Sweden’s SEB Wealth Management has moved up IPE’s global ranking of the 2014 Top 400 Asset Managers survey to take 69th place, rising from number 72 the year before, and remained the top Nordic asset manager in terms of assets. 

Within Sweden, SEB Wealth Management increased its lead as the country’s number one asset manager in 2014, with assets rising last year to €158bn from €143.1bn. 

Swedbank Robur again took second place in Sweden in terms of assets under management (AUM), with assets rising last year to €90bn from €87.9bn – although this rise in percentage terms was not as strong as others in the country’s top three.

Handelsbanken Asset Management entered Sweden’s top three in 2014, just overtaking the pension provider AMF Pension, as its AUM grew rapidly last year to €50.6bn from €35.8bn. 

Moritz Wendt, global head of institutional clients within SEB Wealth Management, told IPE: “We had a very good market last year and good net sales, with more business from existing clients, as well as business coming in from new clients.” 

He said underlying market appreciation had been one of the factors behind the asset manager’s business growth last year. 

Around 30% of the assets the company managed were in equities, he said, adding that prices on stock markets had increased at double-digit percentage rates in 2013, with the Nordic markets rising particularly rapidly. 

Wendt said last year had seen a lot of RFPs from institutional clients, adding that SEB Wealth Management had seen strong business growth momentum across different products. 

Growth is continuing at a faster pace this year, he said. 

“Right now, it’s looking better than last year,” he said. “At this point, we’re above net sales for the whole of 2013.”

Company 2014 Total 2013 Total
  31/12/13 (€m) 31/12/12 (€m)
SEB Wealth Management 158,000 143,063
Swedbank Robur 90,000 87,914
Handelsbanken Asset Management 50,621 35,800
AMF Pension 50,397 38,881
Folksam 31,800 30,157
Alfred Berg 18,000 18,200
IPM Informed Portfolio Management 5,303 4,881
East Capital 3,520 3,875

Meanwhile in Norway, AUM figures in the Top 400 survey were marked by last year’s sharp falls in the value of the Norwegian kroner on foreign exchanges. 

DNB Asset Management regained its 2012 number one ranking in terms of AUM, even though assets fell slightly last year in euro terms to €57.9bn from €59.4bn.  

It narrowly overtook Storebrand Asset Management, which had been number one in the 2013 survey with €60.4bn, before AUM fell in euro terms to €57.8bn in the 2014 survey. 

KLP Kapitalforvaltning took third place in the ranking in Norway again, though AUM increased strongly during the last year to €43.8bn from €30.7bn. 

Torkild Varran, head of investments and wealth management at DNB AM, said factors behind the manager’s growth in AUM in kroner terms included the fact it had set up wealth management as a new area, which gathered private banking, defined contribution plans and asset management together. 

This benefited all these areas and increased the focus on the new business area overall, he said. 

“This development has also been strengthened by the ongoing change in the pension system in Norway from DB (defined benefit) to DC (defined contribution),” Varran said. 

Along with the rest of the industry, DNB AM is focusing on coping with new regulations that would increase costs, he said. 

“On the other side, we expect volumes will continue to increase, and we hope to further strengthen our position both domestically and abroad,” he said.  

Company 2014 Total 2013 Total
  31/12/13 (€m) 31/12/12 (€m)
DNB Asset Management 57,898 59,386
Storebrand Asset Management 57,816 60,400
KLP Kapitalforvaltning 43,868 30,742
SKAGEN Funds 15,315 14,873
Pareto Forvaltning 5,000 -
Holberg Fondsforvaltning 2,565 2,413

A spokesman for Storebrand explained that the fall in assets under management in the league table was due to exchange rates. 

“Our AUM increased by 10% in Norwegian kroner in 2013, to NOK487bn from NOK442bn,” he said.

“The reason for the decrease in assets under management in euro, is that the euro went from 7.3 kroner to 8.4 kroner in 2013.” 

Storebrand expects a moderate increase in assets under management in 2014, its spokesman said, with most of that growth coming from DC pensions in the private sector and pension funds from municipalities. 

“On the negative side,” he added, “we expect to have a decrease in AUM due to the winding up the defined-benefit pensions aimed at the public sector in Norway.”

Among Finnish asset managers, the clear leader was once again Pohjola Asset Management, with assets increasing to €37.9bn by the end of December 2013 from €32.7bn a year before. 

Company 2014 Total 2013 Total
  31/12/13 (€m) 31/12/12 (€m)
Pohjola Asset Management 37,940 32,700
LocalTapiola Asset Management 9,100 8,100
Aktia 7,075 7,597
Evli Bank 6,000 5,400
FIM Asset Management 2,400 -
Alandsbanken Asset Management 1,600 1,500

LocalTapiola Asset Management increased its AUM to €9.1bn by the end of last year, up from €8.1bn 12 months before, and took second position in the Top 400 ranking for the country. 

Aktia, with €7.1bn under management, came in at number three in Finland, despite a fall in assets from €7.6bn the year before.