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Robeco Shakes up Rankings of Elite Cross-border Brands, While iShares Leads the Passive Risers

Broadridge’s Fund Brand 50 study reveals best-performing fund brands

LONDON, March 16, 2020 – Fund Brand 50 (FB 50), an annual research study by global Fintech leader Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR), reveals the best-performing brands in European third-party asset management, including the fastest-growing brands. Europe’s top-four brand incumbents remained firmly in place, but some notable rising stars upset the status quo further down the rankings. In the top 10 (see table below), Robeco delivered a stand-out performance to join the elite top-five brands. Meanwhile, the French marched into the top echelons with Amundi and Natixis both taking top-10 positions for the first time, alongside PIMCO, the U.S. fixed income specialist.

The independent study, now in its ninth year, measures asset managers’ relative brand attractiveness based on fund selector perceptions across 10 brand drivers. The research also examines the best third-party brands in each of Europe’s 10 largest retail markets. The latest FB 50 study shows that the incumbent giants are not immune to threat from smaller rivals. Despite expanding appetite for low-cost passive funds and the trend towards commoditization, interest is growing for groups able to demonstrate purpose beyond asset gathering.

“2019 was a challenging year for asset managers as market uncertainty drove investors to place their big bets with the passive houses. This masked growing support for some mature groups in transition, as well as smaller rising stars,” said Mauro Baratta, Vice President, Distribution Insight, Broadridge. “Supermarket brands expanding or entering the passive arena played out particularly well for Amundi and Fidelity, but smaller groups also enjoyed brand development. Uniting these varied success stories was a clear purpose and conviction in delivering a rewarding client experience. The brands that will grow and endure are those that can offer an experience that goes beyond the simple price and performance proposition.”

The fastest-rising brands spanned the spectrum. Boutiques Degroof Petercam and Bellevue made their first appearance in the FB 50 rankings, with mid-tier success stories from Lazard, Artemis and Capital Group. At the top end of the scale, rising U.S. giant Vanguard, with its client-centric focus on fee levels, resonated with fund selectors across Europe. Passive brands surged in the climate of fee compression with iShares advancing three places to the 13th position, its highest ever rank. Vanguard also hit a new high point landing in the 20th position, a rise of nine places.

Top 10 cross-border groups ranked by total brand score

Rank Fund Group Rank Change
1 BlackRock 0
2 JPMorgan AM 0
3 Fidelity 0
4 Pictet AM 0
5 Robeco +2
6 Schroders 0
7 Amundi +3
8 Natixis +3
9 M&G Investments -4
10 PIMCO +3

Data source: Broadridge

Additional findings from this year’s study include:

  • The rising importance of the client relationship and its impact on brand. The days of mass marketing have gone, and a more individualised approach that responds to the specific needs of each distribution partner is expected.
  • The narrowing gap between JPMorgan and Fidelity, which are closing in on Europe’s long-standing brand leader, BlackRock. The leader’s score declined further in 2019, its allure possibly suffering dilution from the success of its subsidiary, iShares, whose brand is measured separately.
  • The challenges faced by some of Europe’s key consumer-facing brands.
  • Mixed messages behind ESG as a brand driver of success; its impact on brand remains low, but evidence is growing of the need for groups to pay more than lip service to their commitments. European groups are ahead of this curve – Robeco ranking first and CANDRIAM second.

Asset managers, consultants and other industry stakeholders interested in receiving the in-depth Fund Brand 50 analysis can visit for more information.

About the research

* The Fund Brand 50 report is an annual study monitoring the influence of brand on third-party fund selection. The study is based on intensive interviews with more than 1,200 of the most significant fund selectors in APAC, Europe and the U.S. Fund selectors are asked to name their top-three suppliers based on 10brand drivers including: appealing investment strategy, client-oriented thinking, innovation and solidity. Using statistical analysis, answers to these and other preference questions are transformed into a ‘Total Brand Score’, on which groups are ranked.

About Broadridge

Broadridge Financial Solutions (NYSE: BR), a global Fintech leader with over $6 billion in revenues, provides the critical infrastructure that powers investing, corporate governance, and communications to enable better financial lives. We deliver technology-driven solutions that drive business transformation for banks, broker-dealers, asset and wealth managers and public companies. Broadridge's infrastructure serves as a global communications hub enabling corporate governance by linking thousands of public companies and mutual funds to tens of millions of individual and institutional investors around the world. Our technology and operations platforms underpin the daily trading of more than $10 trillion of equities, fixed income and other securities globally. A certified Great Place to Work®, Broadridge is part of the S&P 500® Index, employing over 14,000 associates in 21 countries.

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