BlackRock Tops the First Fund Brand 50 Global Asset Manager Rankings

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Fund Brand 50 (FB50), an annual research study by global Fintech leader Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR), celebrated its 10th anniversary with a global edition – highlighting the world’s best-performing, third-party asset management brands.

The independent study measures asset managers’ relative brand attractiveness based on fund selector perceptions across 10 brand drivers, revealing the best 50 global and regional brands in APAC, Europe and the U.S. Local market brand leaders are also disclosed in APAC’s and Europe’s most significant retail markets for third-party fund distribution.

Asset managers faced extraordinary challenges in 2020, forcing them to rapidly adapt their operating environments and client engagement activity in the wake of a global pandemic. The changing conditions accelerated digital transformation for many managers, creating challenges and opportunities for their brand engagement.

The top-five global brands, led by BlackRock, are all industry giants in terms of assets under management and their operational scale. The diversity of the global top 50 demonstrates that it’s not only scale that matters to fund buyers. Selectors’ favourite companies spanned from niche specialists to the large one-stop-shop ‘supermarket’ providers. In the inaugural global rankings, size varied from the European manager Comgest with $33 billion in assets under management, to U.S. giant Vanguard with U.S. $7.6 trillion.

The optimum mix of the most important elements of brand drivers varied across the regions. European selectors weighted product and client service elements as most important, while in APAC and the U.S., the company’s strength and client focus were marginally more important.

“While the drivers of brand were unique in each region, the most successful asset managers were all able to differentiate themselves to fund selectors. Those with scale and a wrap-around service provided the comfort blanket of robustness and reliability. At the same time, several investment specialist firms thrived with unique, high-conviction strategies drawing attention and recognition from distributors and end-investors,” said Mauro Baratta, Vice President, Distribution Insight, Broadridge.

Top-10 global asset management brands ranked by share of total brand score

Rank

Fund Group

1

BlackRock

2

J.P. Morgan AM

3

Fidelity

4

Capital Group

5

Vanguard

6

PIMCO

7

Pictet AM

8

T. Rowe Price

9

Franklin Templeton

10

Allianz GIobal

Data source: Broadridge Fund Brand 50 2021

Additional findings from this year’s study include:

  • Interest in sustainability and thematic fund providers intensified across all regions, fuelled by end-investor demand and pending regulatory changes. Managers with distinctive ‘green’ credentials were notably popular in Europe.
  • Building brand recognition through digital and social media was increasingly important in APAC to engage with younger tech-savvy audiences.
  • The fastest-rising brands in Europe impressed selectors with strong performances in their most important brand attributes, including appealing investment strategy and client-oriented thinking.
  • U.S. fund selectors tend to place their trust in a relatively small number of product providers with a broad investment offering and that have a product mix that works for the vast majority of their clients.

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