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Survey Report

The world's largest 500 fund managers - year ended 2017

November 16, 2018

Total assets under management (AuM) of the world’s largest 500 managers grew to US$ 93.8 trillion in 2017, representing a rise of 15.6% on the previous year, according to the latest Global 500 research from Willis Towers Watson’s Thinking Ahead Institute.

In addition, the concentration of assets managed by the 20 largest managers reached the highest level since inception (in 2000), and now account for over 43% of the top 500 managers’ total AuM.

The research, conducted in conjunction with Pensions & Investments, a leading U.S. investment newspaper, shows North America-based managers represent the majority of assets (58.1%), although their share fell slightly in 2017, the first fall since 2008. European managers represent 31.8% of assets managed (the UK being 7.4%), Japan 4.8% and the rest of the world 5.2%. Assets in each region grew in 2017. While the majority of total assets (77.6%) are still managed actively, the share of passive assets has grown from 19.5% to 22.4% in the last five years. In 2017 passive assets grew 25%.

In an indication of future areas of focus, more than four out of five (81%) of managers surveyed reported an increase in client interest in sustainable investing, including voting, while nearly three quarters (74%) increased resources deployed to deal with technology and big data. Nearly two thirds of firms surveyed had increased the number of product offerings during 2017, while 60% reported an increase in the level of regulatory oversight according to the research.

world's largest fund managers

For the full report visit the Willis Towers Watson Thinking Ahead Institute library.

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