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Press Release

Largest asset owners in $26 trillion record

November 30, 2022

Climate Risk and Resilience
  • World’s top 100 asset owners are now responsible for US$25.7 trillion – up 9%
  • Concentrated pool of “World’s most influential capital” holds great responsibility
  • Rapid growth among the very largest asset owners sees top 20 hold US$14.1 trillion

LONDON, November 30, 2022 – The world’s 100 largest asset owners are now responsible for US$25.7 trillion, according to new research by the Thinking Ahead Institute.

The research, in its fifth year, reveals total assets among the largest organisations have grown by 9% as of end-2021, down from 16% growth over the previous year.

Pension funds remain the single biggest group of asset owners in the global study, controlling 56% of total assets although this has fallen from 58% the previous year. By contrast, sovereign wealth funds have seen their share rise comfortably above one-third, to 37%, up from 35% the previous year.

The Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan remains the largest asset owner in the world (US$1.7 trillion) followed by the two largest sovereign wealth funds: Norges Bank Investment Management (US$1.4 trillion) and China Investment Corporation (US$1.2 trillion).

The top 20 asset owners are responsible for US$14.1 trillion, or the majority (55%) of the top 100. This level of concentration has persisted since its inception, although individual asset owners have moved within the ranking.

These big asset owners control the world’s most influential capital and hold great responsibility and growing influence...”

Roger Urwin | Thinking Ahead Institute

Roger Urwin, co-founder of the Thinking Ahead Institute, said: “These big asset owners control the world’s most influential capital and hold great responsibility and growing influence in relation to their beneficiaries, and to a widening group of stakeholders.

“The research highlights that many of these asset owners act as universal owners – long-term, leadership minded holders of portfolios that are exposed to the entire market and economy – and have a distinctive opportunity to contribute to real-world systemic change by contributing to a Paris-aligned future, consistent with net-zero emissions by 2050.”

Notes to editors

Figures were the latest available as of March 31, 2022.
New sources of information were used for some countries in 2021.

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 55 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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