The II 300
Top U.S. Money Managers See Assets Plunge 23 Percent Total assets in the II300, Institutional Investor’s annual ranking of the 300 largest money managers in the U.S., tumbled 23.4 percent last year, to $26.7 trillion. The hardest hit asset classes were the riskiest—equities, which fell 41.3 percent, and alternative investments, which fell 26.1 percent. Bonds, normally the darling of investors when stocks are in a tailspin, also fell, but only by 9.3 percent.
The only asset class that actually grew last year was cash equivalents, which inched up 3.9 percent, to $5.47 trillion.
The industry’s misery speaks to recent trends that are sapping firms of revenue as wary investors plow money into investments that carry the lowest risk – and for which money managers charge the lowest fees. One firm that has benefited from the shift in overall composition of assets is Barclays Global Investors (BGI), which finishes first in the II300 for a fifth straight year, with $1.53 trillion in assets as of December 31.
State Street Global Advisors maintains its second-place position, with $1.44 trillion. BlackRock, the New York–based institutional quant shop, jumps to No. 3 from No. 5, even though its assets remained nearly flat, at $1.31 trillion. In June, BlackRock announced its $13.5 billion acquisition of BGI, which it plans to complete in the fourth quarter of this year.
Choosing America’s Biggest Money Managers
The II 300 ranks America’s largest money managers by assets under management. In conformity with the traditional view of the money management business, assets are defined as discretionary assets under management for the account of customers for which an organization has contractual authority to make buy and sell decisions. We ask firms to report assets under management for their entire organization--including subsidiaries. The ranking includes insurance companies, banks, investment management firms, internally managed pension funds, mutual fund companies and hedge funds. Domestic and non-U.S. equities include convertibles. ADR’s are included in non-U.S. equities. Domestic and non-U.S. fixed income include preferred stock and mortgage-backed securities. Real estate includes debt and equity. Alternative investments may include derivatives, venture capital, oil & gas, timberland, and hedge fund investments. Tax-exempt assets represent assets from tax-exempt sources, such as pension funds, foundations and endowments.