Assets under management by the world’s 500 biggest managers totaled $76.7 trillion at the end of 2015, down by 1.7% from a year earlier. North American firms’ assets decreased by 1.1% to $44 trillion, those managed by European firms, including managers in the U.K., fell by 3.3% to $25 trillion, and assets of Asian managers and rest of the world were down by 4% to $3.6 trillion. Only Japanese managers enjoyed an increase in assets last year, up 3.1% to $4 trillion.
Willis Towers Watson conducted the research in conjunction with Pensions & Investments. According to the study, the 78.3% of total assets that were actively managed declined by 2.8% in 2015, while passively managed assets fell by 5.5%. In 2014, passive assets grew by 28.1%. Traditional asset classes, which held the lion’s share of total assets last year, decreased by 7.1%. Equity accounted for 45.4% of the total 78.2%, and fixed income 32.8%.
Top 20 Managers
The study showed the top 20 managers’ share of total assets increased to 41.9% in 2015 from 41.6% even as their assets fell from $32.5 trillion to $32.1 trillion. Assets of the bottom 250 managers fell to 5.8% from 6% in 2014, and stood at $4.4 trillion. Twelve U.S. managers and eight based in Europe made up the top 20 list. The highest-ranking Japanese manager was Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings, in the 33rd spot. Independent asset managers held nine of the top 20 spots, followed by banks with eight and insurers with three. Developing country managers’ share of total assets fell from 3.4% in 2014 to 3.2% last year, with assets under management amounting to some $2.5 trillion.
Following are the world top 20 largest asset managers as of the end of 2015, according to the report.
20. Northern Trust Asset Management, U.S.: $875 billion
19. Wells Fargo, U.S.: $890 billion
18. HSBC Holdings, U.K.: $896 billion
17. Wellington Management, U.S.: $927 billion
16. Amundi, France: $985 billion
15. Legal & General Group, U.K.: $1.1 trillion
14. UBS, Switzerland: $1.1 trillion
13. Prudential Financial, U.S.: $1.2 trillion
12. BNP Paribas, France: $1.2 trillion
11. Deutsche Bank, Germany: $1.2 trillion
10. Goldman Sachs Group, U.S.: $1.3 trillion
9. Capital Group, U.S.: $1.4 trillion
8. AXA Group, France: $1.5 trillion
7. Bank of New York Mellon, U.S.: $1.6 trillion
6. J.P. Morgan Chase, U.S.: $1.7 trillion
5. Allianz Group, Germany: $1.9 trillion
4. Fidelity Investments, U.S.: $2 trillion
3. State Street Global, U.S.: $2.2 trillion
2. Vanguard Group, U.S.: $3.4 trillion
1. BlackRock, U.S.: $4.6 trillion
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