The fact that Franklin Resources Inc. has 60% of total assets now in equity might come as a surprise to some in the industry. Viewed as a retail fixed-income manager in the past, officials at the San Mateo, Calif.-based company now are relishing the role of a global investment management firm.
Institutional and international investing opportunities are helping Franklin, which operates as Franklin Templeton Investments, grow significantly. Institutional assets at Franklin Templeton Investments, as a percentage of the total have almost doubled in the last five years, to 30%. And Franklin Templeton had more than $36 billion in assets from European clients at the end of 2004, while institutional mandates from European clients increased 10% between 2003 and 2004. Also encouraging for the firm is the fact that Franklin Templeton has experienced consecutive quarters of net sales following various settlements with regulators last year related to market-timing and marketing payments.
The company's momentum is strong; Gregory Johnson, Franklin Resources' president and co-chief executive officer, and William Yun, president of Franklin Templeton Institutional, said they are taking steps to ensure the pace continues. The two executives recently spoke about Franklin Templeton's commitment to its institutional business, key growth opportunities in alternative strategies and putting 2004's regulatory woes behind them.