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Press Release

Largest asset owners in US$26 trillion record

November 30, 2022

Climate Risk and Resilience

HONG KONG, 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.

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.”

Jayne Bok, Head of Investments Asia, WTW continued: “Asset owners in Asia have experienced rapid growth over the last decade, with Asia-based funds now accounting for 50% of the top 10 names and 40% of the Asset Owners with AUM over US$200 billion. While size and scale matter, many Asia funds must also grapple with the ‘weight of capital’ challenge. This means that they must rapidly evolve their governance and investment capabilities whilst seeking to minimise the impact of dominating their own domestic markets. The proportion of alternatives in Asia portfolios, particularly for the largest funds, is still on the lower end of the spectrum relative to other regions, suggesting that there is scope for further gains from portfolio efficiency and diversification. Added to this is the need to balance sustainability and ESG considerations, and stay on top of evolving regulation which varies across markets in Asia. There is a growing realisation across the board that Asia is a key focal point for climate transition, one with global repercussions, and no doubt this will feature in Asia’s future capital allocation considerations.”

Asset Owners 100 ranking
(in US$ million)

Top 20 asset owners in Asset Owners 100 ranking
Rank Fund Market Total Assets (US$)
1. Government Pension Investment Fund Japan $1,730,900
2. Norges Bank Investment Management Norway $1,402,000
3. China Investment Corporation China $1,222,000
4. SAFE Investment Company China $980,000
5. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority United Arab Emirates $829,000
6. National Pension South Korea $797,968
7. Federal Retirement Thrift U.S. $774,176
8. GIC Private Limited Singapore $744,000
9. Kuwait Investment Authority Kuwait $738,000
10. APG Netherlands $630,358
11. Hong Kong Monetary Authority Investment Portfolio Hong Kong $587,000
12. California Public Employees U.S. $496,820
13. Public Investment Fund/Sanabil Investments Saudi Arabia $480,000
14. Qatar Investment Authority Qatar $445,000
15. Canada Pension Canada $426,746
16. National Social Security China $406,787
17. Central Provident Fund Singapore $374,990
18. Mercer U.S. $370,168
19. CDPQ Canada $329,000
20. California State Teachers U.S. $313,940

Top 20 APAC asset owners
(in US$ million)

Top 20 asset owners in Asia Pacific
Global Rank Organisation Country Total Assets Primary Category
1 Government Pension Investment Fund Japan $1,730,900 Pension Fund
3 China Investment Corporation China $1,222,000 SWF
4 SAFE Investment Company China $980,000 SWF
6 National Pension South Korea $797,968 Pension Fund
8 GIC Private Limited Singapore $744,000 SWF
11 Hong Kong Monetary Authority Investment Portfolio Hong Kong $587,000 SWF
16 National Social Security3 China $406,787 Pension Fund
17 Central Provident Fund Singapore $374,990 Pension Fund
24 Temasek Holdings Singapore $283,000 SWF
27 Local Government Officials Japan $248,572 Pension Fund
28 Employees Provident Fund Malaysia $242,602 Pension Fund
31 Korea Investment Corporation South Korea $205,000 SWF
33 BLF Taiwan $202,000 Pension Fund
37 Future Fund Management Agency Australia $185,000 SWF
43 Australian Super4 Australia $169,055 Pension Fund
51 MPFA Hong Kong $150,000 Pension Fund
54 Employees' Provident3 India $144,972 Pension Fund
62 National Federation of Mutual Aid Japan $117,055 Pension Fund
67 Pension Fund Association2 Japan $109,824 Pension Fund
71 Aware Super4 Australia $107,511 Pension Fund

1 As of 30 September 2021
2 As of 31 March 2021
3 Estimate
4 As of 30 June 2021

Notes to editors

Figures were the latest available as of 31 March 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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