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This year’s FB50 provides the deepest and most complete survey of how the turbulence of 2022 has shaken up asset manager brand rankings.
How did the historic volatility of 2022 reshape the asset management industry? That question is at the heart of this year’s Fund Brand 50 (FB50), our annual study of brand performance among the world’s leading asset management firms, now in its 12th edition.
The study is the most detailed and exhaustive look at the how top asset managers are perceived in Asia, Europe, and North America, based on more than 1,200 interviews with top fund selectors around the globe, ranking the 10 key attributes driving their current buying decisions.
The shared experience of market mayhem drove some significant commonalities around the world. BlackRock remains the top brand worldwide with a hat-trick of first places across the three regions covered – as well as once again securing the coveted top spot globally.
The consistently high rating of JPMorgan and Fidelity with investors around the world demonstrates the continued lock the US industry has on global assets. The top of the top continued to pull away from the rest: the number of fund houses that meet our exacting criteria to be considered genuinely global is getting smaller; the 28 asset managers that qualified in 2021 fell to 27 in 2022. It also stays resolutely North American, with US groups again accounting for over 70% of the global top 25.
Outside that rarefied air, however, there were some key differentiators visible across continents.
Brand ratings in Europe offered a bridge between two distinct, solid sources of support in 2022: selectors’ cyclical rush for the familiar, balanced against the long-term, secular shift into lower-cost trackers. Passive champion iShares rose three places to break back into the top 10 while Amundi rose one place to enter the top five, continuing their inexorable march into the mainstream.
European selectors valued ‘client-orientated thinking’ and ‘appealing investment strategy’ as their top-two most important brand attributes last year. ‘Expert in what they do’, ‘keeping best informed’ and ‘Innovation/adaptation to market change’ were all also highly rated.
Volatility led to stasis in 2022, with the top seven unchanged year-on-year. Movement further down the table might offer an inkling of which way investors could break once the path forward is more visible, however. Active ETFs that combine low costs with intelligent stockpicking were among the most popular options, as were model portfolios able to market themselves as an off-the-shelf solution.
The biggest driver of buyer interest over the year was ‘appealing investment strategy’. Unsurprisingly given the economic backdrop, US fund selectors also valued ‘solidity’ highly. ‘Knowledge and understanding of the markets’, ‘client-oriented thinking’, and ‘experts in what they do’ rounded out the top five.
The increasing role of China is a critical regional asset driver, with online, centralized distribution offering huge economies of scale in the massive domestic market. Local retail investors are also likely to factor size, in the form of assets under management, and familiarity, in the form of a well-recognized brand, among their top selection criteria.
APAC selectors rated ‘appealing investment strategy’ as the most important selling point when looking at fund firms in 2022. ‘Client-oriented thinking’ was the second most important attribute, followed by ‘expert in what they do’ and ‘innovation/adaptation to market’. ‘Solidity’ rounded out the top five.
Unsurprisingly, APAC fund selectors valued ‘solidity’ highly in such a volatile climate, ranking that attribute as the fifth most important factor in their selections.
Broadridge’s annual FB50 report is the most comprehensive, independent study of asset manager brand performance, collating more than 1,200 interviews with fund selectors around the world to rank leading asset managers on 10 critical brand attributes. FB50 highlights the top-50 asset managers across Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America – as well as the top 25 globally.
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