Money Managers See Improved Year in 2010

A report from Strategic Insight indicates the 19 money managers with publicly held equity managed a total of $7.8 trillion at year-end 2010, up 10% from 2009.

The 10% increase generated aggregate revenues of $34 billion. As financial markets recovered from the lows of March 2009, average assets under management for full year 2010 rose 42% from 2009 levels, leading to higher fee revenue for 18 of the 19 managers included in the annual study.

Operating expenses rose 25% in 2010, as companies once again began to invest in personnel and technology. However, these higher costs were eclipsed by a 35% increase in operating revenue, leading to an aggregate 4% increase in pre-tax operating margins.

The report says the continuing focus on fees (including the industry-wide transition to lowest-fee share classes), costs for U.S. and global distribution, and investments in technology, compliance, and talent continue to challenge investment managers. A weakening stock market and persistent near-zero short term interest rates could pressure many investment management profits and margins. 

Strategic Insight research clients can access the full report at