency and competition, I think it’s important for the wider market to similarly know where true [value for money] excellence lies.”

Read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine