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Press Release

Top 500 asset managers reach new $131 trillion record

U.S. managers account for 15 of the 20 largest firms based on AuM

October 17, 2022


ARLINGTON, October 17, 2022 – Assets under management (AuM) at the world’s 500 largest asset managers reached a new record of over $131 trillion in 2021, according to new research from WTW’s (NASDAQ: WTW) Thinking Ahead Institute. This is an increase of over 10% on the previous year, when assets had grown by 14.5% to over $119 trillion.

The research also shows further concentration of assets managed by the very largest organizations. The world’s top 20 asset managers are now responsible for over $59 trillion of assets, having grown at an above-average annual rate of 13%.

In addition, the research reveals that BlackRock is both the world’s largest asset manager and the first to exceed $10 trillion. While the Vanguard Group is ranked second (breaking the $8 trillion mark), it is significantly ahead of Fidelity Investments and State Street Global — ranked third and fourth, respectively — each with around $4 trillion.

The dominance of U.S. managers is increasingly apparent at the top of the rankings; they now account for 15 of the 20 largest firms and around 82% of assets. This share is now boosted by U.S. managers Invesco and Wellington Management joining the top 20. More broadly, as a result of consolidation and competition, 218 manager names that featured in the ranking 10 years ago are now absent.

According to the research, passively managed funds grew by 12.1% during the year — faster than actively managed assets, which grew by 9.5% — and now account for over 29% of assets, hitting a record high. It also shows that equity and fixed income continued to make up the majority of assets, split by 46.5% and 33.9%, respectively. In addition, cash makes up 6.6%, alternatives 5.9% and other strategies 7.1% (which include liability-driven investment [LDI] and other specialist solutions).

“Investment managers are facing a combination of long-term headwinds from macroeconomic, geopolitical and climate risks — but are also spurred on by the driving factors of technology and industry innovation,” said Marisa Hall, co-head of the Thinking Ahead Institute. “This is a story of dark clouds on the horizon, potentially matched by a powerful engine room of innovation.

“Consolidation is an obvious symptom of a changing investment industry, but bigger is not always better. Specialism is still sought-after, with genuine boutiques and smaller global managers proving that standing out for the right reasons can be as strong a business model as offering standardization.

“Asset managers are adapting as organizations, and we’re seeing competitive pressures manifest in a reassessment of the skills and structures that drive success. For example, healthy scrutiny of sustainability claims is leading to enormous demand for climate and environmental specialists. Meanwhile, modern expectations for digital client service and a need for rigorous data-led investment processes is separately driving total reevaluations of operational technology. These trends mean we’re not seeing just a shift in the rankings but also a shift in what it means to be a successful asset manager.”

Following are additional research findings, from a subset of managers in the ranking:

  • Assets allocated to environmental, social and governance principles increased by over four percentage points to reach over 60% of assets.
  • Allocations to LDI strategies slowed marginally to around 13.9% of total assets invested in LDI strategies, from 14.2% a year before.
  • A majority (56%) of managers increased the number of women, and those of other protected minority groups, in high positions.
  • Technology and big data received additional resources among a strong majority (76%) of managers, while a similar 75% boosted their resources focused on cybersecurity.
  • Product offerings are still expanding — with 72% increasing the number of investment products they offer to clients.
  • Aggregate investment management fee levels decreased for a third (29%) and increased for 13% of managers.

The world’s largest money managers: Ranked by total AuM

The world’s largest money managers

Ranked by total AuM, in U.S. millions.

Rank Fund Market Total Assets (US$ millions)
1. BlackRock U.S. $10,010,143
2. Vanguard Group U.S. $8,466,372
3. Fidelity Investments U.S. $4,233,825
4. State Street Global U.S. $4,138,172
5. J.P. Morgan Chase U.S. $3,113,000
6. Allianz Group Germany $2,954,432
7. Capital Group U.S. $2,715,178
8. Goldman Sachs Group U.S. $2,470,000
9. BNY Mellon U.S. $2,434,330
10. Amundi France $2,332,454
11. UBS Switzerland $2,124,000
12. Legal & General Group U.K. $1,917,486
13. Prudential Financial U.S. $1,742,326
14. T. Rowe Price Group U.S. $1,687,800
15. Invesco U.S. $1,610,915
16. Northern Trust U.S. $1,607,100
17. Franklin Templeton U.S. $1,578,124
18. Morgan Stanley Inv. Mgmt. U.S. $1,492,849
19. BNP Paribas France $1,439,280
20. Wellington Mgmt. U.S. $1,425,481

Source: Thinking Ahead Institute: World’s Largest Asset Managers 2022 report

Notes to editors: Figures are the latest available as of Dec. 31, 2021. Additional research findings are based on a subset of asset managers in the 2021 ranking that provided relevant data for all years since 2019.

About the Thinking Ahead Institute

The Thinking Ahead Institute was established in January 2015 and is a global not-for-profit investment research and innovation member group made up of engaged institutional asset owners and service providers committed to changing and improving the investment industry for the benefit of the end saver. It has over 50 members around the world and is an outgrowth of WTW Investments’ Thinking Ahead Group, which was set up in 2002.

About WTW

At WTW (NASDAQ: WTW), we provide data-driven, insight-led solutions in the areas of people, risk and capital. Leveraging the global view and local expertise of our colleagues serving 140 countries and markets, we help organizations sharpen their strategy, enhance organizational resilience, motivate their workforce and maximize performance.

Working shoulder to shoulder with our clients, we uncover opportunities for sustainable success—and provide perspective that moves you.

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