AI100: European fund managers show their mettle

Axa, BNP Paribas, Deutsche AM and HSBC helped account for strong growth in the second quartile of AsianInvestor's ranking of the biggest fund houses by Asia-Pacific assets.
AI100: European fund managers show their mettle

Asset managers from Europe numbered among the fastest growing of the fund houses ranked between 26 and 50 in AsianInvestor’s annual AI100 survey, underscoring their ongoing appeal with institutional and retail investors in the region.

The survey, which ranks the top 100 fund houses by assets under management (AUM) in Asia Pacific, underlined the continuing importance of US asset managers and the rise of investment firms from China, with each country accounting for seven of the 25 organisations ranked in this part of the survey.

But European companies were also well represented, making up another five. Top of the list was HSBC Global Asset Management at 26th place. The firm is headquartered in Europe but possesses major Asian roots through the historical ties of its parent company to Hong Kong. HSBC Global AM’s AUM rose 18.2% from $96.9 billion in last year’s survey to $114.5 billion this year.

Deutsche Asset Management, ranked 35th in the study, experienced similar asset growth, with its total expanding from $78.8 billion to $93.2 billion, despite the woes of its parent bank in the past year or so. The German firm has built its capabilities in part on adding new services, including offering China-themed exchange-traded funds in Europe.

Yet its asset growth paled compared to that of French players BNP Paribas Investment Partners and Axa Investment Managers. The two companies, which were respectively ranked 46th and 47th, saw their regional AUM expand by 32.2% to $74 billion and 41.7% to $67.1 billion, respectively.

North America growth

The very largest increase in AUM in this part of the AI100 was registered by Baring Asset Management, which scored a 355% rise. However, this change was the consequence of a major corporate restructuring. In September 2016, the formerly UK-headquartered company was merged into three other asset managers, all of which are owned by US parent company MassMutual. The resulting entity took the Barings name but its head office was moved to Charlotte, in the US.

While Barings’ merger-led growth sparked the most impressive rise in AUM, certain major North American players recorded sizeable, organic increases. 

Atlanta-based Invesco expanded its Asia Pacific AUM by 50.1% to $84.5 billion this year. It did this in large part through growing its institutional investor assets in Japan, as well as building more AUM via its wholly foreign-owned enterprises and joint venture in China, something that Invesco regional head Andrew Lo discussed with AsianInvestor in December.   

Moreover, Canada's Manulife Asset Management saw its AUM rise 30.4% from $71.3 billion to $93 billion. The asset manager began offering asset management and life insurance products through a bancassurance tie-up with Singapore’s DBS in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore in January 2016. And it Manulife AM has been seeking a pension partner in China and aiming to build wealth capabilities in the Philippines.

It should be noted that while Legg Mason’s Asia-Pacific assets grew 31.6% to $105.8 billion, this was in large part due to AsianInvestor including the AUM of Legg Mason subsidiary Western Asset Management into that of its parent ­– we had separated them in previous years.

Chinese firms

China’s asset managers generally saw lower, but still healthy growth. E Fund, the largest in this segment of the poll, saw its AUM grow 17.7% to $101 billion, while Harvest’s assets rose 7.45% to $93.3 billion. 

The one real standout was Bosera Asset Management, with a whopping 74.5% of asset growth to hit $80.5 billion. One spot behind it came GF Fund Management, whose AUM swelled 40.9% to $74.7 billion. 

Both have benefited from a tilt by retail investors towards professional funds during 2016, and more recently China's National Council for Social Security Fund’s decision to outsource pension assets to local fund managers.

Another asset manager to post a sizeable asset increase was Mirae Asset Global Investments of Korea, which grew its AUM base by 38.4% to $94.5 billion.

Meanwhile, one fund house in this section of the list saw its Asia-Pacific assets shrink: BNY Mellon Asset Management’s regional AUM fell 5.7% to $84.6 billion.

Click here for our review of the funds ranked 76 to 100, and here for those ranked from 51 to 75. And keep an eye out for the final part of our AI100 analysis, in which we discuss the top 25 asset managers in this year’s AI100 survey in the coming days. 

The AI100, fund managers 26-50
2016 Company name Data source AP 2016 AUM ($bn) AP 2015 AUM ($bn) % change Global 2016 Global 2015 Date
26 HSBC Global Asset Management Global firm 114.5* 96.9 18.24% 416.0 421.0 Sep-16
27 Goldman Sachs Asset Management Global firm 107.3 91.7 17.01% 1,350.0 1190.0 Sep-16
28 Legg Mason Global Asset Management Global firm 105.8 80.4 31.59% 732.9 672.1 Sep-16
29 E Fund Asia-based 101.0 85.8 17.71% 101.0 85.8 Sep-16
30 Wellington Management Global firm 97.3 87.8 10.82% 998.3 898.4 Sep-16
31 Macquarie Asset Management Global firm 95.3 82.4 15.67% 376.6 352.7 Sep-16
32 Mirae Asset Global Management Asia-based 94.5 68.3 38.38% 100.5 73.0 Sep-16
33 AllianceBernstein Global firm 93.4* 79.0 18.24% 490.0 463.0 Sep-16
34 Harvest Fund Management Asia-based 93.3* 86.8 7.45% 96.0 89.4 Jun-16
35 Deutsche Asset Management Global firm 93.2* 78.8 18.24% 803.6 810.5 Sep-16
36 Manulife Asset Management Global firm 93.0 71.3 30.43% 342.8 294.0 Sep-16
37 Bank of China Investment Management Asia-based 90.5 78.6 15.11% 90.5 78.6 Sep-16
38 BNY Mellon Asset Management Global firm 84.6 89.7 -5.69% 1,720.0 1,600.0 Sep-16
39 Invesco Global firm 84.5 56.3 50.09% 820.2 755.8 Sep-16
40 China Southern Asset Management Asia-based 84.2 63.3 33.03% 84.2 63.3 Sep-16
41 Franklin Templeton Global firm 83.6 78.8 6.15% 733.3 770.9 Sep-16
42 Hanwha Asset Management Asia-based 82.5 56.4 46.29% 82.5 56.4 Sep-16
43 Baring Asset Management Global firm 82.4 18.1 355.19% 284.0 35.6 Sep-16
44 Bosera Asset Management Asia-Based 80.5 46.1 74.46% 80.5 46.2 Sep-16
45 GF Fund Management Asia-based 74.7 53.0 40.91% 74.7 53.0 Sep-16
46 BNP Paribas Investment Partners Global firm 74.0 55.9 32.23% 626.1 568.2 Sep-16
47 Axa Investment Managers Global firm 67.1 47.4 41.73% 786.0 747.0 Sep-16
48 Allianz Global Investors Global firm 61.7* 52.2 18.24% 541.0 477.0 Jun-16
49 China Universal Asset Management Asia-based 61.6 54.3 13.32% 61.6 54.3 Sep-16
50 Tokio Marine Asset Management Japan-based 57.4 46.8 22.65% 58.6 47.5 Sep-16

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

The full feature, including the entire AI100 list in its entirety, appeared in the February/March issue of AsianInvestor magazine.

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