The 10 Largest Investment Management Companies Worldwide

Many investors or organizations invest with the help of an asset management company. These firms take control of investments and make investment decisions.

An asset management company invests and manages portfolios of mutual funds and other securities. Some are geared toward very wealthy individuals, in that these investors usually hand over full control of their portfolios to managers, who handle their assets.

In this article, learn about some of the largest investment management firms in the world, plus what you need to know about how they work.

How Do Big Asset Management Firms Work?

Many asset managers will only deal with large institutions. These might be other corporations, big nonprofit organizations, or associations. But many of the most recognizable firms will offer services for average investors. In many cases, asset management firms make money by charging fees based on the value of assets they manage. Others will charge flat fees.

Asset management companies will often have other business lines other than asset management. Sometimes, this includes brokerage services.

In some cases, asset management makes up only a fraction of the company’s revenue, and they often partner with each other in various ways, even though they are also competitors. For example, one asset management firm may use its online platform to allow investors to buy and sell the mutual funds of a competing company.

10 Largest Investment Management Companies

Here’s a look at the top asset management companies. These rankings are based on the number of funds (assets under management or AUM) under their control, based on their most recently reported balance sheets as of February 2022.

You may recognize some of these companies, as they are some of the largest financial institutions in the world.

Some companies may have much higher reported assets under custody, which would include money still managed by clients themselves.

1. BlackRock

AUM: $9.464 trillion

BlackRock is not just the world’s largest asset manager, but one of the world’s largest financial institutions. The company was founded in 1988 and went public in 1999.

The firm has been influential in advancing the growth of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) through its iShares products. iShares comprised more than a quarter of BlackRock’s assets under management in 2021.

2. The Vanguard Group

AUM: $8.4 trillion

Vanguard is known for its strategy of passive investing. This means that money is placed in mutual funds designed to mirror the activity of a specific index or the broader stock market.

Vanguard boasts of low expense ratios for most of its funds. Along with asset management, Vanguard offers brokerage services, financial planning, annuities, and other services.

3. UBS Group

AUM: $4.432 trillion

UBS Group has four divisions that operate around the world. The Switzerland-based firm describes itself as the “only truly global wealth manager.”

UBS offers both wealth management and asset management services.

4. Fidelity

AUM: $4.23 trillion

Fidelity is an asset manager and a discount broker with more than 30 million customers as of 2021 third quarter. It offers an online platform for individual investors to buy and sell securities.

Fidelity also manages entire portfolios on behalf of clients. In the summer of 2018, it made headlines when it began offering mutual funds with a zero expense ratio and minimum investment requirement.

5. State Street Global Advisors

AUM: $3.86 trillion

Boston-based State Street is a subsidiary of State Street Corporation. It manages investments for a wide range of institutional clients, including non-profits, local governments, associations, and even educational groups.

6. Morgan Stanley

AUM: $3.274 trillion

Partners and staffers from the J.P. Morgan and Drexel companies formed Morgan Stanley on Wall Street in 1935. When it acquired the investment platform E*TRADE in late 2020, Morgan Stanley had about 68,000 employees in 39 countries.

7. JPMorgan Chase

AUM: $2.996 trillion

Most people think of JPMorgan Chase as an investment bank, but it also has a robust asset management business. In 2017, it had $1.3 trillion in assets moved from BlackRock as part of a new custody arrangement.

8. Allianz

AUM: $2.953 trillion

This German firm is primarily an insurer. It also operates two asset management divisions: Allianz Global Investors and PIMCO. Together, Global Investors and PIMCO manage about $2.17 trillion of third-party assets as of October 2021.

9. Capital Group

AUM: $2.6 trillion

Capital Group was founded in 1931 in Los Angeles. It employed over 7,800 associates in 29 offices worldwide as of February 2022.

10. Goldman Sachs

AUM: $2.372 trillion

Asset management is just one of many services offered by Goldman Sachs. The types of clients it serves include:

  • Hedge funds
  • Banks and brokerages
  • Pensions
  • Endowments and foundations
  • Corporations
  • Governments

In December 2020, Goldman Sachs announced a 10-year $750 billion climate transition and inclusive growth initiative.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What do real estate investment companies do?

Real estate investment companies operate similarly to the other investment companies listed here, they just have a sole focus on real estate assets. In fact, the companies listed here offer some of the best real estate investment trusts (REITs) on the market today. These REITs essentially function as small real estate investment companies within the broader organization.

How are “high-net-worth individuals” determined by investment companies?

The definition is set by each investment company individually, but high-net-worth individuals are generally those with at least $1 million in liquid assets. High-net-worth individuals can significantly add to an investment company’s total assets under management, so companies will seek out and fight to keep these clients.