Europeans beef up
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Europeans beef up

While US asset managers continue to be seen as the world’s biggest players, European institutions are catching up. Intersec Research Corporation’s latest ranking of the top 250 non-US asset managers shows who is growing fastest

Once again this year asset managers have been scrambling for scale as the cult of big-is-beautiful continues to hold sway over the industry. With this in mind, banks have been attempting mergers and acquisitions wherever and whenever possible. Speculation constantly surrounds those businesses seen as ripe for a takeover. Meanwhile those institutions still digesting their recent acquisitions have been making it clear that they now operate as one global brand.

To this end, even famous old names in fund management, such as Morgan Grenfell, have been expunged for the greater good of Deutsche Asset Management. Another big UK name, Mercury, has been absorbed into Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.

The thinking is that distributing product via a single brand across all markets is the logical way to present a universal investment approach. In some instances this is causing severe disruption as teams from diverse operations are lumped together. The Scottish Widows and Hill Samuel experience is one such example of this where Lloyds TSB, in seeking to create a single asset management operation under the Scottish Widows brand, has seen a swathe of Hill Samuel portfolio managers defect to competitors rather than join the new operation in Edinburgh.

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