Most money managers reported both a quarterly and annual increase in total assets under management to end the year, a boost reflective of equity markets rebounding last year following pandemic-fueled declines. But analysts are still watchful of whether firms can sustain growth amid a resurgence of volatility or another sharp market downturn.
Among the 23 publicly traded money managers Pensions & Investments tracked in the fourth quarter, all but one firm, BrightSphere Investment Group Inc., experienced an increase in AUM over the three months ended Dec. 31. BrightSphere saw a 15.2% quarterly decline in assets to $156.7 billion after selling its ownership stakes in value-oriented equity manager Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss LLC and growth equity manager Copper Rock Capital Partners LLC during the fourth quarter.
Quarterly asset increases at money managers ranged from 17.5% reported by Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc., which had $157.8 billion in total AUM as of Dec. 31, to a 0.8% rise in quarterly assets reported by Federated Hermes Inc., which had $619.4 billion in firmwide assets.
Artisan attributed its quarterly increase in assets to $22 billion in investment returns and $2.1 billion of net client cash inflows, partially offset by $600 million of Artisan Funds' distributions that were not reinvested, the firm's fourth-quarter earning release said.
Over the year ended Dec. 31, Artisan's total AUM grew 30.4%, driven primarily by $30.3 billion in investment returns, the firm said.
Among firm's tracked by P&I, Franklin Resources Inc. charted the biggest growth in total AUM over the year ended Dec. 31, up 115% to $1.5 trillion, largely from inorganic growth — its July acquisition of Legg Mason Inc. Franklin's AUM was up 5.6% last quarter.
All but three money managers tracked by P&I — BrightSphere, Victory Capital Management Inc. and Affiliated Managers Group Inc. — saw their total AUM increase over the year ended Dec. 31.