Insurance company assets managed by external money managers in North America grew 10.2% in 2016 and globally by 8.1%, shows a report released Tuesday by the Insurance Asset Outsourcing Exchange and Insurance AUM.
The North America and global growth rates were calculated based on the 38 North American managers and 41 global managers who participated in the survey each of the last two years.
Based on those participants, the report estimated North American assets totaled $987 billion and global assets totaled $1.805 trillion.
Fifty-two managers participated in the latest report, with total insurance assets being managed globally of $1.9 trillion.
David F. Holmes, partner at manager consultant Eager, Davis & Holmes, which oversees the Insurance Asset Outsourcing Exchange, said in an interview that low fixed-income rates are driving insurers to external managers that can provide more specialized investments, such as high-yield fixed income, emerging markets equities and debt, secured loans, structured products and private debt.
Mr. Holmes said for the third year in a row, the top three external managers of insurance assets globally were BlackRock (BLK), Deutsche Asset Management and Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The three firms had $272.8 billion, $190 billion and $170.4 billion, respectively. BlackRock had a 12% increase in AUM from the previous year; Deutsche Asset Management, 7.5%; and Goldman Sachs, 23%.Rounding out the top 10 were Amundi, Wellington Management Co., Guggenheim Investments, Pacific Investment Management Co., J.P. Morgan Asset Management (JPM), Macquarie Investment Management and Conning.
The survey showed that eight of the top 10 firms gained assets under management in 2016, with only Macquarie and Conning seeing declines.