Monday 30 October 2017 3:19 pm

World's biggest fund managers control more money than the total wealth of Europe

The world's 500 biggest fund managers now control over $80 trillion (£61 trillion) of money, according to research released today.

Total assets under management swelled by 5.8 per cent to $81.2 trillion by the end of 2016, according to Willis Towers Watson. This means the largest fund managers in the world control more money than the total wealth of Europe.

In fact, according to separate research by Credit Suisse, only one continent has greater total wealth than the assets controlled by the top 500 reported: North America, where the total wealth is $92.3 trillion.

Blackrock retains top spot in the Willis Towers Watson ranking, looking after $5.1 trillion of assets.

US-based fund managers dominate, occupying the top four positions and eight out of the top 10 slots.

Read more: BlackRock approaching $6 trillion as passive funds boost inflows


The biggest European fund manager is insurance behemoth Allianz, with $2.0 trillion. It sits in fifth place overall.

France's Axa is in eighth position with $1.5 trillion.

Only one UK fund manager makes the top 20. Legal & General sits in 16th place with $1.1 trillion of assets.

North American managers increased holdings by 7.7 per cent over the period and control $47.4 trillion of assets.

European managers, including the UK, increased by 2.8 per cent to $25.8 trillion. However, UK-based firms saw assets decline for the second consecutive year, falling by 4.5 per cent in 2016 to $6.3 trillion.

"While passive assets remain significantly smaller than actively managed assets, the proportion of passively managed assets has grown from 16.5 per cent to 21.6 per cent over the last five years alone," said Willis Towers Watson global head of manager research Luba Nikulina

We expect that this trend will continue to put downward pressure on traditional fee structures, particularly amongst active managers seeking to remain competitive and to maximise value to investors.

Read more: Fund managers are surprisingly optimistic about the global economy

Top 20 largest fund managers in the world

RankManagerCountryTotal assets ($m)
2Vanguard GroupU.S.$3,965,018
3State Street GlobalU.S.$2,468,456
4Fidelity InvestmentsU.S.$2,130,798
5Allianz GroupGermany$1,971,211
6J.P. Morgan ChaseU.S.$1,770,867
7Bank of New York MellonU.S.$1,647,990
8AXA GroupFrance$1,505,537
9Capital GroupU.S.$1,478,523
10Goldman Sachs GroupU.S.$1,379,000
11Prudential FinancialU.S.$1,263,765
12BNP ParibasFrance$1,215,482
14Deutsche BankGermany$1,190,523
16Legal & General GroupU.K.$1,099,919
17Wellington Mgmt.U.S.$979,210
18Northern Trust Asset Mgmt.U.S.$942,452
19Wells FargoU.S.$936,900