European Capital Markets with a Single Currency

By Jean Dermine; Pierre Hillion | Go to book overview

9
The Asset Management Industry in Europe: Competitive Structure and Performance under EMU
INGO WALTERThe institutional asset management industry is likely to be one of the largest and most dynamic parts of the global financial services sector in the years ahead. As of 1996, the global total of assets under management was estimated at close to US$30 trillion, comprising some US$8.2 trillion in pension fund assets, about US$5.3 trillion in mutual fund assets, US$6.4 trillion in fiduciary assets controlled by insurance companies, and perhaps US$7.5 trillion in offshore private client assets.1 Not only will this already massive industry experience an extraordinary rate of growth in comparison with other segments of the financial services sector, but cross-border volume--both regional and global--is likely to take an increasing share of that activity. Much of the action will be centred in Europe, which remains well behind the United States in institutional asset management and where many of the global pension problems reside, even as the rapid growth of performance--oriented managed funds alters the European financial landscape under EMU--including traditional approaches to corporate control.Within this high-growth context, asset management attracts competitors from an extraordinarily broad range of strategic groups--commercial and universal banks, investment banks, trust companies, insurance companies, private banks, captive and independent pension fund managers, mutual fund companies, and various types of specialist firms. This rich array of contenders, coming at the market from several very different starting points, competitive resources and strategic objectives, is likely to render the market for institutional asset management a highly competitive one even under conditions of large size and rapid growth.The underlying drivers of the market for institutional asset management are well understood. They include the following:
A continued broad-based trend towards professional management of discretionary household assets in the form of mutual funds or unit trusts and other types of collective investment vehicles, a development that has perhaps run much of its course in some national financial systems but has only begun in others.
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1
Source: "'Global Fund Management'", Financial Times, 24 April 1997, and Chase Manhattan Bank.

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