Who are the biggest brands in fund management?

Aberdeen Gilbert Martin Gilbert 700x450BlackRock has emerged as the biggest asset management in Europe as Aberdeen Asset Management dropped out of an influential top 10 list following a struggling year of outflows.

The list, compiled by market research firm Fund Buyer Focus, shows Aberdeen was voted the 13th most popular fund management brand, the Financial Times reports.

Rival BlackRock topped the list for the fifth year in a row.

JP Morgan, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton and M&G followed BlackRock in the list.

The top 10 list of fund management brands was compiled by over 1,000 fund selectors based on criteria such as adapting to market change, expertise, innovation and stability.

Earlier this month, Aberdeen fell out of the FTSE 100 and was demoted to the FTSE 250.

The firm reported its 11th consecutive quarter of net outflows in January.

Overall Aberdeen, which manages more than €2.2tn (£1.7tn) in assets under management, lost £9.1bn in the last three months of 2015 amid its exposure to unloved emerging markets.

Fund Buyer Focus co-chief executive Diana Mackay says: “The issue with Aberdeen is the group is still recognised as an emerging market specialist among fund selectors even though it has done a great deal to broaden its product proposition.

“When investor confidence is low, brand naturally becomes more important with investors seeking the comfort and perceived stability of larger, familiar names. The ‘safe houses’, and particularly the brand leader BlackRock, benefited from this trend in extremely choppy markets.”

On the other hand, bond specialist asset manager Pimco has also lost ground in the list dropping by five places to 17th.

The US-based firm, who lost his founder and star fund manager Bill Gross in 2014, suffered €125bn of outflows last year.

Mackay says the Pimco story is similar to Aberdeen, but this time the losses were linked to the negative performance of bonds over the last 12 months.

She says: “Bonds were very much off the menu for most of last year for fund selectors. The other issue, of course, is linked to the stability of the investment management team, one of the brand measures we calculate.

“And the problems here hark back to the departure of Gross, which still sits in the minds of fund selectors, even though it is now an old story.”

Top cross-border groups by brand
Rank Group name Position change
1 BlackRock
2 JPMorgan
3 Fidelity
4 Franklin Templeton
5 M&G
6 Schroders
7 Invesco 1
8 Deutsche -1
9 Carmignac Gestion 2
10 Pictet -1

Source: Fund Buyer Focus