The 25 money managers with the most defined contribution mutual fund assets reported a combined total of $1.606 trillion as of Dec. 31, 2010, up 17% from the year before, according to Pensions & Investments' annual survey.
It was the second year in a row of solid gains, following a 28% rebound in 2009 from the 27% plunge the year before.
Healthy returns for both equity and fixed-income markets facilitated that growth. For 2010, the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 15.06%, while the broader Russell 3000 index delivered a 16.93% return. The Morgan Stanley Capital International All Country World Index, meanwhile, rose 13.31%. The Barclays Capital Aggregate index rose 6.54%.
The rankings of the seven managers with the most DC-related mutual fund assets under management remained unchanged from 2009, despite a wide disparity in growth rates for those firms.
Fidelity Investments, The Vanguard Group Inc. and Capital Research & Management Co. retained the top three spots, although only Vanguard managed to exceed the 17% combined gain for the top 25.
Vanguard's DC-related mutual fund assets jumped 19% from the year before to $320.7 billion, almost double market leader Fidelity's 10% gain to $433.8 billion. Capital Research, meanwhile, posted a 7.5% advance to $232.2 billion.
In fourth place, Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC enjoyed a surge in assets of 39% — or $30 billion — to $107.3 billion. However, roughly half of that gain was attributable to PIMCO's inclusion, for the first time, of A, C, D and R share class assets in its DC plan totals. Had those share classes been included for 2009, PIMCO's assets would have registered a 20% gain in 2010.
In fifth-to-seventh place, T. Rowe Price Group Inc.'s DC-related mutual fund assets rose 20% to $88.6 billion; followed by a 23% gain for Hartford Financial to $59.2 billion and an 11% rise for BlackRock Inc. to $37.7 billion.
A 10% increase in assets to $32.3 billion helped Wells Fargo claim eighth place from money market heavyweight Federated Investors Inc., which slipped to ninth with a 0.2% decline in assets to $30.88 billion.
Columbia Management, which didn't provide numbers for P&I's 2009 survey, came in 10th with $24.8 billion in DC-related mutual fund assets, displacing OppenheimerFunds, even as that firm posted a 19% gain to $24.2 billion.