Money managers experienced the worst aggregate decline in worldwide institutional assets under management in a decade during the year ended Dec. 31.
Aggregate worldwide institutional assets fell 5.4% to $42.78 trillion, compared with growth of 14.2% in 2017, results of Pensions & Investments' annual money manager survey showed.
Over the 10 years ended Dec. 31, worldwide institutional assets managed by P&I's international universe of asset managers declined in only two other years: down 3% in 2015 to $36.16 trillion and down 0.3% in 2011 to $29.16 trillion.
All but one of the 10 largest firms in P&I's ranking of the largest institutional managers worldwide produced AUM declines ranging from 1.46% to 10.65% in the year ended Dec. 31.
Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, N.J., was the lone company within the top 10 to produce a gain in worldwide institutional assets in 2018. Assets managed by PGIM, the firm's investment management unit, rose 0.74% to $1.04 trillion. The gain propelled Prudential to seventh place from 10th the prior year.
"2018 was a tough year for money managers. In very stark contrast, managers had strong asset growth in 2017," said Luba Nikulina, managing director and global head of manager research at investment consultant Willis Towers Watson PLC, London.
"The bulk of the exposure of the largest money managers to market declines was from equities," she said, adding that continued inflows to passively managed strategies, especially to equities, also sapped assets away from active strategies.