Pensions & Investments survey of the largest money managers showed that worldwide institutional assets for the top 500 firms posted an 11.8% jump in 2007, to $27.5 trillion. Internally managed U.S. institutional tax-exempt assets among the top 500 grew by a more modest 4.5% to $11.3 trillion. Consultants and money management executives said the dollars decline in currency markets and growing mandates from foreign fund pools, including petrodollar and sovereign wealth funds, helped fuel the stronger growth in worldwide institutional assets.
The latest gains paled in comparison to the previous years 14.3% jump in worldwide institutional assets and 15% surge in internally managed U.S. institutional tax-exempt assets, in part because of weaker capital market returns.
Consultants and money management executives cited a number of factors including the dollars decline, a falloff in defined benefit plan contributions and a jump in mandates from foreign investors buoyed by surging oil prices and trade surpluses for the relatively robust gain in worldwide institutional assets.