World's largest fund managers break AUM record

Find out which Canadian asset managers are among the world’s largest

World's largest fund managers break AUM record
The world's 500 largest fund managers managed to surpass the assets under management (AUM) record they held collectively in 2015, up 5.8% to US$81.2 trillion in 2016.

According to the latest figures from the Willis Towers Watson, the AUM of North American managers expanded by 7.7% to US$47.4 trillion in the said year. A similar expansion was seen in the AUM of European managers, which managed to record a growth of 2.8% to US$25.8 trillion.

However, in the UK, the AUM figure is on the downtrend, extending its decline with a 4.5% slip to US$6.3 trillion.

The annual growth rate of Canadian asset managers in the past five years is 12.1% in local currency terms. However, due to the increasing strength of the US currency, the AUM growth rate in US dollars is only at 6.1%.

Of the 50 largest fund managers, four are from Canada. The country's largest in terms of AUM is Sun Life Financial, which ranks 34th in the list. Its AUM reached US$670 billion in 2016. Sitting at 35th place is Manulife Financial Corp, with assets reaching US$660 billion. 

At the 41st slot is Great-West Lifeco with US$489 billion. The Royal Bank of Canada is also in the upper tier of fund managers, ranking 46th with its AUM of US$433 billion.

Meanwhile, Blackrock maintained its position as the largest asset manager. It has been at the top since 2009. For the third consecutive year, Vanguard and State Street complete the top three.

One interesting finding is the increasing representation of managers from North America, particularly US-based ones. The share of managers in the emerging markets of Brazil, China, and South Korea has also been expanding in the past ten years. In contrast, asset managers from Japan and some other European markets have lost market share during this period.

Another phenomenon affecting the growth of assets in certain markets is the increasing strength of the US dollar, which has had a dampening effect on asset managers in the markets of Australia, Canada, the Eurozone, Japan, and in the emerging markets of Brazil, India, and South Africa.

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