IFM Investors ranks high in Australian rankings

The funds management company owned by industry superannuation funds, IFM Investors, has emerged as the seventh largest company of its type in Australia, only over-shadowed by the big banks, AMP Limited and big Queensland-based QIC.

This has been revealed in the latest Towers Watson analysis of the world's largest 500 fund managers undertaken in cooperation with US-based Pensions & Investments magazine.

While the overall thrust of the research served to point to a 12 per cent increase in assets managed by the world's largest 500 fund managers to $US76 trillion, it also served to put the scale of Australia's major managers in context.

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And what it showed was that Australia's largest fund manager is Macquarie Bank ranking at 52nd largest in the world and with $330,617 billion in assets under management, followed by the Commonwealth Bank ranked 90th with $187,352 billion, NAB/MLC ranked 118th, AMP Capital ranked 122nd, Westpac Banking ranked 159th, QIC ranked 180th and IFM Investors ranked 229th.

In terms of global scale, Blackrock was ranked number one, followed by Vanguard Group, Allianz Global Investors, State Street Global and Fidelity Investments.

Commenting on the research, Towers Watosn senior investment consultant, Alek Misev said 2013 had clearly been another good year for most large asset managers, regardless of the types of assets under management, resulting in it setting new records across the board.

However he cautioned against reading too much into the growth data, saying that while looked like an industry in rude health, there was no room for complacency given numerous on-going challenges including the medium-term outlook for the global economy where we see risks to global growth skewed to the downside.

"In addition asset managers, particularly large ones, are increasingly likely to come under scrutiny for their role in society and the value they add to investors' portfolios net of fees," Misev said.

"The asset managers of the future must clearly outline their value proposition, not just to clients but also to society as a whole, while being fully transparent over fees and costs. The most successful asset managers will build a positive social impact and demonstrate that they are a force for good. There will be no room for short-cuts."

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