BlackRock, the World’s Biggest Asset Manager, Is Also the World’s Strongest Asset Management Brand

In a test of brand strength, Larry Fink’s titan remains on top.

Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Once again, BlackRock has been named the world’s strongest asset management brand according to the 2021 Fund Brand 50 study, an annual dataset from Broadridge Financial Solutions.

Following closely behind BlackRock is JPMorgan in second place and Fidelity in third. Like Blackrock, both brands retained their 2019 positions.

While the study works on a global scale, it also breaks down its findings regionally, providing separate rankings for the U.S., Europe, and APAC.

When compared with the global findings, the U.S. rankings look different. In the U.S., Capital Group swipes BlackRock’s top spot, with Vanguard in third, pushing JPMorgan to fourth place and Fidelity to sixth. PIMCO, which ranks as the sixth-best asset management brand on the global scale, moves up to fifth place in the U.S., gaining a spot above Fidelity in its native market.

In contrast with European and APAC fund selectors, U.S. fund selectors are more inclined to trust providers with broad investment options and wide ranges of products to accommodate a majority of their client base, according to the study’s findings.

The Broadridge Fund Brand 50 study is a compilation of interviews with over a thousand prominent fund selectors. In the study, fund selectors were asked to name their top-three suppliers based on a ten-factor scale. Factors include brand drivers like appealing investment strategy, client-oriented thinking, innovation, and solidity. Fund selectors’ answers are then aggregated into a “Total Brand Score,” which is used to rank the asset management brands.

But the study’s ten-factor system can’t account for everything. Even BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager and top asset management brand, has its own set of problems.

Last week, Institutional Investor reported former employees’ allegations of racial and sexual discrimination and harassment while employed at BlackRock. Despite revised diversity and inclusion initiatives in 2021, shareholders and fund selectors will be forced to consider whether or not the company will maintain its strong brand ranking into the future.