SOURCE: Institutional Investor

July 07, 2008 11:12 ET

Big Profits in Lean Times: Institutional Investor's Ranking of America's 300 Biggest Money Managers Shows Industry Is Amazingly Resilient

Alternative Investment Strategies Fastest Growing Asset Class

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - July 7, 2008) - With the economy struggling, markets in turmoil, and investment banks reeling, asset management firms are proving to be amazingly resilient. The assets of the 300 largest U.S. money managers, the Institutional Investor 300, grew last year by 12.2% to $34.9 trillion -- more than double the pace of the Standard and Poor's 500, which rose only 5.5%.

The asset management business continues to be richly lucrative. Operating profits rose two percentage points in 2007 to 33%.

This performance is in sharp contrast to the last time there was a severe downturn in financial markets in 2002 when assets under management shrank. This time around alternative investment strategies including hedge funds are fueling the increase in profits. Alternatives grew faster than any other asset class tracked for the II300 ranking, rising 46% to $1.9 trillion, breaking 2006's record of 39.8% growth. Asset growth also reflected growing interest in low-risk, low-cost index funds.

Rank    Firm                            Total Assets Under
                                        Management ($ Millions)
1       Barclay's Global Investors      $2,078,699
2       State Street Global Advisors    $1,973,030
3       Capital Group Cos.              $1,548,324
4       Fidelity Investments            $1,519,940
5       BlackRock                       $1,356,644
6       JPMorgan Asset Mgmt             $1,193,406
7       AXA Group                       $1,023,638
8       Vanguard Group                  $1,011,024
9       Legg Mason                      $990,783
10      Bank of New York Mellon Corp.   $982,369
For the complete ranking including a breakdown of asset classes, visit The II300 is also available in the July/August 2008 America's issue of Institutional Investor magazine.

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