Super fund AustralianSuper has risen to be recognised as one of the top 50 largest asset owners in the world, with US$129,095 ($176,480) in assets.
This position of 43rd was a rise from 53rd in the survey last year, in the Asset Owner 100 research conducted by the Thinking Ahead Institute.
Pension funds were the biggest group of asset owners overall and accounted for 60% of the US$20 trillion in assets.
TCorp and First State Super were the other two Australian super funds to make the list with US$74,728 in assets and US$71,972 respectively, putting them in 85th and 90th place.
Australian asset owners in the AO100 (in US$ million)
Future Fund (1)
Sovereign wealth fund
Nominees (Australia) Limited (6)
First State Super (now Aware Super)
BT Funds Management Limited (2)
(1) As of June 30, 2020
(2) As of March 31, 2020
(6) As of June 30, 2019
The research found those companies in the A0100 were becoming more prominent with their environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles and aiming for more real-world impact with their investments than before.
This included factoring in member views, reporting on the impact of their investments, adopting new benchmarks and reducing carbon emissions.
Jessica Melville, head of strategic advisory, investments at Willis Towers Watson Australia, said: “Governance is improving but has historically lagged other financial services organisations; we suggest that there are up to 20 very large asset owners globally that are well-governed, with effective cultures, providing leadership for others as a considerable force for change.
“The business of model of asset owners is evolving, and we can expect further saver and investor protection regulations. This leads to a very confusing picture, at least in the short-term.”