Asset management firms offer investors access to a professionally-managed diversified portfolio of securities, either through mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The following five firms are widely considered to be industry leaders in this space:

Key Takeaways

  • Asset management firms offer investors access to a professionally-managed diversified portfolio of securities, either through mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
  • The following firms dominate the fund investment landscape:
  1. The Vanguard Group
  2. Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC
  3. BlackRock, Inc.
  4. Fidelity Investments
  5. Invesco Ltd.

The Vanguard Group

The Vanguard Group is one of the most well-known investment management companies, catering to over 20 million clients across 170 countries. Vanguard was founded by John C. Bogle in 1975, in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, as a division of Wellington Management Company, where Bogle was previously chairman. Since its launch, Vanguard has grown its total assets to $5.1 trillion as of October 2018. Of its 388 funds, 180 are U.S. funds, including the popular 500 Index and Total Stock Market funds.

Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC

Global asset management firm Pacific Investment Management Company LLC (PIMCO) was co-founded in 1971, in Newport Beach, California, by bond king Bill Gross. Since inception, PIMCO has grown its assets under management (AUM) to $1.77 trillion as of October 2018. The firm houses over 775 investment professionals, each averaging 14 years of investment experience. With over 100 funds under its banner, PIMCO is widely regarded as a leader in the fixed income sector. 

BlackRock, Inc.

In 1988, BlackRock Inc. (BLK) was launched as a $1 division of the BlackRock Group. By the end of 1993, it boasted $17 billion in AUM. By October of 2018, that number swelled to a whopping $6.32 trillion, making BlackRock the world's largest investment management firm, with over 12,000 employees, in 70 offices, across 30 countries. BlackRock's ETF division, called iShares, has approximately $1.6 trillion in AUM globally, which amounts to 27% of the group's total assets.

Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Management & Research Company was founded in 1946 by Edward C. Johnson II. As of October 2018, Fidelity had 24 million customers with $6.9 trillion in combined assets. The firm offers 386 mutual funds, including domestic equity, foreign equity, sector-specific, fixed-income, index, money market, and asset allocation funds.

Invesco Ltd.

Invesco Ltd. (IVZ) has been offering investment management services since the 1940s. In August of 2018, the firm announced that it had $987.8 billion in AUM, across its 100-plus mutual fund products. The firm offers over 100 ETFs through its Invesco PowerShares Capital Management LLC division. In 2017, the company saw some decline in AUM. But despite the resulting dip in its stock price, Invesco remains one of the world's top asset management firms.