One important driver of fund houses’ asset growth last year in Asia were passively managed investments, both traditional index mandates and exchange-traded funds.

This trend helped contribute to a notable rise by both China Southern and Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management up AsianInvestor’s top 100 ranking of fund managers by AUM sourced from Asia Pacific* (see table below). (Indeed, we predict that appetite for passive assets will continue to accelerate in the coming year for a number of reasons, as set out in the latest February issue of the magazine.)

China Southern – which, aside from Tianhong Asset Management, saw the biggest growth among mainland fund houses – drew $2.5 billion and $500 million of net inflows into its equity and fixed income ETFs, respectively. It runs about 30% of the total $10.45 billion AUM in RQFII ETFs, said Jack Wang, head of sales at CSOP Asset Management, China Southern’s Hong Kong joint venture.

Asked whether he saw the new Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect scheme luring money away from Chinese funds, Wang said the trading link was simply another way to access the market. “We don’t see people moving away from ETFs or active funds because of Stock Connect. And even if you lose some market share, the overall pie is going to get a lot bigger.”

Wang also sees more foreign institutional investors putting money into China this year. He said he was getting more inquiries than ever from overseas asset managers, sovereign wealth funds and pensions about accessing mainland securities.

Meanwhile, Deutsche AWM posted a notable 42.77% rise in Asia-Pacific AUM. A big contributor to this was Japanese demand for alternative real assets, said Ken Tam, Asia-Pacific head of the global client group. He also cited strong growth across the firm’s traditional, passive and alternative products throughout the region.

Looking ahead, Tam is optimistic about the prospects for the Hong Kong-China mutual recognition scheme, citing the lack of overseas diversification among the huge mainland investor base. Deutsche AWM does not have any Hong Kong-domiciled funds, he noted, but they are under consideration.

Tam sees his biggest challenge ahead as keeping staff happy in terms of job satisfaction and career development, given the fierce competition for talent in Asia.

*A full feature and more analysis from our annual survey appears in the latest (February) issue of AsianInvestor magazine. Click here for the ranking for numbers 51-75 and here for numbers 76-100.

The top 100 fund houses by AUM from Asia Pacific: numbers 26-50
2014 2013 Company Geography AP
2014
$bn
AP
2013
$bn
%
change
Global
2014
Global 2013
26 - Tianhong Asset Management Asia-based 88.3 10.9 708.88% 88.3 10.9
27 23 AllianceBernstein Global firm 86.0 86.9 -1.07% 473.0 445.2
28 25 Goldman Sachs Asset Management Global firm 86.0 79.0 8.86% 1150.0 949.0
29 27 Wellington Management Global firm 80.3 70.9 13.22% 892.4 798.9
30 37 Deutsche Asset Management Global firm 72.3 50.7 42.77% 1205.6 934.7
31 33 Manulife Asset Management Global firm 67.6 59.1 14.38% 275.7 257.8
32 28 Nissay Asset Management Japan-based 64.2* 65.2 -1.50% 65.2 65.2
33 29 Northern Trust Asset Management Global firm 63.6 64.4 -1.24% 923.3 846.2
34 31 Western Asset Management Global firm 61.4 61.0 0.57% 471.6 442.7
35 41 Harvest Fund Management Asia-based 60.7 46.3 30.86% 66.9 49.2
36 34 BNP Paribas Investment Partners Global firm 57.5 56.0 2.73% 641.3 640.2
37 38 Invesco Global firm 57.4 50.2 14.34% 789.6 745.5
38 36 Mirae Asset Global Investments Asia-based 57.0 54.0 5.51% 62.2 57.9
39 30 Tokio Marine Asset Management Japan-based 56.9 62.4 -8.81% 57.4 63.0
40 32 China Asset Management Asia-based 56.1 60.7 -7.65% 56.1 60.7
41 52 China Southern Asset Management Asia-based 54.4 36.7 48.07% 54.4 36.7
42 44 Allianz Global Investors (including RCM) Global firm 53.9* 43.5 24.00% 510.6 408.5
43 39 Hanwha Asset Management Asia-based 53.4 47.8 11.79% 60.3 47.8
44 40 MFS Investment Management Global firm 50.8 46.7 8.92% 424.1 385.3
45 46 Morgan Stanley Investment Management Global firm 47.3 41.8 13.00% 397.8 359.7
46 43 Credit Suisse Global firm 44.9* 43.7 2.84% 425.2 410.1
47 50 Natixis Global Asset Management Global firm 42.6 37.2 14.52% 894.3 838.2
48 45 Meiji Yasuda Asset Management Japan-based 42.3* 42.5 -0.26% 42.3* 43.0
49 42 DaiwaSB Investments Japan-based 40.5 44.4 -8.74% 47.6 51.7
50 47 IFM Investors Australia-based 39.6 41.6 -4.90% 45.7 45.5
*AsianInvestor estimates