The world’s 100 largest asset owners are now responsible for US$25.7trn, according to the latest research.
The Thinking Ahead Institute’s study The Asset Owner 100 – 2022 reveals that the largest organisations’ total assets have grown by 9% as of the end of 2021, although this is down from the previous year’s 16% growth.
Pension funds remain the single biggest group of asset owners in the study, controlling 56% of total assets, although this has fallen from 58% the previous year. In contrast, sovereign wealth funds have seen their share rise to 37%, up from 35% the previous year.
Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund remains the largest asset owner in the world, with US$1.7trn. It is followed by the two largest sovereign wealth funds: Norway’s Norges Bank Investment Management, with US$1.4trn, and China Investment Corporation, with US$1.2trn.
The top 20 asset owners are responsible for US$14.1trn and make up 55% of the top 100’s assets.
“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,” said Thinking Ahead Institute co-founder Roger Urwin. “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.”