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Fidelity maintains volume; Vanguard is top banana

Fidelity Investments remains the second-largest target-date fund provider, despite experiencing a total of $20 billion in outflows between the start of 2012 and the end of February. The company did have net inflows of $3.1 billion in 2017 after net outflows in each of the previous five years. The equity-heavy fund families (both active and passive) make up about one-fifth of all invested target-date assets. According to Pensions & Investments' latest survey data, Fidelity serves 19.7 million participants across 29,255 plan sponsors.

Vanguard took in about $189 billion over the same period, a net $51.4 billion in 2017, more than double the next-highest competitor, American Funds, which took in about $24 billion. Vanguard serves about 4.6 million participants.

The five largest target-date fund providers have increasingly gained market share on their competitors, raking in 48% of all target-date fund flows in 2017, up from 43% in 2016 and 25% in 2014. So far in 2017, the top five managers have pulled in just under 60% of all client flows in target-date mutual funds.