Mid-tier fund brands hot on the heels of Blackrock

Mid-tier fund houses are hot on the heels of Blackrock in the eyes of fund buyers as the US behemoth slips from favour for a second year running, according to the latest brand ranking from asset management consultancy Mackay Williams.

Mid-tier fund brands hot on the heels of Blackrock

Blackrock cemented its top spot in Fund Brand 50, the annual ranking of Europe’s top crossborder fund brands, even though its total brand score declined in 2017. In the UK results, the US giant slipped two spots to third place, knocked out by Schroders in the top spot, followed by Fidelity.

Across Europe, none of the top five moved from their 2016 positions, with JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM), Fidelity, Pictet Asset Management and Schroders following Blackrock as the most-favoured brands.

In the UK, Schroders, Fidelity and M&G Investments gained ground, while Invesco slipped alongside Blackrock.

Blackrock is the world’s largest asset manager with AUM $6.3trn, while JPMAM holds $2.8trn and Fidelity manages $2.1trn.

Mackay Williams joint chief executive Diana Mackay noted it was the so-called “squeezed middle” that flourished in 2017 with mid-tier brands progressing the most in the rankings.

Mackay said: “The ability to tell a compelling story has become a key differentiator, but it’s not just a matter of dispensing a good investment story. Those groups that made the most brand progress used their stories to reveal a purpose or conviction beyond the simple delivery of performance.”

Robeco, Carmignac and Pimco were all able to advance their brands in this way, the results showed. They respectively hold €161bn, €56bn and $1.8trn in AUM, according to the firms’ websites.

T Rowe Price, Capital Group and Polar Capital also advanced up the brand rankings. While T Rowe Price holds $1trn in AUM and Capital Group manages $1.6trn, Polar Capital manages £11.7bn.

Fund Brand 50 is informed by interviews with about 1,000 fund buyers representing €3.2trn in assets.

Top third-party asset-management brands in UK

Fund GroupBrand rank Dec. 2017Brand rank Dec. 2016Rank diff.
M&G Investments451
Source: Fund Brand 50 2018, MackayWilliams

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