Aberdeen Asset Management claims the unfortunate distinction of topping AsianInvestor's list of the 10 fund houses to have suffered the fastest decline in assets sourced from Asia Pacific in percentage terms last year.

Yet the emerging markets specialist is in good company among its Western peers; there is only one homegrown Asian player in that list. These findings were mirrored by our list of the 10 fastest-growing fund houses in the region by assets sourced from the region, all of which were Asian managers, as reported.

The data is drawn from AsianInvestor’s AI100 annual list of the largest fund firms by Asian assets, which will be published in our forthcoming March magazine in full.

Aberdeen's Asia-sourced assets shrank 31% to $27.1 billion in the year to end-September 2015.

Devan Kaloo, head of global emerging markets, said stock markets across Asia had seen substantial declines in dollar terms, noting that the region now represented 72% of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, versus about 50% in 2010. “If someone is worried about emerging markets overall, you are going to see a chunk of that coming out of Asia, because it is a big part of the mix.”

After Aberdeen on the list came Bangkok-based Krung Thai Asset Management, which saw a 20% drop in its Asia-sourced assets to $14.7 billion.

Chavinda Hanratanakool, the firm’s chief executive, said the decline was entirely down to depreciation of the local currency against the dollar. She pointed out that its assets in Thai baht terms had actually increased 3% over the period. The baht started 2015 at 30.96 to the dollar and ended it nearly 20% weaker at 36.07. (See also the accompanying interview in today's newsletter for more on Krung Thai AM's plans.) 

Other firms to have suffered declines in Asia-sourced AUM included BNY Mellon Asset Management, which saw a 17% drop to $89.7 billion. A spokesperson for the firm said the drop was mainly down to lower equity valuations amid a volatile environment as well as net outflows, which were chiefly in passive strategies and within the institutional channel.

The largest fall in absolute dollar terms was suffered by State Street Global Advisors, which saw its Asia-sourced AUM fall $64.8 billion (16.9%) to $294 billion.

AsianInvestor will be breaking out interviews with individual company management to understand what was behind these declines and how they plan to respond.

Biggest drop in assets sourced from Asia Pacific
Rank

Company name

Data source

AP2015($bn) AP2014($bn) %change
1

Aberdeen Asset Management

Global firm

27.1

39.3 -31.04%
2

Krung Thai Asset Managemet

Asia-based

14.7

18.4 -20.16%
3

Lazard Asset Management

Global firm 19.5 23.7 -18.06%
4

Tokio Marine Asset Management

Japan-based 46.8 56.9 -17.75%
5

BNY Mellon Asset Management

Global firm  89.7 108.1 -17.02%
6

State Street Global Advisors

Global firm 294.0 353.8 -16.89%
7

Platinum Asset Management

Australia-based 17.8 21.3 -16.28%
8

BT Investment Management

Australia-based 28.8 34.2 -15.89%
9

Morgan Stanley Investment Management

Global firm 40.1 47.3 -15.20%
10

Pimco

Global firm 149.2 175.5 -14.99%