The 10 Largest Investment Management Companies Worldwide
There are a lot of big companies in the world managing a lot of money.
When individuals and institutions invest money, they often will do so with the help of an asset management company, which can take control of those investments and make money for everyone involved, assuming that markets cooperate.
An asset management company is involved in investing and managing portfolios of mutual funds and other securities. In short, these firms take the capital from individuals or institutions and put it to work for them. Some asset management companies are geared toward very wealthy individuals who hand over full control of their investments to portfolio managers.
Many asset managers will only deal with large institutions, such as other corporations, big non-profits, or associations. But many of the most recognizable firms will offer services for average investors. In many cases, asset management firms make money by charging fees based on the number of assets they manage, though some will charge flat fees.
These companies often have other business lines other than asset management, including brokerage services. In some cases, asset management makes up a fraction of the company’s revenue. This means that they often partner with each other in various ways, despite being competitors.
For example, one asset management firm may use its online brokerage platform to allow investors to buy and sell the mutual funds of a competing company.
10 Largest Investment Management Companies
Here’s a look at the top asset management companies, by the number of funds under their control. You may recognize some of these companies as among the largest financial institutions in the world.
Please note that some companies may have much higher reported “assets under custody” which would include money still managed by clients themselves.
All figures reflect the most recent available AUM numbers and exchange rates as of August 2018.
AUM: $6.3 trillion
BlackRock is not just the world’s largest asset manager, but one of the world’s largest financial institutions. The company was founded in 1988 and went public in 1999. The firm has been influential in advancing the growth of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), through its iShares products. Ishares now comprise more than a quarter of BlackRock’s assets under management.
The Vanguard Group
AUM: $5.1 trillion
Vanguard has become synonymous with the strategy of passive investing, in which money is placed in mutual funds designed to mirror the activity of specific indexes or the broader stock market. Vanguard boasts of low expense ratios for most of its funds. In addition to asset management, Vanguard offers brokerage services, financial planning, annuities, and other services.
AUM: $3.36 trillion
“Chuck” is a leading discount broker with nearly 11 million active brokerage accounts. The company has played a significant role in making investing easier for average people through its online platform and low commissions.
AUM: $2..78 trillion
Most people think of J.P. Morgan Chase as an investment bank, but it has a robust asset management business and got $1.3 billion in assets moved from BlackRock as part of a new custody arrangement last year.
State Street Global Advisors
AUM: $2.7 trillion
Boston-based State Street is the subsidiary of State Street Corporation. It manages investments for a wide range of institutional clients including non-profits, local governments, associations, and even educational groups.
AUM: $2.5 trillion
Fidelity is an asset manager and a discount broker with more than 27 million customers. It offers an online platform for individual investors to buy and sell securities, and also manages entire portfolios on behalf of clients. In the summer of 2018, it made headlines when it began offering mutual funds with a zero expense ratio and minimum investment requirement.
AUM: $2.2 trillion
This German firm is primarily an insurer but operates two asset management divisions: Allianz Global Advisors and PIMCO. By itself, PIMCO has more $1.6 trillion under management.
AUM: $1.8 trillion
The history of this company dates back to its founder, Alexander Hamilton. Maybe you’ve heard of him. More than 230 years later, BNY Mellon manages investments for individuals and investments in 35 countries.
AUM: $1.6 trillion
This Paris-based company got a big boost in 2016 when it bought Pioneer Investments from an Italian bank. It has more than 100 million customers and offices in nearly 40 countries and is the top asset manager in Europe.