The level of competition in the Swiss asset management industry remains “quite high”, with an increasing number of foreign asset managers setting foot in the market and smaller players focusing on niches – despite the takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS last year representing a “tuning point”, according to the Asset Management Association Switzerland (AMAS).

AMAS figures on flow of net new assets show that UBS Asset Management ranks fourth with CHF2.65bn (€2.8bn) recorded last year, behind Zürcher Kantonalbank with CHF25.17bn, Partners Group with CHF16.14bn, and LGT Capital Partners with CHF9.86bn.

According to the Swiss Asset Management Study 2024 published by AMAS in partnership with the Lucerne University of Applied Science and Arts, DWS, Schroders, AXA Investment Managers, and Allianz Global Investors are among the 10 top asset managers in terms of share of net new assets.

Smaller asset managers, such as PURE Funds, Helvetia Asset Managemen and Quaero Capital, take the lead when considering net new assets relative to assets under management (AUM), taking advantage of their know-how as niche players, it added.

Total AUM managed by asset management companies in Switzerland grew by 8.3% year-on-year in 2023 to CHF3.1trn.

The 10 largest asset managers, including UBS AM with CHF291bn, Credit Suisse AM with CHF260bn, and Zürcher Kantonalbank with CHF245bn, account for 45% of the total AUM.

Pension funds’ assets represent the largest share (44.4%) of the total AUM. Both Swiss (58.4%) and international (54.9%) pension funds tend to invest assets in discretionary mandates, according to the report.

The takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS unsettled pension schemes fearing market concentration, but transactional costs represent an obstacle to re-tendering mandates.

The pension fund industry will intervene if any signs of a dominant market position appear, said Martin Roth, president of the pension fund association ASIP, in an interview published in the AMAS report.

“We as an industry are convinced that the asset management market will remain competitive and other asset managers will fill the gap,” he added.

Moreover, larger cantonal banks provide asset management services for institutional investors like pension funds which further increase the number of domestic providers, he said.

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