Top 400 Asset Managers 2018: 10 years of asset growth

liam kennedy

This September marks a decade since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the US investment bank, and the high-water mark of the 2007-09 financial crisis. In our 2009 report, the global assets recorded by our extensive annual study of the asset management sector fell by 22%, reflecting the steep sell-off in equity markets in 2008. The world of asset management was in a state of shock.

For several years following the crisis, the finance industry came under fire – from regulators, politicians and in public discourse. A new regulatory and legislative framework, introduced post-crisis, has fundamentally changed the asset management industry, both directly and indirectly.

And the stimulus of quantitative easing has buoyed markets, which in turn has led to profound changes in the supply-and-demand dynamics in asset management. This has led to a decade of steady growth in the AUM in our study. What else has happened in the last 10 years and what does this tell us about the next 10?

Top 400 Asset Managers 2018 (Top 25)

 CompanyCountryTotal AUM 2018Total AUM 2017
   31/12/17 (€m)31/12/16 (€m)
2Vanguard Asset ManagementUS/UK4,090,0103,727,455
3State Street Global AdvisorsUS/UK2,316,5332,340,323
4Fidelity InvestmentsUS2,003,2702,129,650
5BNY Mellon Investment Management US/UK1,585,9201,518,420
6Capital GroupUS1,504,3591,401,780
7J.P. Morgan Asset ManagementUS/UK1,471,2261,479,125
10Prudential FinancialUS1,160,5831,201,082
11Legal & General Investment ManagementUK1,107,6661,047,470
12Goldman Sachs Asset Management InternationalUS/UK1,073,7691,116,606
13Wellington Management InternationalUS899,647928,380
14Natixis Investment ManagersFrance/US830,847831,501
15T. Rowe PriceUS/UK825,368768,711
17Northern Trust Asset ManagementUS/UK800,644-
19AXA Investment ManagersFrance745,912699,628
20DWS - Deutsche Asset ManagementGermany701,736705,867
21Affiliated Managers GroupUS696,554689,000
22UBS Asset ManagementSwitzerland/UK663,562612,754
23Insight Investment*UK658,905612,719
24Sumitomo Mitsui Trust BankJapan656,450659,180
25Aberdeen Standard InvestmentsUK648,519-

Click here to download the complete Top 400 table

(To buy the Top 400 data, email Emma Morgan-Jones)

Assets have continued to rise, to €65.7trn at end-2017 and up from €26.5trn at end-2009. This upward trend looks set to continue.
Innovation in product development continues; the number of ETFs, for instance, has increased more than threefold in 10 years, with more than 5,000 currently listed, according to ETFGI.

Smart beta products have also gained significantly in traction with assets now exceeding $1trn (€860bn), according to Morningstar.

The rise of indexed assets has led to a debate about the role of active management, with costs and transparency coming into ever sharper focus.

Institutional asset owners have sparked a wider debate about the role of corporate governance in the financial system, and the place of both asset managers and institutional investors as long-term stewards of assets and drivers of change in corporations.

There is a strong focus on long-term investment and what this means.

China is becoming a significant asset management market and is a growing destination for external capital. Yet it remains a discrete asset management market with future demand set to focus on domestic products.

Banking regulation has spurred lending disintermediation, with a new focus on credit and credit alternatives in portfolios. Institutional search for yield means this trend is set to continue.

The growth of defined contribution (DC) pensions has started to focus minds on product design for DC pension accumulation and income. This process is ongoing.

Technology has come to the fore, spurring innovation in a new generation of quant funds, which in future could be powered by artificial intelligence. Data scientists are in demand and developments in the area of blockchain are keenly anticipated.

The asset management business is changing radically to adapt to these imperatives. Successful asset managers in the coming 10 years will be leaner, adaptive, highly focused on the evolving requirements of asset owners, and possibly less profitable.

In New York’s Gilded Age at the end of the nineteenth century, just 400 people were counted among the members of fashionable society - reputedly the number that could fit into Mrs Astor’s ballroom. In this spirit, since 2002, IPE has collected data on the leading 400 asset managers both globally and in Europe. The data is compiled by IPE, based mainly on information provided by the individual companies plus publicly available information.

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