UK fund managers see huge asset value growth

UK fund managers’ assets under management grew to a record £8.1trn in 2016, up 17.4% year on year, according to TheCityUK’s latest UK Fund Management report. This growth was, in part, driven by an increase in the value of overseas assets, which benefited from the weakening of sterling versus other major currencies following the Brexit referendum.

The report, ‘UK Fund Management’, also reveals that over one third (37%) of funds under management in the UK – a record £2.6trn – are managed on behalf of overseas clients, making the UK the leading global centre on this measure. The UK is the third largest international fund management centre, after the US and Japan.

Anjalika Bardalai, Chief Economist and Head of Research, TheCityUK, said,

The UK fund management industry continues to be a world leader at managing overseas assets. However, technological advancements and increasing competition from emerging centres such as Hong Kong and Singapore mean that UK fund managers cannot be complacent.

The UK government’s renewal of its Investment Management Strategy in 2017 was a positive step. However, to maintain London and the UK as a global centre for asset management, it is vital that an ambitious and pragmatic Brexit deal is secured. Failure to do so will only strengthen existing centres in the US and Japan as well as rising competitors in Asia.

The report also highlights the strong net exports by UK fund managers, which totalled £6.2bn in 2016 and helped to offset Britain’s large trade deficit in goods.

Overall, UK-based fund managers generated £3.3bn of overall UK economic output in 2016, employing 52,000 people across the UK, and forming a critical part of the wider UK business ecosystem in areas like pensions, insurance and business investment. In addition to London, other important centres include Edinburgh, Liverpool, Bristol, Aberdeen and Birmingham.

Institutional clients account for around four-fifths (79%) of total UK funds under management, with the remainder accounted for by retail and private clients.