Barclays Global Investors Japan Ltd. managed ¥15.6 trillion ($145 billion) as of March 31, ranking it atop managers of Japanese pension assets from corporate and government sources, according to new data from the Japan Pensions Industry Database. The JPID tracks job-based pension assets via annual returns filed with the Japan Securities Investment Advisers Association. Barclays assets outweighed those of its next three competitors combined: Nomura Asset Management, ¥4.5 trillion; DIAM Co., ¥4 trillion; and Tokio Marine Asset Management, ¥3.8 trillion.
Barclays benefits from the fact that government pension plans invest much of their assets in passive indexed funds. In fact, ¥12 trillion of Barclays assets was from government sources, while the remaining ¥3.6 trillion came from 366 corporate mandates, according to the JPID.
But Barclays No. 1 slot is not as unassailable as might appear, said Jo McBride, JPID publisher, in a news release. The firms 238% jump in assets in the year ended March 31 was due mostly to absorbing pension assets of Barclays Trust & Banking. Also, the rankings include only members of the JSIAA. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking is not a member, and that firm would contend for the top spot, according to JPID.
Thirteen of the top 25 firms are foreign, such as fifth-ranked BlackRock Japan, which runs ¥2.8 trillion. Other foreign firms include Morgan Stanley Asset & Investment Trust Management, sixth with ¥2.7 trillion; Northern Trust Global Investments Japan KK, 12th with ¥2 trillion; SSgA (Japan), 14th with ¥1.7 trillion; Alliance Bernstein Japan, 15th ¥1.7 trillion; JPMorgan Asset Management (Japan), 16th with ¥1.6 trillion; and Goldman Sachs Asset Management Japan, 19th with ¥1.3 trillion.