Asia Pacific’s growth in assets under management may be fostering the rise of regional fund houses, but international players are also enjoying success, particularly those hailing from the US.

Our survey of the top 100 fund houses by assets under management in the region reveals that nine of the 25 companies ranked between 51 and 75 were America. The next largest nation was China, which accounted for four of the asset managers in this quartile.

The US firm topping this section was MFS Investment Management, in 52nd place. Its regional AUM rose from $45.2 billion in 2015’s survey to $51.3 billion this year. The Boston-based company has expansion plans in the region, including ambitions to establish a wholly foreign-owned entity in China, but has said it has no ambitions to participate in the mutual recognition of funds scheme between Hong Kong and China. 

MFS also has numerous tie-ups with other asset managers in the region, including Japan's Nikko and Nomura AM, together with Sun Life in Hong Kong. Canadian insurer Sunlife Group is MFS’s parent company.

Other leading US firms in the third quartile included Morgan Stanley Investment Management, whose Asia-Pacific AUM rose 10.8% to $45.6 billion. It enjoyed recent success in China among institutional investors with its second global infrastructure fund. Additionally, PineBridge posted 11.2% growth in AUM to $43.8 billion, while Russell Investment Group's 18.2% growth in AUM left it with $42.5 billion.

The US firm posting the strongest AUM growth in this quartile was Denver-based Janus Capital, with its Asia-Pacific assets expanding 30.77% to $35.7 billion. And it will soon have greater scale to help it build its regional presence after agreeing to a merger with the UK's Henderson Global Investors in October 2016.

The only US fund house to see its Asia-Pacific assets shrink (by 3.4% to $34.4 billion) was Northern Trust Global Investments. The firm had welcomed a new regional head in April last year in the form of John McCareins. 

Beyond the US firms

Other asset managers enjoying healthy growth in AUM included Credit Suisse, ranked at 51. The firm saw its regional asset pile expand 18.2% from $43.5 billion to $51.4 billion.

Elsewhere Mumbai-based Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management, a joint venture between Reliance Group of India and Japan's Nippon Life, saw its AUM swell 24% to $48.2 billion, while local rival HDFC Mutual Fund built its assets by 21.6% to $31.8 billion. Both firms benefited from Indian retail investors continuing to put more money into mutual funds even as international players opt to pull back from this fiercely competitive market.

Korea's Kiwoom Asset Management, in 75th spot, also enjoyed a swelling of assets. It expanded from AUM of $21.4 billion to $31.6 billion this year, a 47.7% rise.

IFM Investors of Australia was a beneficiary of the trends towards greater savings and superannuation fund flows in its home country, with its asset base rising 24.5% to $44.5 billion. Similarly, BT Investment Management of Australia built its AUM by 19.8% to $34.5 billion.

Australia's superannuation fund assets are continuing to pile up, reaching a record high of A$2.2 trillion ($1.66 trillion) as of the end of 2016. With employees continuing to put some of their income into these pensions each month, asset managers in the country should continue to benefit — provided the super funds they rely on don’t undergo a round of consolidation themselves as a result of current proposals for the industry.

In the coming days AsianInvestor will identify the noteworthy fund houses that ranked between 26 and 50 in our AI100 survey. 

The AI100, numbers 51-75
2016 Company name Data source AP 2016 AUM ($bn) AP2015 AUM ($bn) % change Global 2016 Global 2015 Date
51 Credit Suisse Global firm 51.4* 43.5 18.24% 314.6 421.4 Mar-16
52 MFS Investment Management Global firm 51.3 45.2 13.42% 440.8 402.9 Sep-16
53 KB Asset Management Asia-based 49.9 39.1 27.42% 49.9 39.1 Sep-16
54 Reliance Nippon Life AM Asia-based 48.2 38.8 24.14% 48.2 15.5 Sep-16
55 Natixis Global Asset Management Global firm 46.8 40.4 15.84% 897.0 865.9 Sep-16
56 Daiwa SB Investments Japan-based 46.5 41.3 12.54% 51.5 46.7 Sep-16
57 Yinhua Fund Management Asia-based 46.5 42.0 10.67% 46.5 42.0 Sep-16
58 Morgan Stanley Investment Management Global firm 45.6 41.2 10.75% 417.1 403.6 Sep-16
59 IFM Investors Australia-based 44.5 35.8 24.46% 55.5 44.1 Sep-16
60 PineBridge Global firm 43.8 39.4 11.17% 82.6 77.6 Sep-16
61 Truvalue Asset Management Asia-based 43.3 - - 43.3 - Sep-16
62 China Merchants Fund Management Asia-based 42.6 41.6 2.38% 42.6 41.6 Sep-16
63 Russell Investment Group Global firm 42.5* 35.9 18.24% 257.9 237.3 Sep-16
64 Principal Global Investors Global firm 39.5 35.4 11.38% 418.0 341.0 Sep-16
65 Nissay Asset Management Japan-based 38.2 38.7 -1.23% 38.2 38.7 Sep-16
66 SCB Asset Management Asia-based 37.9 29.5 28.47% 37.9 29.5 Sep-16
67 Penghua Fund Management Asia-based 36.1 32.7 10.48% 36.1 32.7 Sep-16
68 Janus Capital Global firm 35.7 27.3 30.77% 195.1 181.5 Sep-16
69 Kasikorn Asset Management Asia-Based 34.8 31.0 12.26% 34.8 31.0 Sep-16
70 BT Investment Management Australia-based 34.5 14.8 31.69% 43.7 35.2 Sep-16
71 Northern Trust Global Inv Global firm 34.4 35.6 -3.37% 945.8 886.8 Sep-16
72 Fidelity Worldwide Investments Global firm 33.3* 28.2 18.24% 289.6 258.0 Sep-16
73 Korea Investment Management Asia-based 32.0 30.0 6.60% 32.0 30.0 Sep-16
74 HDFC Mutual Fund Asia-based 31.8 26.1 21.62% 31.8 26.1 Sep-16
75 Kiwoom Asset Management Asia-based 31.6 21.4 47.73% 31.6 21.4 Sep-16

*Estimate based on the industry average as the company declined to break out its Asia-Pacific AUM to AsianInvestor

The full feature, including the entire AI 100 list in its entirety, appeared in the February/March issue of AsianInvestor magazine.