Overview

From a sell-off sparked by worries over China to the Brexit surprise, European investment firms faced many headwinds this year. But for those willing to be nimble and keep an open mind about asset management, opportunities presented themselves.

Having unloaded noncore businesses and invested in technology under CEO Oliver Baete, Allianz Group is boosting its exposure to alternative investments, including infrastructure equity and debt in developed markets. Next year “will be driven by a slightly more benign environment — if protectionism can be avoided,” says CIO Andreas Gruber. “Moderate growth is a perfect scenario for equities and other real assets.”

For the third straight year, Allianz tops the Euro 100, Institutional Investor’s exclusive annual ranking of the region’s biggest investment managers, with roughly €1.83 trillion ($1.98 trillion) in assets as of June 30. AXA Group, BlackRock, UBS, and Amundi once again claim the next four spots.