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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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Fund manager assets up by 4% in 2010

Towers Watson Investment, global head of research, Craig Baker, explained: "2010 was another good year for most asset managers with the majority posting strong results. However, developments in the second half of 2011 are an important reminder of the fragility and volatility of markets and reflect the weak underlying economic fundamentals and the changing risk appetites among institutional investors."

The research reveals that by number, bank-owned asset managers continue to dominate the top 20, although the number of independent managers in the group grew. There are 11 US based investment managers in the top 20 managing 60% of these assets, while eight managers are European-based and one is Japanese. Asset managers from developing countries have more than doubled their share of total cost assets to around 4% during the past ten years. During the same period, assets managed by the top 20 managers have almost doubled to around US$26 trillion and now account for around 40% of total assets.

Baker continued: "Investors have continued to move significant assets to passive houses over the years as those institutions have found new ways to provide access to markets at low cost. Most investors still rely on actively managed assets, as a core part of their portfolios, to provide them with some of the additional return they need to repair deficits or grow in a low beta return environment. However, passive assets - including new ways of doing passive - are likely to continue growing given their inherent appeal and suitability for the majority of investors."