The latest figures to be published by the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) present a snapshot of the state of the industry at the end of 2010 and the picture looks optimistic.
This is the EFAMA's fifth annual review examining the industry's overall size, general structure, asset allocation and client base - a chance to see who's putting their money into what investments.
There's good news to be found in the confirmation that assets under management in Europe enjoyed strong growth of 10% in 2010, reaching €14trn at year end. Europe ranks as the second largest market in the global asset management industry, managing 33% of global assets under management.
Discretionary mandate assets represented €7,131bn (50.8%) of assets under management at end year, whereas investment funds accounted for the remaining €6,904bn. Asset managers showed a strong preference for bond and equity asset classes, with an asset allocation of 44% and 31% respectively at end 2010.
At the end of 2010 there were more than 3,100 asset management companies registered in Europe directly employing around 85,000 people. The EFAMA points out that were related services along the asset management value chain be taken into account, the level of direct and indirect employment would increase to "a significantly higher figure."
Asset management is highly concentrated in a limited number of countries, the top three countries being the UK, France and Germany, which together accounted for 65% of total assets under management in Europe at the year end.
Institutional investors represent the largest client category of this industry, accounting for 69% of total assets under management. Insurance companies and pension funds account for 42% and 27% of total assets under management for institutional clients, respectively.
Peter de Proft, Director General of EFAMA, comments: "This report underlines the important role of the industry in managing long-term savings on behalf of retail and institutional investors. It also confirms the contribution of the industry to the financing of the European economy."
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