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BlackRock faces 'stiff competition' from APAC asset managers

BlackRock has maintained its position as the best brand among asset managers in the US and APAC, though subtle shifts are signalling change, according to the latest Broadridge Fund Brand 50 report.

Incorporating insights from 1200 fund selectors and gatekeepers, the study ranks asset managers by evaluating brand attributes such as investment strategy appeal, client-centric approach, expertise, solidity, and local knowledge, uncovering the most revered global and regional brands across the US, APAC, and Europe.

It showed APAC fund selectors place increasing importance on asset manager expertise in 2023, as a way of offsetting economic and geopolitical uncertainty, downward pressure on fees, and an increasingly onerous regulatory burden.

"A cautious outlook continued throughout the year, and investors prioritised regular payouts in an uncertain climate. The beneficiaries of this were well-trusted providers of fixed-income funds and ETFs with proven track records, as well as larger asset managers with strong jurisdictional brand recognition," Broadridge engagement manager Evonne Gain said.

The top five APAC asset management brands, consistent with last year's ranking, are BlackRock, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Fidelity, Allianz Global Investors, and Alliance Bernstein.

"The lack of movement at the top of the leaderboard belies turbulent underlying market conditions. Global and local managers had to navigate a more challenging fund landscape as APAC fund selectors took a risk-off stance and displayed a strong preference for low-cost products with minimal exposure to market forces," Gain said.

The report said that even though global giants retained their pole positions, their dominance is progressively eroding.

Specifically, BlackRock hasn't managed to "consolidate its overall position in the APAC region," achieving a top-five ranking in just four out of seven markets, and experiencing "stiff competition" from homegrown managers, particularly in China.

"Chinese markets are shunning global firms just as quickly as they took up with them," the report said.

The remaining top asset management brands in APAC are Franklin Templeton, PIMCO, Schroders, Vanguard, and Mirae Asset Global Investments.

Read more: BlackRockBroadridgeEvonne GainAlliance BernsteinAllianz Global InvestorsFidelityFranklin TempletonJ.P. Morgan Asset ManagementMirae Asset Global InvestmentsPIMCOSchrodersVanguard